Why Organisations Must Implement Mandatory Use of the Microsoft Outlook App for Office 365

Are your employees using in-built Mail Apps on their mobile devices like Apple's iPhone Mail app or Android's Gmail app for corporate email? If yes, it's time to rethink your strategy.

The Risks

When an employee utilises the default Mail apps on their mobiles, all corporate emails, contacts, and calendar data synchronise with the Mail app. This process could potentially lead to a data breach.

For instance, when employees open an app like Uber or Facebook, the app requests access to their contacts and calendar appointments. A simple tap on 'CONTINUE' grants these third-party apps comprehensive permission to UPLOAD your company's global address list from the user's phone. This includes all employee names, email addresses, mobile phone numbers, titles, and so on. This repeated process can inadvertently expose your entire company directory to various mobile app sites.

The Microsoft Outlook Mobile App Difference

Microsoft Outlook app offers a secure alternative. When a user connects to Office 365 via the Outlook mobile app, ALL emails, contacts, and calendar appointments are kept INSIDE the app. This ensures your business address book isn't duplicated into their phone's regular contacts, and other mobile apps are denied access.

Moreover, any email attachments opened in the Microsoft Outlook mobile app are stored within the FILES section of the Outlook mobile app, NOT the phone's general files folder. This ensures that, upon an employee's departure, you can ERASE the Microsoft Outlook App to eliminate their corporate emails, contacts, calendar appointments, and saved files/attachments, maintaining corporate content security and simplifying endpoint management.

Challenges and Solutions

Admittedly, mandating the Microsoft Outlook mobile app might come with some grievances from users. The conveniences of app integration might be impaired, and employees may need to manually input contact information for certain apps. However, do we really want to expose our entire company's current and future appointments and global address book to companies like Slack, Google, Facebook, or WeChat?

The New Era of Security and Compliance

In today's world, regulatory compliance, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), restrict the sharing of private employee information. As such, we need to consider these regulations and prioritise security, compliance, and information privacy over user convenience.

Moving Forward

Organisations need to enforce a policy that allows access to Office 365 emails, contacts, and calendars via only the Microsoft Outlook mobile app. Implementation of a mobile device management solution is also essential. Microsoft's Intune and Application Management (MAM) technologies could be useful tools for managing endpoints and implementing these types of policies.

Moreover, education is crucial. We need to ensure users understand the risks associated with using native Mail Apps and the importance of shifting to the Microsoft Outlook mobile app.

The era of prioritising security, compliance, and information privacy over convenience has arrived.

Not sure where to start? Let's navigate this new landscape together, keeping your business information secure and respecting privacy protection laws and regulations.

At Netcare our purpose is to provide Technology Success to our customers so that they are more productive AND more secure.

Take the first step towards a more productive and secure business. Call us on (02) 9114 9920 or reach out online.