Microsoft introduced a few security features early this month for its consumer-oriented online services that both Outlook.com and OneDrive now have encryption protection that helps better protect customer data from electronic snooping and theft, via Microsoft on the Issues.
There are 3 important milestone changes that make things different, better for the consumers who use Microsoft online services and harder for the hackers to crack.
Outlook.com – now protected by Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption for both outbound and inbound emails.
What it means is that when you send an email to someone, your email is encrypted and thus better protected as it travels between Microsoft and other email providers. Of course, this also requires their email service provider to also have TLS support.
In addition to the availability of TLS, Outlook.com has also enabled Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) encryption support for sending and receiving mail between email providers. Forward secrecy uses a different encryption key for every connection, making it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections.
OneDrive – now protected by Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) as well.
Which means that OneDrive customers now automatically get forward secrecy when accessing OneDrive through onedrive.live.com, our mobile OneDrive application and our sync clients. As with Outlook.com’s email transfer, this makes it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections between their systems and OneDrive.
Microsoft also opens its first Transparency Center on its Redmond campus, providing participating governments with the ability to review source code for our key products, assure themselves of their software integrity, and confirm there are no “back doors.”
Great work, Microsoft.
One thing I’d like to point out is that both TLS and PFS encryption technologies are on the transition level that prevents data from being leaked or hacked during its travel from one point to another. Data stored on both end still remain un-encrypted.