I had a reader of our email update (thank you!) get in touch after reading my post about Microsoft 365 licensing options. (If you missed it, you can read about it here.) She wanted to know about EMS—Enterprise Mobility + Security—and her options for endpoint security.
I looked through my recent posts and could not find anything where I discussed the EMS situation and nonprofit options for endpoint security. The good news: nonprofits (everyone, really) do have options for endpoint security. Allow me to explain.
Changes to EMS for Nonprofits
EMS changes have been lost among the noise in Microsoft’s changes to its Microsoft 365 nonprofit subscriptions. So, let me start with what is changing. Microsoft has retired its EMS nonprofit “grant” of ten free licenses for EMS. If you have this EMS grant, you will not be able to renew it after April 4, 2022. Microsoft has a reason for this change that I will get to in a bit.
Losing this EMS grant is a big deal if you are using it as an option for endpoint security. However, it is not the end of the world.
- You can still purchase EMS E3 subscriptions at a steeply discounted price (something like 75% off list.)
- Another option for endpoint security is to obtain a nonprofit grant (again, 10 free licenses and discounted pricing beyond that) for Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
And just for the TL:DR crowd, nonprofit EMS E3 subscriptions are still available. There is no change to the availability of this plan.
The Case for Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Many CGNET customers hold Office 365 E3 nonprofit subscriptions. Why? Because these customers were early adopters of Office 365/Microsoft 365. At that time, Office 365 E3 nonprofit was the only game in town.
Well, things have changed. Microsoft has beefed up its Microsoft 365 Business offerings and is now encouraging customers with less than three hundred employees to adopt it vs. one of their “enterprise” plans.
As I have said before, if you have an Office 365/Microsoft 365 enterprise plan, keep it! It is your best option for endpoint security. However, if you are new to the game, Microsoft 365 Business Premium might suit you.
Now a Strong Option for Endpoint Security
The knock on Microsoft 365 Business plans used to be that they did not offer many security services. That has changed. The Business Premium subscription offers these security services.
- Threat protection: Advanced Threat Protection, including Safe Links and Safe Attachments. Windows Defender. Multi-Factor Authentication. (“Come for the ATP; stay for the MFA”. OK, no one really says that.)
- Data Protection: Data Loss Prevention and Message Encryption. You also get retention policies and litigation holds for email.
- Device Protection: Conditional access policies and mobile device management. And BitLocker for device encryption.
These security services make Microsoft 365 Business Premium a solid option for endpoint security.
So, if you find yourself advising a small company or nonprofit about their options for endpoint security, be a hero and show them this article. They will be glad you did!