Microsoft rolls out security-enhanced ‘Personal Vault’ feature for OneDrive users

(Microsoft Image)

Microsoft today rolled out a new feature for OneDrive users called “Personal Vault” for sensitive files on its cloud storage service that need an extra layer of security.

Files in “Personal Vault” folders require “a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post. They can also be unlocked with Microsoft’s Authenticator app. Users can scan documents, take photos, and shoot video files directly into “Personal Vault” folders. And there is an auto-relock feature after a short period of inactivity.

Here’s more from the blog post:

Personal Vault uses more than just two-step verification to help keep your files safe and private. On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive. And like all files in OneDrive, the contents of your Personal Vault are encrypted at-rest in the Microsoft cloud and in-transit to your device. For further protection on mobile devices, we recommend that you enable encryption on your iOS or Android device. Together, these measures help keep your files protected even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it.

“Personal Vault” is available on the web version of OneDrive; iOS and Android apps; and Windows 10 PCs. It will roll out soon in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, while everyone else will gain access by the end of this year.

The Verge noted that Microsoft is one of the first companies to add this type of authentication security feature. OneDrive competes with Apple iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and others.

Microsoft also today announced that it is increasing storage for its $1.99 per month OneDrive standalone plan from 50 GB to 100 GB at no extra cost. OneDrive users can also now add additional storage to existing Office 365 consumer subscription plans.