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Over a million companies worldwide – nearly 880,000 in the US alone – use Microsoft 365.

It’s a powerful, flexible, and easy way to access and use the Microsoft Office software suite online. In addition to applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Microsoft 365 also includes OneDrive for cloud-based file storage, access, and collaboration. Microsoft has full visibility into files on OneDrive, running algorithms, searching for malware and potentially sensitive information that could be vulnerable.

In 99% of use cases OneDrive is a great solution. Organizations that have standardized on Microsoft 365 have identified Microsoft as a trusted partner and are comfortable with Microsoft having this level of visibility into their documents.

But what about the other 1% of documents that are too sensitive to be in OneDrive? I’m referring to documents that contain material or sensitive information like customer and employee data, company financials, corporate strategy information, or intellectual property. If any of this data were leaked, the consequences from a competitive, legal, regulatory, financial, and reputational standpoint could be severe.

Alternative storage for your sensitive data

For use cases where privacy is paramount, ShardSecure offers an alternative to OneDrive, called SecureDrive. Think of it this way: Instead of bringing all your data to Microsoft applications in the cloud, you keep control of your sensitive data and bring Microsoft cloud applications to that data.

SecureDrive provides the benefit of ShardSecure’s Microshard™ technology, which essentially desensitizes your sensitive data making it unintelligible and of no value to unauthorized users. It’s a three-step process that consists of shredding, mixing, and distributing your sensitive data to storage locations of your organization’s choosing. You can still opt to store your microsharded data on Microsoft Azure, but now it is private by default. Or you can select other clouds, multi-cloud, or hybrid cloud storage configurations. Whatever configuration of backend storage you use, microsharding ensures data is unusable by any unauthorized party who might gain access to that raw storage.

Seamless integration for an optimized user experience

Our team has spent decades developing industry-leading IT security tools, so we know how important a smooth user experience is to delivering value. As a certified Microsoft Cloud Partner, we use native Microsoft APIs coupled with our expertise to create a truly seamless experience for Microsoft 365 users in the following five ways:

  1. Single Sign-On (SS0)
    SecureDrive is tied to Azure Active Directory (AD) so there is no need to sync directories or manage different user accounts. If a user can authenticate to your Azure AD and they’ve been assigned the application then it’s a 100% seamless, SSO experience. Any additional authentication methods setup for Azure AD, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) or conditional access restricted by IP address and device, are also upheld and automatically applied.

  2. Consistent home page experience
    SecureDrive shows up as an application on a user’s home page, alongside other Microsoft 365 applications, for one-click access. Users have the option to store documents in OneDrive or SecureDrive; both show up on the home page. When OneDrive is selected, normal sharing rules apply. With SecureDrive, sharing outside of the organization is disallowed, but users can share documents with internal users on Azure AD who have the SecureDrive app assigned to them, which adds an additional layer of security.

  3. Compliance in a couple of clicks
    Most users want to comply with corporate policy but sometimes that isn’t so easy. Documents previously deemed unsensitive can become sensitive over time if new data is added, or documents can slip through the cracks. Should an eDiscovery or data classification tool discover a sensitive document of any file type on OneDrive, users can move it to SecureDrive with a couple of clicks which makes it easy to comply with corporate policy.

  4. Nothing new to learn
    SecureDrive supports all your Microsoft 365 applications and does not change or impact these applications in any way. You still use the Microsoft 365 ecosystem through your browser; documents can still be shared with other users; and users can still edit and collaborate on a file online and in real-time. There is nothing new to learn.

  5. Integration with complementary tools.
    We continue to look for opportunities to integrate with complementary tools to make the user experience as seamless as possible. For example, we are in the process of integrating with popular eDiscovery and data classification tools so that if sensitive documents are discovered on OneDrive, they are automatically moved to SecureDrive in accordance with corporate policy, without any user interaction required.

For organizations that want additional protection and privacy for sensitive documents within a seamless Microsoft 365 experience, I encourage you to check out ShardSecure. Learn more about ShardSecure for Microsoft 365, and schedule a demo today.