8 Effective Security Measures to 10x Your Microsoft 365 Data Protection

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8 security measures

Microsoft 365 is one of the best collaboration and productivity tools around. It provides users with seamless communication, and scalability and supports remote work with various features.  

While it is true that Microsoft 365’s security is pretty solid due to a wide array of defense mechanisms, it is not bulletproof. In order to make the most of your Microsoft 365 apps, it requires you to adopt proper security measures. 

Data leaks, illegal access, and malware can still put your system at risk and provide hackers with great entry points. If your company is harmed, the repercussions can be severe, ranging from operational difficulties to severe reputational damage.  

The only way to repel hackers is to take your Microsoft 365 data protection to the next level. And this article will list the 8 most effective security measures to help shield your data in Microsoft 365. 

The 8 effective security measures 

Activate multi-factor authentication

Microsoft 365 users have just one method of verifying their identity when using a username and password. Unfortunately, many people don’t follow robust password protocols. If you’re doing the same, you’re exposing your organization to intrusions. 

That’s where multi-factor authentication (MFA) comes into play.  

It can boost your Microsoft 365 security with one-time passphrases or other factors to verify user identity. 

In a world where credential harvesting is a constant threat and over 61 percent of hacking-related breaches are caused by compromised credentials, this kind of bulletproof authentication solution is essential. 

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Use session timeouts

Many employees fail to log out of their accounts and lock their mobile devices or computers. This can grant hackers unlimited access to enterprise accounts, enabling them to compromise your data. 

Incorporating session timeouts into internal networks and accounts automatically logs users out after a certain inactivity period. That means hackers can’t take over their devices and access sensitive information.  

Employ advanced threat protection

Microsoft 365 Defender is a powerful Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) solution designed to detect and prevent sophisticated threats that often evade antivirus and firewall defences.

This robust tool provides access to a constantly updated database, enabling users to understand threats and incorporate the data into their analysis. Microsoft 365 Defender keeps you informed about attacks, their severity, and the methods employed to stop them, regardless of the source. It is particularly effective at preventing phishing attempts.

Leveraging machine learning and a vast database of suspicious sites known for malware delivery or phishing attempts, Microsoft 365 Defender offers comprehensive protection for your organization.

Leverage policy alerts

Microsoft 365 lets you establish your policy notifications in the compliance center to meet your company’s security needs. For example, they send your employees tips on sending sensitive information whenever they’re about to send a message to a contact outside your network.  

These warnings can safeguard against data leaks while educating your team on safe data-sharing methods.  

Secure your mobile access

When your team frequently uses smartphones to access work email, contacts, documents, and calendars, especially while working remotely, it’s essential to ask, “What is Mobile Device Management?” and prioritize securing their devices to protect data.

The best way to achieve this is by implementing Microsoft 365 mobile management features. These features allow you to manage security policies, permissions, and restrictions, and even remotely wipe crucial information from stolen or lost devices, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of mobile device management and its importance in safeguarding your organization’s data.

Integrate role-based access control 

Access management is a convenient security feature that can limit the flow of private information across your business. It allows you to establish the users who can access data in your company.  

For instance, you can minimize data leaks by preventing rank-and-file team members from reading and editing executive-level files.  

Encrypt emails 

Encrypting sensitive data is often the last resort when dealing with data breaches. But if cyberattackers access your emails, robust encryption tools can make them unreadable. That’s why email encryption is something worth looking into.  

This feature is essential for Microsoft 365 users who share emails and files regularly.  

Train and educate your employees

The security measures mentioned above are undoubtedly effective, but they may amount to nothing if you leave your employees out of the picture. In fact, human error is the leading cause of most data breaches. 

One of the best ways to prevent security breaches in your business is to schedule employee security training and education. It can raise their awareness of potential threats and guide them on how to address them.  

This is especially important when recruiting employees. Make sure they undergo in-depth security training before granting them access to sensitive data and organizational devices.  

Don’t leave your business data protection to chance

Microsoft 365 provides a range of intuitive and convenient tools, making your experience so smooth that you might overlook data protection. However, neglecting security measures can leave your system vulnerable to hackers.

By utilizing our Mississauga Microsoft 365 consulting services and implementing the defence mechanisms mentioned in this article, you can significantly reduce security threats to your business. We’re here to help you enhance your security when using Microsoft 365 apps – contact us for an obligation-free, 10-15-minute chat to discuss how we can keep cyber threats at bay.

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

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