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Microsoft updates Microsoft 365 to meet GDPR compliance 

Microsoft announced a number of new information protection capabilities and updates to its Microsoft 365, in response to GDPR which will come into effect after 25th May.

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is aimed at protecting and empowering the data privacy of all the citizens of Europe, as well as reshaping the way organizations in Europe approach data privacy. The organizations found to be non-compliant after May 25th may face heavy fines.

It is the responsibility of an organization to meet all regulatory requirements when the data is on-premises. However, when the data is moved to cloud, it becomes the responsibility of Cloud Service Provider as well.

The updates in Microsoft 365 include general availability of Compliance Manager for Azure, Dynamics 365, and Office 365 Business and Enterprise subscribers. Compliance Manager, available for Preview since November 2017, enables organizations to perform on-going risk assessments, and makes it transparent to customers how Microsoft protects their data.

Compliance Manager includes Compliance Score feature, which allows organizations to gain visibility into compliance stature of organization with a risk-based score reference. It is available for Office 365 users.

Microsoft also announced general availability of Azure Information Protection scanner, which enables users to automatically discover, classify, label, and protect documents in on-premises repositories like File servers and on-premises SharePoint servers.

The new intelligent compliance solutions in Microsoft 365 will help organizations to protect sensitive data, support data protection in apps and across all cloud services. Organizations can use it to scan hybrid and on-premises repositories by periodically configuring it.

Additionally, Microsoft is previewing Consistent labeling schema experience, which will be used to eliminate the need to create labels in two different places across information protection solutions in Microsoft 365.

Also read: Microsoft working on adding support for Java and Python to its Bot framework

Microsoft said that its new solutions will be helpful in efficiently managing compliance risks and leverage the cloud to identify, protect and monitor sensitive data to support GDPR compliance.

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Microsoft to use Cisco Solution Support for better network connectivity with Azure ExpressRoute

Microsoft has teamed up with Cisco to provide customers more secure network connectivity to Microsoft Azure cloud platform with Azure ExpressRoute.

Azure ExpressRoute helps the users to establish a private and direct connection to Microsoft cloud services, like Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. It also enables them to extend their on-premises networks into Microsoft cloud, which helps in managing and running the business-critical applications and services.

The enterprises that move to cloud from a traditional IT model face a number of cloud challenges, like increased complexity, loss of speed and data integrity, limited connectivity and management hassles, among others.

To overcome these challenges, Cisco will now provide its Solution Support for Azure ExpressRoute, to build a new network practice which provides fast, reliable, and predictable private connectivity.

“To help address on-premises issues, which often require deep technical networking expertise, we continue to partner closely with Cisco to provide a better customer networking experience. Working together, we can solve the most challenging networking issues encountered by enterprise customers using Azure ExpressRoute,” wrote Yousef Khalidi CVP, Azure Networking, in a blog post.

The Cisco Solution Support offers additional support and guidance options for Azure ExpressRoute, helping the customers on premises end of the network. The customers will also have support from Cisco solution experts to quickly resolve their issues and connect to Microsoft Cloud Platform.

“With our customers in mind, Cisco is extending our Solution Support portfolio with a new network practice and offer for Azure ExpressRoute. This new offer for networking targeting the customers on premises network, allows us to leverage our world class networking expertise to assist customers using Cisco networking products and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute to connect to the Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform,” wrote Joe Pinto, Senior VP, Cisco’s Technical Services Group, in a separate blog post.

Furthermore, Microsoft has integrated Network Performance Monitor (NPM) into ExpressRoute, which will enable customers to monitor connectivity to PaaS services (Azure Storage), as well as SaaS services (Office 365). This will provide more deep visibility into ExpressRoute network traffic. It will be generally available in mid-February in six regions.

Also read: Microsoft adds new monitoring and troubleshooting services to Azure Site Recovery

Additionally, Microsoft has merged public and Microsoft peering for simplified management and configuration of ExpressRoute. The ExpressRoute configuration needed customers to have ExpressRoute circuits in two different cities. Microsoft is planning to provide the second ExpressRoute site in the cities which already have an ExpressRoute site. As of now, the second peering location is available in Singapore only.