5 Steps You Can Take to Secure Your Microsoft 365 Environment
Blog|by Alanna|12 July 2023
In today’s digital landscape, cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, making it crucial for organisations to prioritise cyber security and ensure protection of their Microsoft 365 environment.
Read on to discover five practical steps you can take to help secure your Microsoft 365 environment.
Make sure to enable MFA
Passwords alone are no longer sufficient to safeguard user accounts from unauthorised access. According to Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report, compromised passwords are a leading cause of security breaches. Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) significantly enhances security. In fact, Microsoft states that MFA can block more than 99.9% of account compromise attacks. By adding an extra layer of verification, such as a fingerprint scan or SMS code, you drastically reduce the risk of unauthorised access to your Microsoft 365 environment.
Regularly update and patch
Failing to keep your Microsoft 365 environment up to date exposes your organisation to potential vulnerabilities. The 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM found that unpatched vulnerabilities were responsible for 43% of data breaches. Regularly applying patches and updates is essential as they often address known security flaws and protect against emerging threats. By staying up to date, you reduce the likelihood of falling victim to cyber attacks targeting outdated software.
Ensure you have data loss policies
Data breaches can have severe consequences, both financially and in terms of reputation. According to the Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020, the average cost of a data breach was £2.89 million. Implementing Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies in your Microsoft 365 environment helps prevent sensitive information from being shared or leaked. By configuring DLP policies, you can detect and protect sensitive data, mitigating the risk of costly data breaches and ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.
Use advanced threat protection
Email remains a prominent target for cyber attacks. The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon revealed that 85% of data breaches involved human interaction, often through phishing emails. By utilising Microsoft 365’s Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), you can protect against advanced email threats. ATP scans attachments and links in real-time, blocking malicious content from reaching users’ inboxes. By implementing ATP, you can proactively defend against phishing attempts, malware, and zero-day attacks, reducing the risk of successful email-based cyber attacks.
Educate staff and mitigate human error
Human error continues to be a significant factor in cyber incidents. Providing comprehensive cybersecurity education and training to your users is essential. Organisations that conduct regular security awareness training experience a 72% reduction in security-related risks, according to a study by the Aberdeen Group. By educating users about phishing techniques, password security, and safe online practices, you empower them to become a vital line of defence against cyber threats.
The statistics surrounding cyber security incidents and threats emphasise the critical importance of implementing robust security measures. By following these five key steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of cyber attacks, protect sensitive data, and ensure the integrity of your organisation’s Microsoft 365 environment. Remember, staying cyber aware and implementing a layered security approach are essential components of safeguarding your digital assets.
How can Grey Matter help?
Our experienced team is ready to provide guidance on configuration, deployment, and management of your M365 environment to ensure optimal security. We can also help you understand and utilise the built-in security features of Microsoft 365, such as Advanced Threat Protection.
Contact Grey Matter
If you have any questions or want some extra information, complete the form below and one of the team will be in touch ASAP. If you have a specific use case, please let us know and we'll help you find the right solution faster.
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