Monitoring Office 365 in the Cloud

 In Cloud, Microsoft, Office 365

Using Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud eliminates some admin functions, but it’s still necessary to monitor usage and check for security. Microsoft Office 365 provides the reports needed to track both user activity and administrator activity across Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive, Exchange, and Skype. You’ll find usage and security and compliance reports on the Office 365 Reports dashboard.

Office 365 Usage Reports

Usage reports start with a top-level summary that you can drill down through to see reports about individual products.

Through these reports you can tell how cloud resources are being consumed, starting with how many users have activated the service. You can use these reports to identify users who are near quota limits as well as users who perhaps don’t need a license. You can select the reporting timeframe to see how usage varies through time. You can also modify the report to control the columns of information it displays.

Office 365 Security & Compliance Reports

A separate set of audit reports lets you monitor activity patterns for data loss prevention, supervisor review, and compliance purposes. The audit reports track user and administrator activity. The supervisory review reports display activity for policies and for users, and data loss prevention reports track how often the policy was triggered and when the result was tagged as a false match or needed an override. Using these reports can help detect unauthorized access to data and abnormal changes in usage patterns.

If you’re using Office 365 Mobile Device Management (MDM), MDM compliance reports let you view the policies that you’ve set and any devices that have been blocked or wiped clean because of those policies.

Customized Reporting

Along with the dashboard views of these reports, Office 365 provides a Management Activity API that you can use to retrieve data and import it into other applications for analysis/review with your existing tools, such as maintaining an archived access log or feeding data into your existing DLP or SIEM software.

Using Office 365 in the cloud can enable collaboration and sharing, as well as simplify your application support and management, but it does still require keeping an eye on usage and data security. The Office 365 reports provide the information you need to make sure you’re managing your cloud resources and your data effectively.

Additional Office 365 Resources

Prescient Solutions is a Microsoft Gold Partner and can help you leverage the entire Microsoft suite of applications. Our Office 365 services can support you whether you’re using the applications on site or in the cloud. We’ll configure applications, migrate between platforms, implement security controls, and serve as your help desk and support resource for both end user and system problems. We’ve been providing IT support to Chicago-area businesses, organizations, and agencies of all sizes for 20 years. Contact us to learn how you can effectively monitor and manage your Office 365 usage.

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