Microsoft said it has strengthened the encryption for its cloud email and storage services, as part of what it says is a commitment to increase the security of customer data.
From today, Outlook.com will use Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption for both outbound and inbound email, said Microsoft's vice president for Trustworthy Computing in a blog post.
TLS is an internet standard encryption protocol, based on the older Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) standard, using digital certificates to authenticate and secure data communications.
According to Thomlinson, Microsoft has worked with large service providers such as Deutsche Telekom, Yandex and Mail.ru to test TLS for Outlook.com.
Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service will from now on support perfect forward secrecy which uses one-time encryption keys for each connection. This makes it harder for attackers to access older data, even if they manage to capture the current key, which won't be valid for past connections.
Thomlinson also announced that Microsoft's first transparency centre is open at the company's main Redmond, Washington site from today. The company intends to open a transparency centre in Brussels, Belgium, as well as in other locations.
The transparency centres are Microsoft's effort to assuage governments that the code for its key software products does not contain back doors that can be used by spy agencies for surveillance and sabotage access.