Cybercriminals are continually introducing new ways to access sensitive and personal data from computers, smartphones, and other digital devices. Office communication and computer systems are more vulnerable than ever as workers rely on email and file-sharing capabilities to perform in-house and remote work. Microsoft Office 365 unveiled a new set of built-in, customizable security measures to prevent valuable business information from getting into the wrong hands.
New tools with expanded features and functionalities help Office 365 users protect business-related data from the latest cybersecurity threats. Increased options for built-in and customized controls help businesses meet compliance standards while securing their most precious systems and data.
More businesses are moving data to cloud-based services and storage centers to accommodate for changing work environments. Office 365 implements additional security measures and features within regular updates to accommodate for the latest methods of cybercrime. The latest updates make it easier to customize your security needs and adjust your changing business model and the latest threats to your data.
Some of the following security features come standard with the basic Office package, while others are included with upgraded service subscriptions.
Effective data storage compliance, security, and collaboration are part of an effective data loss prevention (DLP) strategy. Cloud-based and on-site databases and the information housed on them are in constant jeopardy without the protection of proper DLP protocols in place. Customized settings allow managers to control incoming and outgoing protections that can prevent emails from being received or sent, send notifications, or both, depending on your needs and threat assessment. For example, if an employee inadvertently forwards an email with sensitive banking information, DLP protocols would stop that email. This would even work if a critical file were to be copied onto a0 flash drive.
Conditional access with the Azure Active Directory in Office 365 allows control over the accessibility of resources within your business. Multi-factor authentication supports where and how resources are accessed from a centralized location. Content is protected by requiring a predetermined set of criteria based on factors like the type of device, app, and location before access is granted. Conditional access can apply to groups of users or individuals for total flexibility and control.
Benefits of deploying Microsoft Office 365 conditional access include:
Microsoft establishes a secure score that measures the state of your digital security and offers recommendations for improvement. The Microsoft 365 security center allows you to monitor the security of your team’s apps and devices.
The system will assign you tasks to help improve cybersecurity in your business. A secure score is then based on a point system that rewards you for applying those security-related tasks, as well as completing any other recommended security measures and addressing shortcomings with mitigation activities, such as third-party software.
Creating and remembering multiple, strong passwords has been the bane of users since the first home computers came online. Passwords like “PASSWORD,” “ABCDE,” and “12345” essentially allow cybercriminals free access to computers and mobile devices.
Updated standards such as Web Authentication API (WebAuthN) and Fast Identity Online (FIDO2) now allow for passwordless authentication across all applicable platforms. Office 365 passwordless authentication is the most secure and convenient way to access the apps and information employees need to do their jobs. Removing usernames and passwords achieves enhanced security protocols and makes user authentication quick and simple.
In addition to improved account security, passwordless authentication also can decrease the need for tech support for setting up and changing forgotten passwords. Microsoft says that there are now over 150 million users throughout the world using passwordless authentication.
The Microsoft Defender Application Guard for Office is a newly introduced defensive tool that quarantines untrusted documents, so malicious files fail to reach your operating system or applications. A secured, Hyper-V-enabled container isolates these files from the rest of the system’s data, and they are opened in a virtualized environment where malicious code cannot cause damage.
Files quarantined from Word, Excel, or PowerPoint may include documents from untrusted Internet or intranet domains, files from potentially unsafe areas, and attachments received in an email.
Microsoft Office 365 continues to provide new ways to protect you and your business against cybercriminal behavior. Security features in Office 365 show how cloud-based storage and communication can protect data related to your company’s operation.
If you believe this could benefit your business, talk to your local IT Services provider, or if you live in Albuquerque, give David Luft, CEO of LDD Consulting, Inc., a call at (505) 792-2375. For even more detailed information about Office 365 security features, stream the latest episode of The Reboot, a panel of IT and security experts who aim to help business owners and managers critically evaluate good and bad decisions on technology.