Office 365 security: 4 best practices you can’t afford to overlook

Posted by piksel on Jan 24, 2019 10:24:00 AM

With 43 percent of businesses experiencing a data breach between 2017 and 2018, it’s clear that good security hygiene needs to become the backbone of all business activity. Even if you believe your existing environment is secure, there are always best practices you need to follow, especially when it comes to Office 365 security.

So, how can you proactively counteract any threats to your Office 365 network?

Powering up your Office 365 security

Although Office 365 was built with security in mind, there are still steps you’ll need to take to ensure your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Here are four best practices you can’t afford to overlook.

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1. Use Microsoft’s Cloud App Security

Office 365’s Cloud App Security portal gives you a complete overview of your network’s activity. This allows you to review ‘risky’ behaviour, such as multiple failed sign-in attempts.

Working with your pre-determined security policies, this tool helps detect anomalies in user activity and alerts you to any immediate issues.

2. Discover your Office 365 Security Score

Security Score analyses the overall effectiveness of your Office 365 security by digging deeper into employee activity and preconfigured security settings. The ultimate ‘score’ is compared to Microsoft’s baseline, and recommendations are given on where you can improve.

Often, the recommended changes will be easy to make. But in cases where a lot of remedial work is needed, the expertise of a Microsoft security partner, can help you prioritise and deploy the necessary changes.

3. Make multi-factor authentication compulsory

It’s essential only the right people access your organisation’s critical documents and data. By using multi-factor authentication, you can add an extra layer of security to user sign-ins.

Enabling this function in Office 365 will strengthen your identity and access management (IAM) processes. More than 80 percent of data breaches are caused by weak or stolen passwords, proving that one credential alone is not enough.

Setting up multi-factor authentication in Office 365 will require your users to verify their identity via phone, text message or app notification before signing in. Ultimately, this makes it more difficult for an unauthorised user to sign into your business accounts.

4. Create a data loss prevention (DLP) policy

To ensure your business’s safety and comply with industry regulations, data loss prevention should be high up on your to-do list.

By creating a data loss prevention policy (DLP) in Office 365’s Security and Compliance centre, you can gain better control over your data. A DLP prevents individuals from accidentally or intentionally sharing sensitive information with unauthorised users.

Practice proactive security in all environments

Productivity tools are an essential part of any business strategy. But without a watertight security policy, they can often do more harm than good.  

Whether you’re using Office 365 or another program, such as Mimecast’s email security tool, it’s vital you follow best practices. While these tools come with their own built-in security controls, it’s worth going the extra distance to align them with your specific policies and needs.

Of course, prioritising these tasks is tricky if you have a large, complex environment to secure. Getting the right support can make all the difference and will enable you to evaluate your short, medium and long-term security goals.

To find out more about the state of your Office 365 security, book a review with our cloud experts today.

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Topics: cybersecurity, IT support, office 365

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