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Ensuring security and compliance in Microsoft 365

Security and compliance are two of the most important factors in today’s business world. Businesses of all sizes can no longer afford to ignore security and compliance, as the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches is too high. 

In fact, the average cost of a data breach in Australia is $3.35 million per breach – a cost that is rising 9.8% every year. Ensuring maximum security in your business networks and environments clearly needs to be a top priority every time an account is accessed.

The Microsoft 365 suite is a powerful set of tools that can be used for a variety of purposes. It is important to ensure that security and compliance are maintained in your Microsoft environment to limit the possibility of a cyber-attack or data leak.

Why is it important to secure Microsoft 365?

In this digital age, safeguarding your data is crucial. You should always make sure that your data is encrypted and your communication is secure with end-to-end encryption. If you don’t, your data could be in danger of being accessed by cybercriminals.

Microsoft 365 is an essential component of a company’s infrastructure. If there was a malware attack on your Microsoft 365 environment, it could lead to data leaks or other forms of cyber-crime. This would have disastrous consequences for your business – from reputational and customer loss, to fines and legal ramifications.

Identity and Access Management

To ensure smooth functioning of your business processes, you need to implement Identity and Access Management (IAM) to control access to apps, documents, and data. Create user accounts and assign appropriate permissions to each account, and create groups to manage the accounts effectively. 

When you grant the users the right permissions, they can perform only those tasks for which they’re authorised. These permissions should be limited to the minimum level required for smooth functioning of the business process. This way, you’ll be able to keep a check on employees’ activities.

You can track and review the login activities of employees to make sure they’re accessing apps and documents only when required, which helps to prevent cybercriminals from snooping on sensitive data.

Microsoft Threat Protection

Microsoft Threat Protection (MTP) is a solution that helps you protect your data against cyber threats. It offers protection against malware, viruses, and ransomware attacks. MTP is integrated with Microsoft 365, which means you don’t need to install a separate antivirus solution. 

It allows you to create security rules and policies to prevent malware from entering your network, as well as keep track of suspicious activities to identify potential threats. You can also set up cloud-based web protection to block malicious websites from infecting your system. 

Usage policies can be set up to ensure that employees don’t misuse sensitive data. Employees can also be prevented from accessing inappropriate websites using web protection. This can be done by rating the websites on their appropriateness and blocking those that are inappropriate.

Microsoft Information Protection

Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) is a security solution that protects sensitive data. It gives you an option to encrypt the data on your network, and set up protection policies to prevent sensitive data from being shared with the incorrect users. 

MIP can also be used to classify data on your network. Assigning labels to the data according to their sensitivity will help you put the right level of security on each type of data. This solution also helps you track the movement of the documents across your network by automatically creates audit trails for each file so that you can keep track of who accessed the files, and when.

Microsoft Compliance Management

Businesses are required to comply with certain government regulations and standards. Microsoft Compliance Management (MCM) helps you ensure compliance with a variety of government standards. 

This feature also comes in handy when it comes to keeping track of the service desk tickets. You can create incidents and service requests in the service desk console to track the issues faced by your employees and customers. 

A service level agreement (SLA) created for your clients will help you track the SLA incidents, their status, and the time taken to resolve the issue. This feature can also be used to track and report on regulatory compliance. It offers compliance management capabilities, auditing, and risk assessment.

Microsoft 365 security best practises

It is also important to follow certain security best practices when using Microsoft 365. These security practices help in securing your data against cyber-attacks by securing the network and the devices that are connected to it. They also help in protecting the data against data breaches. 

Security best practises: 

  • Strong password policy: all employees should use passwords of at least 12 characters for every account they can access.
  • Multi-factor authentication: when users attempt to log into an account, they will be prompted to enter a one-time code – usually sent via text message – along with their login credentials to access the account.
  • Data breach detection: the process of identifying and responding to a data breach, and taking preventative measures before the damage becomes too extensive.
  • Access control: the process of granting permission to a user to access a resource.
  • Data encryption: the process of encoding information so that it cannot be read by anyone except those who have the key to decode it.
  • Data loss prevention: a set of measures and technologies that are used to prevent data from being lost.
  • Incident response: the process of managing an event or problem in a timely and effective manner to restore service, stop the spread of damage, and prevent future damage.

Get the right advice from the Microsoft 365 security experts

All businesses must adopt Microsoft 365 in order to stay afloat in the modern business world. However, you need to make sure that you’re using it securely. This will help in securing your data against cyberattacks by securing the network and the devices that are connected to it.

The Microsoft 365 cyber security specialists at Steadfast Solutions can help you implement advanced security policies and procedures into your business to strengthen your security and ensure compliance.