Data - Information privacy

8 Tips For A Secure Microsoft 365 Experience

One of the harsh realities of device and network security is the fact that it is generally a trade-off between ease of access and convenience. Unfortunately, this is a major reason why data breaches are more likely to be cases of omission and not the technology, or lack thereof. In many cases, convenience is favoured over security.

Do not make this the case with Microsoft 365. With Microsoft 365, you have all the tools and features you need to create both a secure and convenient experience. Microsoft 365 is equipped with a variety of features that can be used to protect your data against threats. Microsoft 365 is used by millions of businesses across the globe, and this is why it is so important to secure Microsoft 365.

With that in mind, let’s look at some security best practices with Microsoft 365:

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication is one of the best tips you can follow to ensure a secure Microsoft 365 experience. When Multi-Factor Authentication is deployed with conditional access, users are sometimes unaware that it is enabled. With Multi-Factor Authentication built into Microsoft 365 and with Microsoft Multi-Factor Authentication being a simple and effective method, it should certainly be used.

One of the more common weaknesses in workplaces today is the compromise of business emails and password reuse. Multi-Factor Authentication will bypass all vulnerabilities, blocking nearly 100 percent of compromises. With Multi-Factor Authentication, knowing or guessing the password will not be enough to gain access. Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication is one click away, literally.

A great option is to make sure your users are aware of MFA and give them a time period to enable MFA.

Apply Conditional Access

Another way to eliminate compromises and prevent unauthorised access to confidential information is by configuring and applying conditional access. Microsoft 365 uses Azure Active Directory for credential management. Most businesses have login attempts from various locations across the globe, and they are unaware of the login attempts.

When you enable conditional access, you will be able to block any login attempts that you do not recognise. If a member of your workplace goes on vacation, you can create a mitigating rule that he or she can gain access to accounts from a compliant device.

Block Legacy Authentication

Legacy Authentication Protocols will allow you to connect to Exchange Online without the need for Modern Authentication. What does this mean? This means that a cybercriminal can connect to Exchange Online with only a username and password. The username and password can easily be obtained by a hacker via phishing.

Hackers are actively using the basic protocols to steal information. Fortunately, the Legacy Authentication Protocols can be blocked. By blocking legacy authentication, Multi-Factor Authentication will be used instead.

Use MDM and MAM

There are tools that allow you to easily wipe data after it is declared lost or stolen, but it does not sandbox your business’s data, or add additional compliance policies. Many applications today will allow users to clear out endpoint devices if they are lost or stolen, and these can at least provide users with assurance when it comes to security. However, when the number of users begins to increase, the amount of data, applications, and endpoints will rise. T

Microsoft Intune allows users to manage iOS, Android, and Windows 10 devices from one location, regardless of where the device is located. Intune will allow you to define which apps on a mobile device have the authority to access data. The only thing the user will have to do is log in to the device using his/her work account to receive the policy.

Activate OneDrive Folder Protection

How often are you redirecting desktops and documents of your users to a server for backups? Are you using backups for your users? When you turn on OneDrive Folder Protection, your users will have the ability to back up their Desktop folders and their Document folders to the cloud. You will no longer have to worry about network concerns when there is an inadequate network connection. If one or more of the devices is infected with ransomware, OneDrive Folder Protection will have multiple versions of each file.

Assign Role-Based Access Controls

Role-based access controls are based on principle of least privilege. User accounts should always have the minimum privilege level that still allows them to perform their responsibilities at a productive level. All employees do not need to have Administrative privileges. When you have service accounts that only need to read accounts from the Azure Active Directory, the Directory Reader role may be all that is needed.

Activate Alert Policies

By default, alert policies are already enabled. These alert policies will allow you to keep track of all activities performed by users and admins, and send you an alert if there are incidents of data loss or threats.

Create a Zero Trust Network

It does not matter how much you appreciate and admire your users, you still have to make sure you take the proper precautions. This is why establishing a zero-trust network approach is so important. If your users like to bring in their personal devices from home, this does not mean the devices should always be allowed to access data on your network.

When you take the proper steps to ensure security is done the right way, you will have the same requirements and guidelines for you in-office workers that you would have for your remote workers.

The tips we have shared will allow you to get a more secure and productive Microsoft 365 experience. A vital piece to keeping Microsoft 365 secure is to remain consistent by performing regular checks of the audit logs and keep up with all recommendations and guidelines.

At Steadfast Solutions, we provide services to small to large businesses across Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane. As a full-service Microsoft shop, we understand the ins and outs of the Microsoft landscape. Contact us today, and we will be more than happy to provide additional tips and guidance for managing Microsoft 365 and creating a secure experience.