In the current age of digital commerce and virtual businesses, we have found that security can be one of the most important tools in any computerized operation. So how can we know if the system we are using for our business needs is secure and will keep your important data protected? There are many factors to look at when determining the security of a platform. One of the most popular platforms for many offices is Microsoft 365 or Office 365. This platform has many security features built in and many more that can be customizable to each business’s needs. We will examine a few of the more prevalent security measures and their benefits.
The most used security tool is the use of multi-factor authentication, also known as 2-factor authentication system. This is a simple tool that requires users to have more than just their username and password to log into a system or even just into certain areas of a protected system. While the username and password are still important, in a 2-factor authentication setup the user will also receive either a phone call, text message, or use an authenticator app. Microsoft and Google each have authenticator apps that users can download.
When it comes to data security, employers must be vigilant in training their employees to use the security measures that are in place. Knowing how to effectively use the security measures allows companies to feel more secure in their data protection plans. Improperly trained employees can create gaps in your security and allow sensitive data to be left unprotected and exposed.
Another security measure in many places of business, the use of a dedicated Administrator account for all admin privileges can keep those duties and task separated from traditional daily tasks. The user who has admin privileges will also have a regular log-in for their normal daily tasks. This keeps rogue programs and task from running amuck without being kept in check, allowing the limited user a safer work environment.
Malware and ransomware are two areas where a business must stay on top of security to stop these threats before they get a foothold in the system. Malware can be hidden in emails and can go undetected for some time before it begins causing problems. While ransomware can be used against a company where all its data is encrypted or stolen to collect a ransom. While both types of threats can be detrimental to a small business, there are security features in Microsoft 365 that can be used to prevent these threats becoming a problem. Security setting and rules the administrator creates can be literal lifesavers for a small businesses’ data.
Keeping your communication safe and private with Office message encryption. Office encryption includes two protection options for sending emails. The first is to stop the forwarding of your sent mails and the second is to encrypt the message so that only the receiver can read the message. These setting are already available in most versions and just must be set to the needs of the user. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 has many tools to protect sensitive data, including anti-phishing protection. These security options must be turned on and rules created that flow with the business’s needs.
Anti-phishing protection is another excellent feature of the Microsoft 365 environment, and a part of the Microsoft Defender for Office 365. It helps stop malicious emails before they can become a problem. Setting up anti-phishing policies such as those to prevent impersonator-based attacks or spoofing can help keep your data protected.
And finally, the last tool in Microsoft 365 or Office 365 is the ability to scan for safe attachments or safe links in emails that have passed through anti-malware or anti-spam scanning already. These tools check the attachments and links for any suspicious activity or file names. To find safe attachments and keep links safe in emails, one or more policies should be entered in settings. In scanning for safe attachments, a virtual environment is used to open attachments in email messages before they are delivered to the recipients. A safe link scan takes links and provides URL scanning and rewriting of inbound email messages into mail flow as well as time-of-click verification of URL’s and links in email messages and other locations.
While much of this may sound foreign to the less tech savvy out there, Microsoft has made it easier to protect yourself and your businesses information. Creating rules and policies that keep your data secure and your information protected is as crucial to Microsoft as it is to you. Microsoft is always developing newer and better protections against hackers, spoofers, and those who would see your companies’ data spread everywhere for their own profits. With just a little research and Microsoft’s tutorials anyone can get these policies in place and rest easier knowing their data is safe and secure.