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7 Ways to Boost Your Microsoft 365 Data Security

By November 14, 2022No Comments


These seven tips will help ensure that your Microsoft 365 subscription leverages the best data security practices and allow you to get the most out of your plan. The Office 365 platform is a popular choice of software for organizations of all sizes and sectors, from small business to large public agencies and everything in-between. Unfortunately, this means that users are often the target of many phishing scams, and cybersecurity controls are needed to preserve your data integrity.

Microsoft 365 Security Controls

Microsoft 365 thankfully comes with several built-in programs for defending your business network against malicious and accidental exposures, and the technology is being improved frequently to keep up with the latest cyber threats. However, as Office 365 is a cloud platform there still needs to be best practice applied from the user level up to administrator settings. The seven tips below will help show you how to achieve a baseline for your data security:

1. Secure Mobile Devices

It’s common for employees nowadays to use personal smartphones or computers to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents, especially if they’re working remotely. This is why securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organization’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.

2. Turn on Policy Alerts

Establish policy notifications in Microsoft’s Purview compliance portal to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With policy alerts on, your employees will receive tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

3. Use Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Using only a password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Enable multifactor authentication (MFA) so that users will be required to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts.

MFA 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.

4. 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 exposes you to security risks 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.

5. Force 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 unauthorized 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. This can prevent hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.

6. Enforce Role-based Access Controls

Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organization. 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, thus minimizing the risk of data leaks.

7. Email Encryption

Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.


SWK Technologies Will Help Ensure Your Data Security for Microsoft 365

SWK Technologies is a Gold Microsoft Partner as well as managed IT, cloud and security service provider, allowing us to leverage our expertise in all of these fields to help you maintain the best protections for your Microsoft 365 plan. Call us today and our IT experts will help find the right cybersecurity solutions for you.

Contact SWK here to learn more about security for Microsoft 365 and uncover how to build the best defense for your systems and data.

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