Today, Microsoft has launched a new service, Microsoft 365 for Campaigns. It will be focussed toward providing a secure platform for political parties to build their campaign upon. Currently, it is only available to federal political campaigns and national-level political parties in the U.S. The service was first announced in May at Microsoft's Build Developer Conference.
The new tool has been designed by Microsoft's Defending Democracy Program, which was announced last year to protect institutions, electoral processes, and more, in democratic countries. It is noted to be quite easy to set up; any suitable member of an organization can perform the task in less than five minutes using a simple onboarding process.
The enabling of several features have been specifically outlined by the company as part of the setup, including:
- Multi-factor authentication: Additional security though an extra authentication step at sign-in
- Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection: Protects email from phishing and malware attacks
- Mobile app protection: Secures access to sensitive data on mobile devices and in mobile applications while leaving personal data like photos and text messages untouched
- Document classification and protection: Allows people to label documents as confidential and identifies content like credit cards or social security numbers, applying policies for encryption and sharing
- Update prioritization: Accelerates the installation of security patches and feature updates to installed Office apps
From this, it is clear that Microsoft wants to highlight the importance being given to the security provided through this service. The sign-up process will further allow for enrollment into Microsoft's AccountGuard service to provide notifications on cyberthreats across personal accounts, as well as organization-level accounts, for people belonging to those organizations that deploy this service.
As campaign staff may change over time, administrators will also be allowed to easily remove or add new people whenever required. The payment system is designed to complement this configuration, with a month-by-month payment of - currently 75% discounted - $5 per user per month, instead of an annual scheme.
Microsoft 365 for Campaigns combines the productivity of Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility and Security, Teams, and more. Simplified security is a key component of all collaborations that occur on the platform, which is why intelligent security and device management capabilities are made to be easily configurable.
Microsoft has stated that multiple campaigns have already committed to deploy Microsoft 365 for Campaigns. New campaigns are especially being encouraged to avail themselves of the service. Notably, organizations that are already subscribed to Office 365 can simply switch to the new tool, while others interested can sign up from here. Although currently only available in the U.S., expansion to other democracies is being looked into by the company.