GCC High and DoD

To meet the unique and evolving requirements of the United States Department of Defense, as well as contractors holding or processing DoD controlled unclassified information (CUI) or subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Microsoft offers GCC High and DoD environments. Available through Volume Licensing, interested organizations go through a validation process to ensure eligibility before an environment is established. Trials are not available at this time.

Please engage your account team or preferred partner to learn more or initiate the validation process.

How to use this Service Description section

The Office 365 US Government Service Description is designed to serve as an overlay to the general Office 365 Service Description. It defines the unique commitments and differences compared to Office 365 Enterprise offerings.

Compliance

GCC High and DoD meet the compliance requirements for the following certifications and accreditations:

  • The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program at a Moderate baseline (FedRAMP Moderate), including those security controls and control enhancements as outlined in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-53.

  • The security controls and control enhancements for United States Department of Defense Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG) for information up to Impact Level 5 (L5).

Department of Defense subscribers to Office 365 will receive services provided from the DOD exclusive environment that meets DOD SRG L5. Non-Department of Defense subscribers will receive services from the US Government Defense environment which is assessed at L5, but uses L4 segmentation.

Background screening

Office 365 staff do not have standing access to GCC High and DoD production. Any staff who request temporary permission elevation which would grant access to customer content must first have passed the following background checks.

Microsoft Personnel Screening and Background Checks
Description
U.S. Citizenship
Verification of U.S. citizenship
Employment History Check
Verification of seven (7) year employment history
Education Verification
Verification of highest degree attained
Social Security Number (SSN) Search
Verification that the provided SSN is valid
Criminal History Check
A seven (7) year criminal record check for felony and misdemeanor offenses at the state, county, and local level and at the federal level
Office of Foreign Assets Control List (OFAC)
Validation against the Department of Treasury list of groups with whom U.S. persons are not allowed to engage in trade or financial transactions
Bureau of Industry and Security List (BIS)
Validation against the Department of Commerce list of individuals and entities barred from engaging in export activities
Office of Defense Trade Controls Debarred Persons List (DDTC)
Validation against the Department of State list of individuals and entities barred from engaging in export activities related to the defense industry
Fingerprinting Check
Fingerprint background check against FBI databases
Department of Defense IT-2
Staff requesting elevated permissions to customer data or privileged administrative access to Dept of Defense SRG L5 service capacities must pass Department of Defense IT-2 adjudication based on a successful OPM Tier 3 investigation

Feature nuances based on compliant cloud architecture

Office 365 subscriptions in the GCC High and DoD environments include the core Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Skype for Business features. Given the increased certification and accreditation of the infrastructure, there are some feature differences between the general commercial Office 365 offerings and those available in GCC High and DoD.

Exchange Online

Exchange Online Unified Messaging Support for On-Premises IP-PBX - Support for integrating on-premises IP-PBX systems with Exchange Online Unified Messaging is not supported in GCC High and DoD subscriptions.

SharePoint Online

Document sharing - SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business enable seamless information sharing and collaboration between users and teams. Document owners can provide other users with access to their documents through the web interface or modern attachments in Outlook. When sharing a document, there are multiple options for managing permissions:

  1. Only me

  2. Anyone within my company

  3. Anyone with this link

  4. Specific people

Customers using SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business in the GCC High or DoD environments can keep documents private (first option), share with anyone in their organization (second option), share with anyone who has the link to the document (third option), and share with specific people within GCC High and DoD environments only (fourth option); of course, these options can be restricted based on tenant-level access controls as well.

GCC High tenants can only share with other GCC High tenants. For example:

  • GCC High tenant A can share with GCC High tenant B.

  • Non-GCC tenant C can share with GCC High tenant A or B.

  • GCC High tenant A or B cannot share with Non-GCC High tenant C.

Additionally, non-GCC High email addresses attached to user profiles are not supported and will not allow alert emails to be sent. For example, on premises User A is assigned a Gmail email address and then synced to Azure GCC High tenant. User A navigates to a library and creates an alert for any changes. The alert will not be sent to the Gmail address.

External Application Access - Connections to external applications such as data sources for Add-Ins are limited to sources that are located within the system security boundaries supported by GCC High and DoD.

Business Connectivity Services - BCS functionality is supported for connectivity scenarios in which the data sources remain reachable within the security boundary for your cloud service.

Sandbox Solutions - This feature has been deprecated and is not available. Any sandboxed solutions should be migrated to the SharePoint Add-In extensibility model .

Skype for Business Online

PSTN Calling & PSTN Conferencing - Due to the requirement to use the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) for telephony-oriented services, PSTN Calling & PSTN Conferencing services are currently not available in GCC High and DoD.

Identity

Multi-factor authentication using a federated identity model enables the use of PIV and CAC cards.

Yammer

Yammer Enterprise is not available in the GCC High and DoD environments.