Office 365 is your communications focal point. The number of data documents, emails, your organization sends daily increases radically every year. But additional data means more risk to deal with.

And even though Microsoft spends $1 billion every year on cybersecurity development and research, you need to implement critical Office 365 security best practices to protect your information or data completely.

The primary step towards shielding your Office 365 implementation is knowing how your enemies will try to hit it.

The most general technique is some type of account takeover attack – which means that an attacker is going to make an effort and try to steal one of your employee’s login credentials easily.

With the credentials in their control, an attacker can execute any of the actions making use of the account access to plant vulnerabilities and find malware, or usually some combination of both and stealing the information connected to the account.

If your attackers are targeting at Office 365, particularly, their phishing email will usually appear as it comes from Microsoft. It might display something like there is a problem with your billing account; click here to fix it.

Once the link is being clicked, you will be presented with a website designed to look like the Office 365 login screen. If you are deceived into putting in your credentials, the attackers will at once take over your account.

1. Always have a Strong Password 

Best password policy practices link the right security settings with user education.

Admins should enforce the following:

  • Restrict or Ban general passwords such as password, abcdefg-123456
  • Require an 8-character minimum password length
  • Enforce multi-factor authentication
  • Supplement password policies with user education, making them aware users not to re-use company passwords at any other place. Weak employee passwords boost the likelihood that data will be compromised

2. Redirect Windows general folders to OneDrive for Business requirements

End Users love to store valuable documents to their My Documents folder, and IT departments have strived with this situation for a more extended period.

OneDrive for Business is an ideal solution to this error. IT can enhance the redirection of such folders to OneDrive using a Group scheme. On the other hand, nothing remains changed for the end-user. They can still use their folders precisely as they are utilized to, also while in the background, the OneDrive client will sync the docs and files with the cloud application.

3. Keep an eye on access to critical admin sections

Office 365 administrators should periodically check who the users that have privileged access to the Office 365 system are. This, of course, consists members of the Global Administrators role, but also particular workloads administrators like SharePoint administrators, User management administrators, and Exchange administrators.

4. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication-MFA

Multi-factor authentication -MFA works on the idea that because no password is safe from cyber attackers, you require to use something additional to authenticate your identification.

This can be something like a one-time password that is generated through a physical USB key that you put inside your computer, an app on your phone, or a biometric like your fingerprint or a retinal scan.

Office 365, you can enforce MFA for your audience. There are various methods of how users can authenticate, including text messaging, calling, or mobile app. For an application that does not support MFA, you can construct an app password.

MFA works flawlessly with web browsers of Microsoft Office.

To enable MFA, go to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center – Users – Active Users, click on one of the users, and then on Manage multi-factor authentication on the user properties screen.

5. Preventing Office 365 Teams and Groups from going old

If you allow everyone to form as many groups as they want, this will become unmanageable confusion, and it takes so little to get rid of it. Here are some best and simple practices to prevent this chaos:

  • Define a subset of users who are permitted to form associations
  • Check groups for activities to identify potentially stale ones
  • Ensure groups have more than one owner

6.With Office 365 Cloud App Security Assess Activity

Office 365 Cloud App Security lets you monitor suspicious activity. With the tool, you can set policies to trigger alerts and see how data is used and accessed. You can evaluate uncertain user activity and address security issues as required.

7. Understand Malware and Ransomware

In addition to account attacks, there are also ransomware and malware to consider. Many criminals find it so easy to rob from companies using deception that malware rarely comes on to the stage– but if they do choose to deploy malware, watch out.

About ninety-three percent of malware regularly changes its signature to avoid detection by antivirus software.

Also, ransomware no longer impacts on-premises files. Cloud adaption is also easy to be attacked. Even if all of your, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word in a Microsoft Azure volume or online, these files are still exposed to attackers.

If an attacker selects to use malware against you, they will often pose as a colleague and send an encrypted Microsoft Word file.

8. End-User Training Can Save Your Business Always 

Your primary attention when it comes to protecting Office 365 from ransomware is to disable macros immediately.

Disabling macros shuts off the most prevalent attack vector found in ransomware strains.

Even if word macros are shut down, there are still ways and chances for attackers to use malware to affect Office 365s suite. No matter which method they opt for, however, most of them will always use the same entry point – phishing emails.

This means that Phishing Prevention Training will be an essential component of your defense.

Of course, no kind of training can make your employees a hundred percent efficient against phishing emails. Thus, phishing prevention training needs to be used in concert with other techniques.

  • Updating email filters to remove known bad senders and Placing your antivirus solution in line with Outlook
  • Installing advanced and new behavioral-detection antivirus and keeping it up to date
  • Assessing any phishing emails that make it past your filters

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