What's your score?

11/11/2020

When organizations decide to make the leap to a cloud platform, undoubtedly, and logically, their first questions and concerns regard security and data integrity. Microsoft openly recognizes these concerns and has not only provided many features and solutions to ensure that customers can trust moving their sensitive, confidential data to the cloud, but has also provided several tools that customers can use to help them analyze and implement many best practices to achieve the levels of security and compliance that are identified as most critical to their own specific organization.

Two of these tools have been available to customers for some time but are constantly updated and improved as new security and compliance threats become known.

One of these tools is the Microsoft Secure Score. In short, Secure Score is a security analytics tool designed to provide visibility of an organization’s security posture. Secure Score analyzes your organization, determines what Office/Microsoft 365 services you’re using and how you have those services configured, then compares your configuration to baselines established by Microsoft. Your score is a representation of how aligned you are with Microsoft’s security best practices.

Secure Score also provides an overall risk assessment. The assessment provides recommended controls to implement/configure, with links provided for each control to help you understand the risk you’re facing if you don’t follow the recommended actions. If the recommended controls/configurations are implemented, you may reduce risk, thereby raising your score.

Along with the risk assessment, Secure Score provides a comparison of your score to the average score of all 365 customers in your industry, so you can easily see how your score compares. You can also create a custom comparison based on organization size, licenses, and regions.

For more information on Secure Score, visit:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/security/mtp/microsoft-secure-score-improvement-actions?view=o365-worldwide

Another provided tool to help organizations assess their current compliance posture is the Microsoft Compliance Score, available to all Microsoft 365 and Office 365 enterprise licenses and provided through the recently released Compliance Manager.

Compliance Manager gives you an initial score based on the Microsoft 365 data protection baseline. This baseline is a set of controls that includes key regulations and standards for data protection and general data governance.

You are provided with recommended improvement actions and you earn points for completing these actions. These points are then combined to calculate and update your overall compliance score. Each recommended action has a different impact on your score, depending on the potential risk involved, so you can prioritize important actions accordingly.

With more than 220 updates every day from 1,000 regulatory bodies around the world, it’s overwhelming for organizations to keep up to date with the evolving compliance landscape. Microsoft has a team of subject matter experts working diligently to provide a common control framework, allowing them to share this knowledge by building it into Microsoft 365. This allows you to scale your compliance program across global, industrial, and regional regulations and standards.

For more information on Compliance Score, visit:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-security-and/simplify-compliance-and-reduce-risk-with-microsoft-compliance/ba-p/960926

While both of these tools provide great recommendations and guidance to increase your security and compliance posture, do understand that they do not in any way provide a guarantee against security breach or absolute measure of organization compliance with any particular standard or regulation.

Microsoft provides one more score calculation for you. The newest score on the block, recently announced for general availability on 10/29/20, is the Microsoft Productivity Score. Productivity Score includes insights from Microsoft 365 about the way people work. It includes various metrics to help you see how people are using Microsoft 365 products to collaborate, communicate, and work across platforms, insights about data to help you identify opportunities to improve employee productivity and satisfaction, and recommended actions you can take to help the people in your organization use Microsoft 365 products more efficiently.

Your Productivity Score is based on the combined scores of several people and technology experiences categories, such as communication, meetings, content collaboration, teamwork, mobility and more. Productivity Score includes data from Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Yammer, and Skype. Your score is updated daily and reflects user actions completed in the last 28 days (including the current day). Microsoft provides 28-day and 180-day views of key activities, along with supporting metrics that are not necessarily part of the score calculation, but are important to help you identify underlying behaviors and settings that can be addressed.

To be clear, Productivity Score is not a work monitoring tool. It focuses on actionable insights about the ways in which people and teams are using the tools so you can make improvements or provide training to further your digital transformation. For example, to help maintain privacy and trust, Microsoft gives you controls so you can anonymize the user info or even remove it. Productivity Score identifies areas where you can offer people training to learn how to use the tools to their fullest capacity. For example, one of the newest categories, teamwork, provides a score based on the percentage of people who engage in teamwork within shared workspaces like SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and group mailboxes in Exchange.

For some time now, many organizations have been undergoing, or planning to undergo a complete digital transformation, moving many services to the cloud and adopting the world of “digital everything”. To embrace a completely digital environment, we need to not only provide people the appropriate tools they need to do their best work most efficiently, but we also need to help everyone in the organization build the habits that help them harness the true power and best capabilities of those tools. Until now, it’s been difficult for organizations to get insight into these habits and understand how to truly help people make the most of the technology they invest in. Microsoft Productivity Score allows us to do just that.

For more information on Microsoft Productivity Score, visit:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-365/the-definitive-guide-to-productivity-score/m-p/1699414

Digital transformation and making the move to a cloud platform is, to say the least, a challenge for all of us, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a mystery. If organizations will just tap into the tools like those mentioned in this article, they can reap the benefits of the cloud and quickly discover ways to succeed in a new world.

If you’d like to learn more about these features or get some hands-on instructor-led training on Microsoft 365, consider attending one or more of our Microsoft courses. We’d love to have you attend in person or remotely using our Virtual Training platform to help you save travel costs and adhere to COVID-19 orders and guidance. And in case you didn’t know, however you choose to attend these courses, you will also receive a FREE Pearson Vue Certification exam voucher to get you moving down the road to certification!

For more information on Microsoft 365 courses, check out our upcoming schedule at www.LrsEducationServices.com.

Here are some courses that may be of interest to you:

MS--900T01 - Microsoft 365 Fundamentals

MS--030T00 - Office 365 Administrator

MS-500T00 – Microsoft 365 Security Administration

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding courses scheduled at LRS Education Services, please call 877.832.0688 ext: 1493 or email us at getsmart@LRS.com.

Penny Morgan, LRS Education Services
MCT, MCSA, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCP
Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals
Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert
Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate
Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate
Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate