Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365) is one of the best and most popular collaboration and productivity tools around. It provides users with seamless scalability, communication and supports remote work but as with all technology, it comes with its own particular security issues.
The default M365 settings do not fully protect the accounts and unauthorized access can still jeopardize your system. If your business falls victim, the consequences can be bad.
The only way to fend off hackers and other security issues is to increase your M365 security and this article lists the eight most effective security measures to help secure your accounts.
#1 Implement MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)
If you are just using a username and password to access your M365 accounts you are exposing your business organization to intrusions. This is where MFA (or 2FA, 2-factor authentication) comes into play. This will boost your Microsoft 365 security as it requires your username/password combination along with a 2nd method of authentication to access your accounts. The 2nd method could be a code sent to your mobile phone or via an app on your mobile phone (preferred).
#2 Auto Timeouts
A lot of people fail to log out or lock their computers or mobile devices when they leave them. This grants hackers unlimited access to these devices.
Incorporating timeouts on accounts automatically locks or logs users out after a certain inactivity period. That means hackers can’t take over their devices and access sensitive information.
#3 Implement Employee Training
Human error is the leading cause of most data breaches and all the measures listed here are nothing if you don’t tell your users what is expected from them.
Security training can raise staff awareness of potential threats and show them how to proceed if they notice an issue or have done something they shouldn’t have. It is extremely important to get staff to notify management and the IT team as soon as they realise they did something wrong and not feel the need to try and hide it.
#4 Don’t Use Public Calendars
Using online booking tools (accessible on your website) or public calendars can be a real time saver but it can also allow hackers to gain insight into your business and see who may be away. ie if the CEO or another manager is away, attackers could use that knowledge to launch specific phishing or malware
#5 Use Policy Alerts
M365 allows admins to create a variety of policy notifications to meet your company’s security needs. For example, they can send your employees tips on sending sensitive information when they are about to send a message to a contact outside your network.
These warnings can safeguard your business against data leaks as well as educating your team on safe data sharing methods. Talk to your M365 admins for more information.
#6 Secure Your Mobile Devices
As with most businesses, staff use phones and tablets to access work email, contacts, documents and calendars. Thus, securing these devices should be a top priority for business owners.
The best way to do so is to use mobile management features available in some M365 packages. These features let you manage your security policy, permissions and restrictions. If a device is lost or stolen then remote commands can be sent to the device to delete company data.
#7 Stop Using Old Software
Using old versions of MS Office applications increases your chances of intrusion. Older versions of software have to use legacy authentication methods and don’t have other security features which make it easier for hackers to get into your systems.
Thus to reduce your risks upgrade to the latest software applications.
#8 Limit access to files
Do all your staff members need access to all your data? Probably not, enforce security protocols to limit user access to only the files they need for their jobs. This way if a particular user gets compromised the damage is limited to a subset of files and doesn’t take your entire company down.
M365 offers a bunch of intuitive and convenient software and tools. The default experience is very smooth but you should take some extra steps to improve security. DP Computing can help you further enhance your security within M365. Contact us for a quick chat that is obligation-free so we can help you keep cyber threats at bay.