New Microsoft 365 features aim to join productivity and security

Microsoft is always working to improve security in its Microsoft 365 suite of products. Pointing out that the Redmond firm doesn't think that you should have to make a choice between security and productivity, the company announced Safe Documents and Application Guard integration with Office 365 ProPlus.

Safe Documents does what it sounds like; it aims to make sure that your documents are safe. It uses the Intelligent Security Graph, but it's not doing it in the cloud. It's doing it locally, which takes a lot of work. Microsoft says that users often leave the sandbox of Protected View without giving it too much care, and that's obviously a security risk. Safe Documents can check the file before it lets the user open it.

That's where not having to make a choice between security and productivity comes in. Microsoft doesn't want the user to have to think about whether the file is safe. Safe Documents is going to do that for you. The feature is available in public preview, and it's rolling out over the next few days.

Application Guard is a feature that originated in the Edge browser, which basically put the browser in a container. Now, it's doing the same thing for Office apps. It creates a micro-VM, preventing access to "memory, local storage, installed applications, corporate network endpoints," and more.

Again, this is an example of the user not having to think about security, and not allowing security to get in the way of productivity. You can now use that untrusted document, but you can do it in a container. Application Guard for Office 365 ProPlus is in private preview, and Microsoft says that it's significantly expanding the preview.

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