Microsoft Office 365 is set to to gain cloud encryption, thanks to CipherCloud. I am intrigued by CipherCloud's move but I'm also curious to know: Is this encryption service only for Exchange Online -- or does it truly blanket all of Office 365 (SharePoint Online, Lync Online, etc.)?

Generally speaking, I think security concerns about cloud computing have settled down in the past year or so. Ironically, I think security is the reason many companies are embracing the cloud. Surely, Microsoft's deep pockets can build a more effective security barrier than most small businesses could do so on-premises.

Still, there are cases where businesses need to fulfill corporate compliance and government mandates. Enter CipherCloud, which claims to address data privacy, residency, security and regulatory compliance requirements.

According to a prepared statement:
"CipherCloud for Office 365 is a cloud encryption gateway that transparently encrypts all email message, calendar, and contact data stored in Microsoft’s cloud-based Exchange Online and third-party Hosted Exchange. This provides enterprises complete control over their messaging data and prevents cloud service providers and cybercriminals from gaining access to organizations’ valuable information."

CipherCloud claims to encrypt data at rest, data in transit, and data in use in real time. The encryption capabilities extend out to desktops, mobile devices, smart phones and tablets. CipherCloud already offers similar encryption technology for Salesforce.com, Force.com, Chatter, Gmail and Amazon Web Services.

CipherCloud certainly is not alone in the cloud Exchange encryption market. I believe hosted Exchange provider Intermedia has also offered encryption services to channel partners and customers. And a lengthy list of email filtering companies have been in touch with Talkin' Cloud about their forthcoming encryption plans.

A few parting questions I still need answered: Does CipherCloud encrypt Lync Online and SharePoint Online, and how much does the service cost to channel partners? We're pursuing the answers.