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Another TIC In The Box For Office 365?

In November 2007, a mandate known as the Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) initiative was issued to help reduce cyber security attacks on US government agencies. The objective of the mandate was to optimise and better secure the agencies Internet connectivity and reduce the number of Internet access points. By reducing the number of access points, the US Government could more effectively monitor and identify potentially malicious traffic via an intrusion detection system known as Einstein. The diagram from the white paper on Cisco's TIC solutions, illustrates the goal of the TIC initiative.

Microsoft Office 365 data centres have two methods to support customers who own a TIC connection and wish to use Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and/or Lync Online. The first method allows the customer to install equipment in Microsoft data centres that is required by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to manage and monitor the TIC. The second is for Microsoft to route all Internet traffic over a secure circuit to the customer's data centre and use the TIC located at the customer's site to monitor inbound and outbound traffic.

Although the above scenario applies predominantly to US agencies, the scenario does show how flexible the Microsoft Office 365 solution can be for customers requiring special types of Internet security. For the background of the TIC initiative, see the interview with Karen Evans, administrator for the TIC initiative.