December 30, 2015

Office 365 Compliance Improved with eDiscovery and Litigation Hold for Groups

2 minute read

Office 365 Groups is a service that establishes a single set of permissions across Office 365 apps. When a user joins a group, they gain access to all of the assets of the team such as conversations, meetings and documents. Any user in the organization can create a Group and begin collaborating immediately. However, there also needs to be support for IT to control these Groups at an administrative level, which is what Microsoft announced earlier this month.

Some of the important features of this release include eDiscovery and legal hold. This allows the administrator to perform an eDiscovery and litigation hold on a group's mailbox using Exchange Admin Center and on group files using the Office 365 Compliance Center. Additionally, there are new auditing features. The Azure Management Portal now shows group management events such as creation, updates and membership changes in the audit report. Eventually, these events will also appear in the Office 365 Compliance Center to help give a more complete picture.

There are some other new features covered in this release including the Office 365 Groups API as part of Microsoft Graph. This allows developers to connect Office 365 Groups with line of business applications or create custom solutions. Also, naming policies for Office 365 Group names and aliases allows users to self-organize but still enables control over the way these groups appear in the corporate directory. This also links the naming policy to the email alias for that group. Dynamic membership allows administrators to create groups with rule-based memberships using the Azure Management Portal that are updated within minutes. This feature allows for easier management of large groups and creating groups that accurately reflect the organization's structure.

These new features indicate a focus by Microsoft on more detailed Office 365 compliance functionality. However, for true complete information governance, more detailed policies and file plan are a requirement. Office 365 out-of-the-box, even with these added features, is not equipped for proper information governance.

Receive News Updates As Soon As They Happen