Microsoft’s Office 365 Becomes FISMA-Certified

It is now a viable option for governments interested in deploying it

By on May 8th, 2012 14:34 GMT

Last week, Microsoft announced that its Office 365 service was granted the Authority to Operate under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) by the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

For those out of the loop, we should note that FISMA creates a process for federal agencies to certify and accredit the security of their information management systems, which makes it important for Microsoft’s Office 365 customers.

All IT solutions that sport FISMA certification and accreditation have approvals from the federal agency to be used in line with the level of security that the agency is requiring.

Microsoft also notes that they have been working hard on ensuring that their products offer the level of protection that customers require when it comes to their data.

“While we're pleased to have been granted FISMA ATO, Office 365 already meets the industry's most rigorous global security and privacy standards,” Microsoft’s Julia White notes in a recent blog post.

“Office 365 is the first and only major cloud based productivity service to sign EU Model Clauses with all customers.”

At the same time, the company added the Data Processing Agreement (DPA) to the EU Model Clauses, so as to ensure that additional requirements from the EU member states are met.

Office 365 also signed the Business Associate Agreement (BAA) so as to meet security requirements of the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The HIPAA-BAA, DPA and EU Model clauses are signed with all customers, regardless of their size. Office 365 is also ISO 27001 certified.

“We understand people have high expectations of any service provider and an interest in understanding where their data resides, who can access it and what we do with it. To that end, we created the Office 365 Trust Center to enable customers to learn more,” Julia White continues.

Given its FISMA certification, Office 365 is now a viable option for governments interested in deploying the cloud service.

In fact, it was already chosen by USDA, the States of California, Minnesota and New York; the cities of San Francisco, Newark, Plano and many others.

“The move to Office 365 is afoot in government, and the savings and benefits to citizens are considerable. Today's news should further hasten that transition,” Julia White concludes.

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