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Customer Lockbox in the Office 365 E5 Plan

Every cloud service provider recognizes  that your data in the cloud is yours and you want to have full control over its access . Customer Lockbox is a feature for Office 365 that provides customers with unprecedented control over their content in the service by giving them explicit control in the very rare instances when a Microsoft engineer may need access to resolve an issue.

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The whole Customer Lockbox service has been engineered to require nearly zero interaction with customer content by Microsoft employees.  Nearly all service operations performed by Microsoft are fully automated and the human involvement is highly controlled and abstracted away from customer content. As a result, only in rare cases a Microsoft engineer might have any reason to access customer data in Office 365, and when it does you, the customer, will be part of the process.

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That technology, process and approval workflow is called Lockbox, and its approval process go through multiple levels of authorization. In addition, all access control activities in the service are logged and audited to make sure all compliance and regulatory needs are matched.

No other cloud service at this day offer this level of access and control where the customer can scrutinize the request and either approve or reject it.

A Matter of Trust

All this transparency and control are to make sure a satisfactory level of trust is maintained between Microsoft cloud services and the customers. All Customer Lockbox activity will be available to customers via the Office 365 Management Activity logs for easy integration into customer security monitoring and reporting systems.

The Office 365 E5 Plan

Microsoft announced a new E5 Office 365 plan and the E5 will contain that service by default. Customer Lockbox will be available for Exchange Online by the end of 2015, and for SharePoint Online by the first quarter of 2016.