How Microsoft Cloud Services Protects Your Data During a Pandemic

April 03, 2020 | Posted in:

Business Transformation

Systems Engineering has helped many of our customers migrate to the Microsoft Cloud, which now enables a highly distributed workforce, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We want to make sure you are aware of Microsoft's stance and preparedness activities specific to COVID-19. Below, Microsoft has detailed a high-level outline of key focus areas.

Microsoft has an effective and comprehensive enterprise business continuity and disaster recovery program that is in place to respond to major or significant business disruptions, including the pandemic response. The three areas of focus during any situation that challenges normal operations are:

Impact to systems – does the event have a potential impact on our systems used to deliver and support Microsoft 365?

Impact to location – are the locations from which we deliver and support service effected and what is our response?

Impact to people – are we prepared should there be impact to the individuals responsible for delivering service to our customers?

The following provides the high-level efforts in each of these areas; however, there are significantly more activities that relate to business continuity efforts for Microsoft 365 that are beyond the scope of this communication.

Impact to systems

First and foremost, there are no known impacts to Microsoft 365 services. Heightened awareness is in place for the following areas:

Service scale and operations – One of the benefits of a cloud service is the ability to scale dynamically, including utilization of our significant supply chain, reallocation of resources between services, and redistribution of load. We have seen an increase in the utilization of Teams, which we have responded to and continue to monitor closely.

Supporting systems – A general principle of cloud service operations is remote management and administration. We see no effect to our ability to manage the systems used to support Microsoft 365, and have confirmed adequate capacity for staff to work remotely at scale.

External systems – We are working across industry with a focus on networking infrastructure. We are seeing some utilization issues with public ingress / egress to China, but otherwise there are no issues identified.

Impact to location

Our services are designed for remote administration; however, with the recent news that the greater Seattle, Washington area represents a higher incidence of COVID-19 we wanted to provide specific details around support of the service should Microsoft engineers be constrained to work from home.

Microsoft employs a security-first approach to administering Microsoft 365 service. Each engineering resource that is accountable for managing the service has the ability to securely administer the service without direct access to the corporate location.

Microsoft maintains multiple geographic locations outside the Seattle area with individuals who are capable of maintaining and managing the service.

Impact to people

As the largest provider of commercial services, we have the capability of ensuring continued operations with multiple subject matter experts in each discipline, with geographic diversity being a consideration.

Employees responsible for managing the service all have access to needed resources to take action from home or the office.

A “deep” on-call rotation allows for sustained support should issues arise and ensures that resources are available should individuals fall ill.

While Microsoft puts the safety and well-being of its employees at the forefront, our “defense-in-depth” approach is expected to allow for uninterrupted service operation should the virus spread significantly.

If you would like more information on how Microsoft Cloud Services protects your data in a time of crisis, reach out to Systems Engineering at info@systemsengineering.com, or 888.624.6737. Customers, please reach out to your Account Manager. 

Stay current on the news and events to keep your remote workforce productive and secure by visiting our COVID-19 Resource Portal.