Microsoft has announced that the ‘Personal Vault’ security features for its OneDrive storage service are now available worldwide on all OneDrive consumer accounts.
What Is Personal Vault?
Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification. These methods include a fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to the OneDrive user via email or SMS.
The idea of Personal Vault is to add another layer of protection to important files, photos, and videos e.g. copies of documents such as a passport, driver’s licence, or insurance information. Even though the new feature means that users must go through a verification process, Microsoft has stressed that it won’t slow users down and that they should still be able to quickly access their files on a PC, OneDrive.com or on their mobile device.
Protection Against Lost, Stolen, or Unauthorised Access
The Personal Vault security measures should mean that files are not being stored unprotected on a PC and have additional protection, even if the Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or if someone gains access to it or to the user’s account.
Other Security Measures
In addition to the second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes security measures such as :
- Scan and shoot, which enables documents to be scanned or photos to be shot directly into the secure Personal Vault area rather than leaving them on a camera or unsecured device.
- Automatic locking of the Personal Vault after a period of inactivity to protect against private files being left open accidentally.
- BitLocker encryption on Windows 10 PCs, so that all Personal Vault files are synced to a BitLocker-encrypted area of the local hard drive.
- Restricted sharing so that Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault can’t be shared.
Personal Vault does come with some limitations. For example, users with OneDrive’s free or standalone 100GB storage plan can store up to three files in Personal Vault, and Office 365 subscribers can store as many files as they wish as long as this doesn’t exceed their normal storage limits.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
For Microsoft Personal Vault, this is another step in its competition with its most popular competitor, Dropbox, which recently partnered with BetterCloud to help with it provide cutting-edge data protection and orchestration.
For businesses using OneDrive, these new security features should prove attractive, particularly when most businesses need safe, fast Cloud storage for mobile devices and work PCs, and need an easy, reliable and convenient way to store sensitive and personal files and data.