Microsoft hardens encryption for Outlook, OneDrive

Microsoft is making good on the promises they made last December, when they announced that they will – among other things – strengthen the encryption of customer data across their networks and services, including, Office 365, SkyDrive and Windows Azure.

Matt Thomlinson, VP of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Security, has disclosed on Tuesday that Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) encryption support has been added to, for both outbound and inbound email.

He noted that TLS works well only if other email service provider support it, and has shared that Microsoft has been working with several international providers such as Deutsche Telekom, Yandex and Mail.Ru to test the feature.

“Perfect Forward Secrecy uses a different encryption key for every connection, making it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections,” he explained, and went on to say that support for it has been also added to OneDrive (previously SkyDrive).

“OneDrive customers now automatically get forward secrecy when accessing OneDrive through, our mobile OneDrive application and our sync clients. As with’s email transfer, this makes it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections between their systems and OneDrive.”

“Our goal is to provide even greater protection for data across all the great Microsoft services you use and depend on every day. This effort also helps us reinforce that governments use appropriate legal processes, not technical brute force, if they want access to that data,” he says.

Finally, the company has opened its first Transparency Center, which will allow participating governments to review source code for Microsoft products they might use so that they can assure themselves that no backdoors have bene added to the code. A number of regional transparency centers around the world will be opened in time.

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