To boost cloud security, Office 365 is having users to move to TLS 1.2 in October of 2018.

In an effort to continue to be the most secure cloud-based productivity suites on the market, Office 365 has recently dropped support for TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in favor of TLS 1.2.

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Microsoft is giving users a deadline of October 31, 2018, to move to TLS 1.2. This deadline was originally intended to be March of 2018 but was extended to give Office 365 users more time to move to the new protocol.

What is TLS?

TLS or Transport Layer Security is a protocol that’s used to secure data that’s traveling between two applications. It’s the most commonly used security protocol today and is used by web browsers and other technologies including Voice over IP (VOIP), VPN connections, file transfers, and instant messaging. TLS is a significant improvement over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which was originally developed by Netscape.

TLS consists of two layers: the TLS Record Protocol and the TLS Handshake Protocol. The TLS Record Protocol handles the connection security, and the TLS Handshake Protocol allows the client and the server to authenticate and communicate with each other.

The new switch to TLS 1.2 may cause some connection issues for some users.

If you’re currently using any of the following applications, you’ll need to upgrade to fully utilize Office 365.

  • Firefox version 5.0 and earlier
  • Android version 4.3 and earlier
  • Internet Explorer versions 8-10 on Windows 7 and earlier versions of the popular operating system
  • Internet Explorer 10.0 on Windows Phone 8.0
  • Safari version 6.0.4 on OS X 10.8.4 and earlier

IT admins should take an audit well before the October 2018 deadline to ensure that all their operating systems and applications support the new TLS 1.2.

Why TLS 1.2 is superior to TLS 1.0 and 1.1?

Because several weaknesses have been found in TLS 1.0 and 1.1, security experts are recommending that users upgrade to TLS 1.2. Without upgrading to TLS 1.2, your customer data could be at risk, and depending on compliance requirements, your organization could be subject to costly fines.

Other ways that Office 365 keeps your data secure

In addition to upgrades to TLS 1.2, Office 365 offers a whole host of other features to keep your data secure. Learn more about why your data is likely more secure when stored with Office 365 than in your own in-house data center.

  • Automated data backups – Office 365 offers multiple layers of redundancy to ensure your data is not only secure but also protected in the event of a catastrophic
  • Security of Office 365 data centers – Microsoft does not disclose where their data centers are located.
  • Data never used for advertising purposes – With Office 365, your data will never be sold or used for advertising purposes.
  • Your data is saved for a time even after your subscription ends – Even if you decide to cancel your Office 365 subscription, your data will be saved for a certain period of time.
  • Multi-factor authentication – Office 365 offers multi-factor authentication support to help prevent a data breach.
  • Complex passwords – With Office 365, users are required to create complex passwords to help prevent brute force attacks.

Interested in learning more about TLS 1.2?

Whether you’re interested in learning more about TLS 1.2, or any other security features of Office 365, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of cloud experts today.

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