When it comes to migrating data to the cloud, the complex landscape of government regulations and compliance can be overwhelming to navigate through.  I was reminded of this during my livestream with Protected Trust CEO Ingram Leedy and Solutions Consultant Cindy Loput.  During this livestream Ingram and Cindy spoke with me about the challenges a government agency faces when on-boarding new systems and software.  Government agencies are ready to make the move to the cloud but they’re not sure how to get started.  This is not necessarily a simple process, although we make it easy.  There are steps that need to be taken to move from an internal platform to the cloud.  A lot of the government agencies are familiar with purchasing their Office licenses directly through either an enterprise vendor or from Microsoft directly and they can still do that, however they really need assistance to ensure they are still compliant.  Different government entities have different government regulations that they need to follow as well.
The difference however isn’t only in the licensing.  The data centers where the government data is stored is separated from the traditional Office 365 public cloud. It’s not to say that the public cloud data centers don’t go through a rigorous compliance process for security, but the government data centers go through the extra compliance certifications specifically for government use. We spent much of our livestream speaking about Government Cloud Community (GCC) where most Federal, State and Local government information are stored. However, Office 365 also has data centers for specific government agencies and information.  These data centers are called GCC High and DoD (Department of Defense). I’m sure it’s a huge relief for many administrators knowing that their data center compliance needs are already met with Office 365 GCC.
As many government administrators know, your compliance regulations don’t end at the server level and every department must have their own policies and procedures depending on the data that is being handled.  Microsoft has incorporated a ton of new features specifically developed to make sure information is not mishandled, such as DLP or Data Loss Prevention.  This feature isn’t something that can just be turned on and start working however.  As I simplified in the livestream, you still need someone to know which switches to flip and for who.  For those who aren’t aware of DLP’s functionality, it scans a message for predefined parameters (social security numbers, billing information, etc). If it detects one of the parameters in a message, it will stop the message from being sent and notify the sender of a potential leak of information (though that’s just one way it can be configured).
Office 365 has given its users a wide array of tools to optimize security, productivity and now compliance.  However, just knowing where to start is a huge hurdle for organizations looking to make the move. That’s where Protected Trust comes in. For over 15 years, Protected Trust has helped private businesses and government agencies select and configure the right tools from Microsoft’s wide range of offerings.  As we said during the livestream, we’ve gotten so good at migrating organizations to the cloud, that the end-users don’t know they underwent a migration.  We have a team of project managers, product architects and server administrators doing this every day.  Don’t be overwhelmed at the prospect of a data migration.  Let our team manage it for you.