New Office 365 Activity Logging and Reporting Capabilities

Written by Shawn Lyles

July 17, 2015

New Office 365 Activity Logging and Reporting Capabilities

Small businesses and enterprise level organizations alike are moving data to the cloud. Employers are making the

Office 365

transition to the cloud and employees need more and more devices to get their work done efficiently. New security, privacy and compliance issues are arising, and Microsoft knows this all too well. So they are continuously aiming to provide their customers with greater control over access to their data in Office 365.

Last week Microsoft announced new data control features that will increase transparency and help keep their customers better protected.

Office 365 activity report: This report enables you to investigate user activity by searching for a user, file or other resource across SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online and Azure Active Directory. You can then download the activities to a CSV (comma separate values) file. You can filter by date range, file or folder, user and activity type. For compliance reporting companies that are in highly regulated industries, like aerospace and pharmaceuticals, this feature is especially useful.

If you are interested in step-by-step instructions on how to use this report, refer to the Run the Office 365 activity report article.

Comprehensive logging capability: The comprehensive logging capability allows you to see what types of files a user has been sharing with others in the organization. The comprehensive logging capability logs user and admin activity events across SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online and Azure Active Directory. You are able to use this to search on over 150 events, which include file views, mailbox owner activity, Azure Active Directory log ins and many other events with more coming soon.

Search PowerShell cmdlet: PowerShell will also let you search activity logs by using Search-UnifiedAuditLog cmdlet, which enables you to run scoped queries against the audit storage log. The queries can be run by the date, record type, operation and file extension. This cmdlet will also let you export these logs to a file. An example of this would be searching user activity logs for all events that occurred from Jan 1st to July 15th 2015, and putting them on file for record.

Management Activity API: Offers organizations and other software providers the ability to integrate Office 365 activity data into their security and compliance monitoring and reporting solutions.

How will these new logging and reporting capabilities help your non-profit?

  1. The comprehensive logging capability can help your organization gain a better understanding of what types of communication and sharing occurs within your non-profit. Making your organization’s communication more transparent and helping to streamline your internal communications.
  2. The Office 365 activity report can help your organization spot and stop security issues before they start. This new activity report can better help your non-profit eliminate potential security threats.

What are some more ways that these new logging and reporting capabilities can help your organization’s security, privacy and compliance issues?

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