How To Secure Your Organization’s Microsoft Office 365
How To Secure Your Organization’s Microsoft Office 365 Accounts
Many modern businesses' workspaces are centred on Microsoft Office 365. Office has now become a key element of nearly everything we do in workplace, including our data storage in Microsoft SharePoint and our messaging in Microsoft Teams, when it was formerly just the programme we used for Word and Excel. While this has increased efficiency immensely, it has also increased the need to fully secure Microsoft 365.
We'll go over some of the fundamentals of Microsoft Office 365 security, as well as some recommendations you can put into practise right away to make your workplace safer. While these suggestions are a good place to start, if you're really worried about your organization's security, you should speak with a managed IT services expert who focuses on cybersecurity.
1. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA), sometimes known as 2-factor authentication (2FA), is the method of securing your account with a second piece of information in addition to your standard login ID and password.
Attackers commonly exploit user accounts to gain access to Microsoft Office 365. As a consequence, even when the password has been stolen, you'll want to make sure such accounts remain secure. Multi-factor authentication is usually accomplished by entering a code after the login and password are already entered. This code might be produced using a mobile app or sent straight to the user's device. This ensures that even if an attacker had gotten their hands on an employee's password and login ID, they'd still require physical access to their phone at the moment they were logging in.
In the event of an attack, multi-factor authentication can help you retain your security. However, they are not a substitute for strict password restrictions. You should still have a strong password policy in place and remind users to change their passwords on a regular basis.
2. Educate Your Employees
In nearly every system, humans are the weak link. The more informed your employees are on the cybersecurity threats they face and their role in fighting against them, the more committed they will be to doing things correctly. It's critical to educate your employees on how to recognize phishing emails and social engineering methods employed by attackers. Because attackers' tactics and methods change on a regular basis, this training should be updated at least once a year. Many managed IT providers may provide employee training and cybersecurity penetration testing to ensure your personnel are up to date on the newest threats and how to combat them.
3. Have Separate Admin Accounts For Admin Tasks Only
Regular user accounts will have less access than administrative accounts. Unfortunately, this makes the admin accounts the most attractive targets for hackers and cyber criminals. As a result, admin accounts should be used solely for administrative purposes. Admins should have a regular non-administrative user account for everyday usage and only use their full administrative account when performing a task relating to their admin role.
4. Make Sure You Are Protected From Malware, Viruses and Ransomware
One of the most common ways for attackers to get access to your vital systems is through phishing emails. You will want to make sure neither you nor your users click on any potentially harmful URLs that come into your Exchange Online mailbox. You will want to utilise the anti-malware function in Exchange Online. Under the mail policies area of the Security & Compliance Centre, you can enable this. Furthermore, Mail Flow controls may be utilised to prevent a hacker from automatically forwarding mails after gaining access.
5. Make Full Use Of The Microsoft Security & Compliance Centre Dashboard
Another valuable tool given by Microsoft is the Security & Compliance Centre. While by no means a substitute for expert cybersecurity services from a managed IT services provider, the Security & Compliance Centre provides you with basic security audit information via a dashboard that displays numerous reports. For Azure Active Directory, there are also audit logging and user activity reporting options.
Microsoft's Threat Explorer is also a good way to see how many attempted security breaches have happened in your Microsoft Office 365 system over time and obtain some useful data insights.
Secure Your Office 365 Environment Immediately
If any of the techniques described above shocked you, it's a good indicator that your existing 365 environment isn't entirely protected. While the actions listed above are vital and should be implemented right away, if you haven't previously, they will not guarantee that you are "completely protected." If you're still concerned about the security of your Microsoft Office 365 environment, we recommend hiring a managed IT services provider who is familiar with both Microsoft products and enterprise-level cybersecurity.