More than just offering apps and cloud services designed to boost productivity, Microsoft 365 (aka "Office 365") also provides robust security tools for protecting data from loss and theft. You can make the most out of these tools and ensure data security by following these tips.
Use multifactor authentication
Relying solely on a password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Instead, enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts since they not only have to guess user passwords, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor like a one-time SMS code or a fingerprint scan.
Take advantage of policy alerts
Establish policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With these in place, your employees will receive policy tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These pre-emptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.
Secure mobile devices
Since employees often use personal devices (laptops, mobile phones and tablets) to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents — especially if they’re working remotely — securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organisation’s data.
Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.
Apply session timeouts
Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorised users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365 accounts, email accounts, and internal networks, users will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity, preventing hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.
Avoid public calendar sharing
Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing feature allows employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.
Employ role-based access controls
Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organisation. It lets you determine which users have access to specific files in your company. For example, rank-and-file employees won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimising the risk of data leaks.
Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorised recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.
If you'd like to find out more about how you can fortify and secure your organisation's Microsoft 365 tenancy, get in touch with us today. Our team of experts are here to help.