Business data is a valuable commodity in the eyes of hackers and threat actors. But protecting business data is a never-ending struggle for modern businesses that wish to ensure continuity across the board. What exacerbates this struggle is the emergence of new and advanced threats that pose a grave danger for businesses relying on cloud-based services, such as Microsoft’s Office 365 suite. Therefore, businesses should consider obtaining Office 365 protection to safeguard their most valuable data and enhance data loss prevention capabilities.
The good news is that Office 365, and many other cloud-based services, offer a range of features and tools to help protect your business from all kinds of cyber threats. However, failure to ensure total protection can lead to significant financial losses and reputational damages.
In this article, we’ll explore how Office 365 protects your business data and what steps you can take to ensure your business is safe and secure.
How Office 365 Protects Your Business
Office 365 offers several features and native tools to safeguard your business data from a potential cyber attack. Here are some of them:
Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)
The staple of the suite’s protection, Advanced Threat Protection, helps protect against malware, viruses, and other cyber threats by analyzing email attachments and links in real time. The list of threats includes phishing attacks, ransomware, and similar social engineering attacks.
The main aim of ATP is prevention, while the feature also has sufficient protection measures. ATP achieves this through “threat intelligence.” Threat intelligence can be easily summarized as information on known cyber-attacks and threats.
With ATP, businesses can protect their most valuable sensitive data by detecting these threats before they can do any damage. Moreover, the feature also detects and blocks phishing attempts and suspicious email activity, providing an extra layer of security for your business.
While this would suggest ATP is most commonly integrated with the suite’s email client, ATP can work in accordance with Microsoft Defender.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
Another stand-out security feature is Data Loss Prevention. Data Loss Prevention is a feature that scans emails, files, and similar content for sensitive data, including health records, bank information, log-in information, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and similar data. Considering businesses handle all kinds of important files through email and similar mediums, DLP will detect and flag these messages, notifying users regarding the potential security risks involved.
DLP is a feature that applies to Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Exchange Online, the Office apps, and Windows 10 and 11 endpoints. DLP uses machine learning algorithms to detect sensitive items and enhance data protection and data security.
DLP can also be customized to meet specific regulatory requirements such as GDPR and HIPAA.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Another feature that outlines the suite’s robust security capabilities of the suite is MFA. MFA is an access management native feature requiring employees to have multiple ways to sign in to their suite. This can be done through a code or authentication app that employees can download and integrate within Office 365.
Encouraging the use of Office 365 MFA can protect user accounts from unauthorized access. Often, the additional authentication method can make the difference in unauthorized users gaining access to an employee account. In addition, MFA is difficult to bypass as the code from the authentication app refreshes in 60 seconds or less, which is nowhere near enough time for hackers to guess the code accurately.
So even if a hacker has access to an employee’s log-in credentials, they would still need to go through an additional layer that would require breaching device security to gain access to the one-time code.
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
While on the subject of device security, another of the series of native Microsoft 365 security features to look for is mobile device management. MDM, for short, allows secure control access to your business data on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. With MDM, you can enforce policies such as password requirements and remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices.
MDM is a security and risk management feature that outlines the necessary precautions employees must take when handling devices with sensitive data. For example, MDM policies should discourage connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, as these can be easily compromised and cause a potential security breach.
Email and Data Encryption
Office 365 offers encryption features to protect your business data in transit and at rest. Encryption helps ensure that your data is only accessible by authorized users, providing an additional layer of protection against cyber threats. You can encrypt email messages to ensure only the desired recipient can access the company data.
Furthermore, each user can use the encryption key to encrypt messages, and the recipient can use their decryption key to decrypt them. This makes it nearly impossible for anyone other than the intended recipient to view the contents of your messages.
With more businesses moving operations to the cloud, data protection and cybersecurity are becoming even more critical. Office 365 offers a range of native security features and tools to help protect your most important data from all kinds of cyber threats.
In many cases, these features are exactly what businesses need to enhance ransomware and anti-phishing protection, repel business email compromise attacks, and protect against identity theft.
By implementing these measures and educating your employees on cybersecurity best practices, you ensure your business is safe and secure against online threats. So, take the necessary steps to protect your business data and safeguard against potential cyber threats with Office 365 protection.