Balancing Security and Collaboration: Exostar’s Secure Access and Microsoft’s ‘Meet Me’ Tenant in Defense Industry

Posted by: Jenna Brankin July 31, 2023 Compliance, Secure Access for Microsoft 365

Navigating the complex terrain of data security while maintaining effective, compliant collaboration with constituents beyond the boundaries of the enterprise can be daunting. For organizations working with the Department of Defense (DoD), the data at hand can often be related to national security. It’s important to maintain strong protection against even the most sophisticated cyber threats. 

In a recent webinar, Richard Wakeman, Chief Architect Aerospace and Defense at Microsoft, and Kevin Hancock, Director of Sales Engineering at Exostar, shared valuable insights on balancing these challenges using a ‘Meet Me’ Tenant solution delivered as a value-add managed service. 

In a nutshell, Microsoft’s ‘Meet Me’ Tenant and Exostar Secure Access solutions ensure secure collaboration by empowering organizations to work together effectively and providing robust data protection and compliance. 

  • Compliance Standards: These solutions support high-watermark compliance requirements such as CMMC, NIST 800-171, and FedRAMP Moderate Equivalent. 
  • Shared Responsibility: Microsoft provides compliance responsibility through its products, while Exostar aids companies in meeting 85 of 110 NIST controls, fostering a shared approach to compliance. 
  • Efficiency in Implementation: According to Wakeman, implementing a secure external collaboration system can be time and cost-efficient with the right technical expertise and support from partners like Exostar. 
  • User Training & Policy Enforcement: The importance of policy enforcement, end-user training, and the role of Exostar in accelerating compliance timeframes and reducing costs were key points in the discussion. 
  • Strong Authentication: Exostar provides strong extensive Identity and Access Management (IAM) capabilities, including multi-factor authentication (MFA), enhancing the security of the collaboration platform. 

The Collaboration Solution: Exostar’s Secure Access Approach to Microsoft’s ‘Meet Me’ Tenant 

Exostar extends beyond the traditional service provider role by delivering Microsoft’s ‘Meet Me’ Tenant via a SaaS with additional security capabilities, including multi-factor authentication. This partnership allows organizations to acquire a comprehensive, robust solution directly from Exostar, streamlining the implementation process, while leveraging the trusted and familiar functionality and experience of Microsoft 365. It’s a powerful combination that fosters and speeds compliant external collaboration while maintaining strong data protection, ensuring organizations can focus on their core operations with peace of mind and prevent spillover of corporate and personal information meant only for internal purposes. 

Exostar delivers comprehensive, end-to-end solution streamlines the implementation and management of Microsoft’s ‘Meet Me’ Tenant solution. When you choose Exostar, you’re not just purchasing a piecemeal solution but investing in a robust suite of integrated services designed to lighten your internal team’s load and simplify secure collaboration. 

Exostar’s Secure Access delivers the ‘Meet Me’ tenant, a secure collaboration environment built with data protection and compliance in mind. But we continue beyond simply providing the platform. We enhance this environment by overlaying our extensive Identity and Access Management (IAM) capabilities, including but not limited to MFA. This approach ensures strict access controls are in place, safeguarding the environment and sensitive data. 

With this multi-layered strategy, we ensure robust platform security and facilitate an efficient, seamless user experience. We uphold the highest data protection standards and meet stringent regulatory compliance requirements. By choosing Exostar, you’re investing in a comprehensive, integrated solution for secure collaboration, designed with your organization’s security and efficiency at its core. 

Importance of Compliance: Understanding DFARS and NIST SP 800-171 

Compliance is more than just a checklist; it’s a commitment to continuous security, integrity, and reliability. For organizations engaging with the Department of Defense (DoD), understanding and adhering to DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement) clauses and NIST SP 800-171 standards is crucial. These regulations encompass a range of cybersecurity measures designed to safeguard Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). Failure to comply can lead to significant consequences, including loss of contracts and reputational damage. 

NIST SP 800-171 outlines a set of 110 controls across 14 control families, representing a comprehensive security framework for handling CUI in non-federal systems. The forthcoming CMMC 2.0 (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification), developed by the DoD, will further enforce these controls by adding a new DFARS clause that mandates independent assessments by CMMC 3rd Party Assessment Organizations (C3PAOs) for the vast majority of companies in the Defense Industrial Base. 

Shared Responsibility and Efficient Compliance: Exostar’s Approach 

Compliance is a shared responsibility. Exostar’s solution and expert guidance help businesses meet their scope of DFARS and NIST SP 800-171 compliance efficiently and cost-effectively. Our solution meets 85 of the 110 controls outlined in the NIST SP 800-171 standard, significantly easing your journey toward full compliance. Beyond the technical aspects, Exostar provides crucial support in policy enforcement and end-user training through its SaaS model, making the pathway to compliance more manageable and achievable. 

Achieving Balance: Secure Collaboration and High-Standard Compliance with Exostar’s Solution 

Exostar’s solution balances robust data protection, effective collaboration, and strict adherence to DFARS and NIST SP 800-171 compliance standards. It offers organizations a unique blend of collaboration, security, and compliance, catering to the requirements of the DoD. The key benefit is the agility and assurance it provides. The solution empowers organizations to collaborate easily while maintaining the highest data protection standards, giving them the peace of mind to focus on mission-critical operations. The seamless alignment of compliance, security, and collaboration translates into optimized operational efficiency, improved agility, and enhanced competitive advantage. 

Safeguarding Data and Enhancing Collaboration: Exostar’s Secure Access Solution 

Establishing and maintaining external collaboration solutions can be complex and time consuming, but Exostar’s solution streamlines the process. The ‘Meet Me’ Tenant is a protective barrier, logically segmenting and isolating your environment to safeguard sensitive data meant only for internal consumption. The platform’s security is significantly enhanced with Exostar’s proven multi-factor authentication and comprehensive identity and access management capabilities. Furthermore, Exostar’s solution accelerates the time to compliance and reduces upfront and ongoing costs, circumventing complexities and driving success. 

The Path to Secure, Compliant Collaboration 

In an ever-evolving digital landscape, secure, compliant collaboration is not merely an aspiration—it’s a business imperative. With Exostar’s Secure Access, you’re not just adopting a tool but embracing a transformative approach that enhances security, streamlines operations and ensures compliance. Our innovative solutions circumvent complexities, enabling you to confidently collaborate and accelerate toward your strategic objectives. It’s time to redefine your operational boundaries, enrich your collaboration practices, and fortify your data security. Explore the Exostar difference today and propel your business into a future where collaboration and compliance coexist seamlessly.