Secure iOS devices

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You can set up a user access policy that requires mobile users to enter a PIN or fingerprint to sign in, and also encrypts work files stored on their devices.

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft 365 admin center.

  2. Under Policies, choose Add policy.

  3. In the Add policy pane, enter a name under Policy name, and choose the policy type that you want under Policy type.

  4. Turn on Manage how users access Office files on mobile devices, and then make sure the following three settings are turned on:

    • Require a PIN or fingerprint to access Office apps

    • Protect work files when devices are lost or stolen

    • Encrypt work files

  5. Under Files in these apps will be protected, select the Office apps you want to protect on mobile devices.

  6. Under Who will get these settings?, all users are selected by default, but you can choose Change to select any security groups you've created.

  7. To finish creating the policy, choose Add.

  8. On the Add policy page, choose Close.

  9. On the admin center home page, confirm that your new policy was added by choosing Policies and reviewing your policy on the Policies page.

Many users want to use Microsoft Office apps on their mobile devices. For partners and IT admins, this presents a challenge of keeping your company information safe, while making it easy for employees to access company data anytime, anywhere, across multiple devices. Microsoft 365 Business can help. You can use an application management policy to help keep your data secure.

Let’s set up a policy that requires the user of a device to give a PIN or a fingerprint before they can access Office apps on their phone. We’ll also ensure that all work files stored on the device are encrypted, safeguarding your company’s data if the device is lost or stolen. We’re using an iOS device for this demo, but you can apply the same process for Android or Windows 10 devices.

Let’s get started. Sign in to the Microsoft 365 Business admin center and add a new policy. Name the policy and chose the policy type that you want. In this case, we’ll choose Application Management for iOS. Select the main settings to see the sub-settings that let you control Office apps on your iOS devices.

Let’s look at two settings that control requiring a PIN to access Office apps and making sure all your data is encrypted. To secure apps by requiring a fingerprint or PIN before a user can access them, turn on Manage how users access files on mobile devices. This gives you access to the other settings on the list. Now we’re going to make sure these three settings are all turned on: Require a PIN or fingerprint to access Office apps, Protect work files when devices are lost of stolen, and Encrypt work files. And we’re done changing settings. If you ever want to go back to the original settings that came with Microsoft 365 Business, chose Restore default settings.

Next, you can decide which Office apps on the device will be protected by these settings. By default, all apps are selected, and we’ll just keep it that way. Now, chose the groups you want to apply these settings to. By default, all users are selected, but you can change this and select any security groups you’ve created. Any new users you create will automatically be added to the All users group, and any policies assigned to the group will be applied to the new users' devices. Just click Add to finish creating the policy.

Confirm that this new policy was added. Now, when users open an Office app, like Outlook, on their iOS device, any data associated with the app is encrypted. When they start the app, the will be ask for a PIN or fingerprint.

Let’s see what happens when we download and set up the Outlook mobile app on an iPhone. Open the App Store. Download and install Microsoft Outlook. Open Outlook, and get started. Enter your work email address. Confirm that you can see the dialog that the organization is protecting data on the app and you need to restart the app. Tap OK and close Outlook. Locate Outlook and restart it. You will be prompted to set a PIN.

Learn more about policies by checking out Microsoft 365 Business documentation.

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