Ensuring Office 365 Security: What You Can (and Should) Do

Posted by Gary Utley on October 24, 2019

Office 365 Security83% of organizations now use Microsoft Office, and Office 365 is seeing increased adoption with every passing month. But that doesn't come without risks. When Office 365 isn't properly secured, data can be compromised. Large volumes of confidential and personally identifiable information are now stored in Office 365, which isn't always equipped to secure it; you can reduce your risk and improve your security through Office 365 best practices.

Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Employees can have their accounts compromised from anywhere. Multi-factor authentication ensures that employees need to secure their account through multiple methods, such as by having their phone on them and by having a password. This greatly reduces the chances that someone could break into an account, even if they discover a device such as a laptop or a smartphone.

With employees increasingly logging in from other offices (and even other countries), multi-factor authentication is even more important. Administrators should enforce multi-factor authentication, on the off chance that a system could be logged into from a public computer, or that a computer that's been logged in before is stolen or compromised.

Keep a Good Password Policy

Password generators and password managers can be used to avoid the reuse of passwords. Employees are otherwise tempted to use the same password all the time, or to use simple passwords that they know they will remember. Even when they're asked to change their passwords frequently, they will try to use similar passwords, or they'll write their password down on their desk. 

Deploy AAD Identity Protection

Azure Active Directory provides advanced identity protection services, including the ability to send notifications if risks are detected, block potentially risky sign-ins, and block risky user accounts. This automates a lot of risk protection and threat mitigation, thereby making the system safer without increasing the amount of work that needs to be done from an IT standpoint.

Enable Mailbox Auditing

Mailbox auditing will preserve records regarding actions taken by mailbox owners, which can be reviewed for any potentially suspicious activity. The mailbox will be linked with Microsoft's eDiscovery tools, and audit logs can be reviewed in the event that data is lost or compromised. Mailbox logging can be attached to new user accounts without any additional work. 

Follow Data Loss Prevention Policies

Data loss prevention policies make it possible to protect and track sensitive information through Office 365. Sensitive information can first be identified in systems like MS Teams and SharePoint. From there, the information will be protected. When individuals outside of the organization receive data that should otherwise be protected, the information can be removed. This provides protection that doesn't depend on employees 

Don’t let a great tool like Office 365 be a security vulnerability for your organization. Contact us today for an expert consultation on how you can improve your Office 365 security and compliance.

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Topics: Office 365