How to Ensure Secure Microsoft 365 Experience

Microsoft 365 cloud service offers unbeatable functionality and flexibility for modern businesses. However, as IT teams lead the charge on Microsoft Office 365 migration and public cloud services, security teams are sometimes left playing catch-up. Many organizations lack the expertise to implement, configure, and manage security products incorporated in their Microsoft Enterprise Agreements. They may also struggle with the impact of network perimeters dissolved in the cloud, resulting in a loss of visibility and control over their cloud operations.

With more than 258 million people currently using the Microsoft 365 productivity and collaboration suite, it’s critical to establish a strong identity and access management across all employees accessing your Microsoft 365 suite. You should also protect your sensitive files and data from exposure and incorporate your Microsoft 365 into your corporate SaaS strategy. Additionally, you need to address email security gaps and other critical IT and security aspects of Microsoft 365.

Although certain basic and premium security controls are built into your Microsoft 365 suite, these native controls may not adequately mitigate risks and align with your organization’s overall security and compliance goals. Here are some ways to enhance your Microsoft 365 security:

1: Configure Conditional Access

With the widespread use of cloud computing solutions, cybersecurity has become a big concern these days. Hackers continually attempt to access company data by employing various strategies. Your organization has likely been subjected to an unauthorized remote login attempt more than once, and sometimes you may not even notice it.

Microsoft 365 suite often filters such suspect events by labeling them as botnet attacks, keeping your company and critical data secure. However, this doesn’t mean that your Microsoft 365 system will catch suspect actions every single time. You should, therefore, configure conditional access policies for better protection.

Conditional access typically allows administrators to set up controls to specific actions, authentication procedures, and applications. By defining your access policy and enforcing controls around specific actions, you can add an additional layer of security to both data and access in your applications.

2: Use Role-Based Access Control

You can easily designate roles in Microsoft 365 suite to enable employees handling specific tasks to access data. However, you should always assign roles to employees with caution and only on necessity, particularly for ‘Global Admin’ access. A global admin typically has the ability to access a significant number of management features and data across Microsoft cloud services. Giving too many users this level of access can be a big security risk.

Always review your employees’ need to access certain data and assign them user roles based on their individual access needs. It’s a smart way to keep your organization secure with Microsoft 365. This practice also ensures that whenever a threat actor breaches the system in any way, they can be automatically restricted through the access controls previously set up for that particular user.

3: Use Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) 

Most applications nowadays allow users to wipe out data in endpoint devices whenever they get lost or stolen, providing the owner with some peace of mind regarding data security. But when you have several users, endpoints, and a considerable amount of data and applications at enterprise levels, wiping out these devices may not be a viable option.

Microsoft Intune, a component of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, allows you to manage all your mobile devices from a single location and choose what corporate data and applications the devices can access. You can also update policies regularly and deploy to the devices, ensuring that users only have to log in via their work account to access them.

4: Enable OneDrive Folder Protection

Reliable backups ensure that your organization’s critical data stays safe and accessible around the clock. By enabling the OneDrive Folder Protection, all your user’s desktop and document folders are effectively backed up to the cloud. As a result, there is no VPN tunneling or latency issue during poor connectivity. OneDrive also protects your data files by ensuring that your device is not infected in some way. Typically, OneDrive retains 100 variants of every file, allowing file variants to be rolled back and the device reimaged to enable your business to run smoothly.

Take Security as Your Responsibility

Online security is no longer just the responsibility of the product manufacturer. Always work with a reliable IT service provider to help you identify areas where your organization may be vulnerable and put in mitigation measures to improve. Here are some areas your service provider can help you improve:

  • Migration Strategy: An experienced IT engineer can help you assess your organization’s security posture and help design and implement a foolproof Microsoft 365 security strategy aligned with your security and business objectives.
  • Simplify IAM: IT professionals can leverage native Microsoft 365 security functionalities such as Azure Active Directory to safeguard your information from unauthorized access and identity online threats while ensuring integrated and simple user experiences.
  • Protect Data: With Azure Information Protection, your managed service provider (MSP) can safeguard your client data automatically while improving user productivity and establishing secure collaborations across various locations and devices.
  • Detect Advanced Threats: IT professionals can detect and respond to advanced cyber threats in minutes using native cloud security monitoring systems for Microsoft 365 and Azure environments.

Are You Using Microsoft 365 Securely?

Over the last couple of years, Microsoft 365 suite has become the default productivity suite for several businesses. When configured and maintained correctly, the inbuilt security functionalities in the Microsoft 365 productivity suite can help you harness the business and operational value of any modern workplace. OnPar Technologies is a Microsoft Security Partner providing comprehensive solutions to simplify Microsoft security strategies and protect access, identity, and data. We enable organizations of all sizes to embrace secure Microsoft cloud technologies during their migration journey.

Our goal is to remove day-to-day IT issues from your daily worry list, freeing up time for you and your employees to concentrate on growing your business. We proudly serve small and medium-sized companies throughout Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Durham, and North Carolina. Connect with OnPar today to book a no-obligation technology consultation.