Outlook mobile makes the grade: A gold standard for secure communications in the enterprise

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Tech Community.

Getting things done and organizing our days on mobile devices is more than the new normal, it's now integral to the culture of our work and personal lives. Even at work, despite access to computers and larger screens, people still spend a large share of their time on their mobile devices. Regardless of how and where you’re being productive, the expectation is that your company and personal information is secure and privacy protected


Microsoft runs on trust, and that too is how we build products. In 2019, Microsoft continued to deliver on its commitment to integrate enterprise class technology into Outlook for iOS and Android. We recently released two highly requested capabilities with Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labeling as well as support for S/MIME with manual certificate delivery.


Today we’re announcing our plans to further support the needs of enterprise customers’ BYOD (bring you own device) scenarios. Specifically, we are investing in updating the user experience to clearly delineate between work and personal accounts in Outlook for iOS and Android. This way you can take advantage of having all your work and personal accounts in one app while maintaining confidence that you will always send emails or meeting requests from the right account to the right person.


We are also announcing the ability to protect sensitive information in email and calendar notifications on the device lock screens. With app protection policies and configuration set to manage these notifications, Outlook helps to ensure your company data is not viewed or accessible if a device is left unattended. 


There are additional capabilities we’ve built into Outlook for iOS and Android with with the full strength of Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance and Identity.  From threat and data protection to access management and compliance, Outlook mobile has become the gold standard for communications in the enterprise.  To tell the full story, we are announcing the availility of a new article that explains the Microsoft security and compliance story through the lens of Outlook for iOS and Android.  Download it today.


Work and personal accounts in one app


There are a few key areas where having clear separation between your personal and work accounts helps most. First, when composing new messages from Outlook mobile, we’ll add visual cues so you know which account or email address you will send from.  For example, when you use your Office 365 account for work it will clearly show you the account at the top of your New Message. Also, when you start typing recipients, Outlook will bring up the people and email addresses of suggested work colleagues and keep your personal contacts accessible, but separate.  This way you don’t accidentally select the the personal email address of a colleague, when you mean to send to their work address.

work personal contacts cropped.pngSeparation of work and personal contacts


Creating new events in Outlook for iOS and Android is super fast and easy with very little typing required.  You can create an entire meeting without typing a single letter, just simply touch the options or suggestions through the intelligent technology that’s already there.  For example, touch the title to select the type of event, touch people for suggested participants and touch location for suggested location etc. With power of this simplicity, it’s even more important to ensure you’re creating events in your intended account so that all these suggestions align with your work or personal persona.  If you’re in your personal account, the suggested people should only come from your personal contacts and so on. 


This separation between work and personal accounts supports BYOD scenarios for users so they can quickly get important things done on the go or any time of day while having the confidence that they are complying with company policies and their personal information is protected. When combined with the app protection policies built into Outlook mobile with Microsoft Intune, administrators can manage and configure how data moves between accounts and apps to achieve the highest level of data protection for company data while ensuring continued user productivity.  Expect to see the updates to the user experience in Outlook for iOS and Android start to roll out by the end of 2019.


For your eyes only – protecting data on notifications


Today, we are also announcing support for blocking organizational data from appearing in notifications on the lock screen of your mobile device.  Email and calendar notifications may contain sensitive company information and should be protected from wandering eyes. We’re adding app protection policies with Microsoft Intune to allow administrators to remove the company data from both email and calendar notifications. 


Calendar notifications may need to be treated differently, however – you might just need to know where you’re going and when you should leave at a glance. So we’re providing more granular controls through an app configuration setting. This way, you can remove the sensitive data in email notifications through the app protection policy, but allow for the calendar data information to come through the app configuration.  Both of these controls can be managed without device enrollment.  Notification obfuscation with app protection and configuration controls are rolling out in December 2019.


Nofification obfuscation.pngData protection on email and calendar notifications


Employees depend on companies to help them comply with internal data protect policies and external compliance requirements.  And conversely, administrators rely on their user community to do the right thing when it comes to reporting security and compliance concerns. We’re adding the the capability to report spam and phishing incidents in Outlook for Android.  Because Outlook mobile is directly connected to Exchange Online, and similar to the Report Message add-in available in Outlook for Windows, our new reporting feature can utilize Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph and information protection services to know when to block future messages. Microsoft collects insights from across the threat landscape, capturing trillions of signals and billions of sources. These sources are across our endpoints and enables Microsoft to detect anomalies using threat intelligence, machine learning, security research and developments.  For Outlook, administrators can review reported message details to identify trends and help keep your users safe. The experience in Outlook for Android is simple for users, just one tap to flag a potential risk and another to identify if it’s suspected spam or phishing attempt. 


Spam reporting white.gifReport spam or phishing incidents

We will keep bringing security and compliance capabilities to Outlook for iOS and Android in the coming months.  Our goals is to continue to evolve with the ever-changing culture and increased use of mobile apps and services in our personal and work lives.  And don’t miss our Outlook sessions at Ignite 2019  in Orlando or on demand where you can learn more.


As always, your continued feedback is so important and always appreciated.  Please keep telling us what you think through our in-app feedback or in our UserVoice channel





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