12-27-21 | Blog Post

5 Ways to Protect Your Microsoft Office 365 Data

Blog Posts

Each year, more companies and organizations advance their adoption of crucial operating software, such as Microsoft Office 365, and the need for cloud-based backup and security solutions becomes increasingly pressing. Microsoft Office 365 security features offer various options that are built into the fabric of the software itself, but as more reliance is placed on an organization’s digital data, the need to have more robust solutions in place that can handle both accidental and deliberate damage is paramount.

Whether to provide insurance against human error, internal or external security threats such as viruses and malware, or to assure that migration efforts are protected, adding a robust Microsoft Office 365 backup and security layer to your organization’s arsenal can help you eliminate catastrophic data mishaps that can negatively impact your business. Here, we’ve put together five of the most impactful measures you can take to ramp up your Microsoft Office 365 security and protect your data.

1. Utilize Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA, or otherwise commonly called 2-step verification, 2FA, or 2-factor authentication) is a simple way to add fast protection for all users and can help to prevent most hacks or unauthorized breaches. Multi-factor authentication for Microsoft Office 365 security uses an authentication app installed on each user’s phone that produces a code when they initiate a sign-in attempt on their computer. They’ll need to approve the sign-in request on their phone to log in, preventing hackers from entering undetected. Businesses can implement this by adding a setting that requires MFA, and each user will be prompted to complete the setup the next time they sign in.

2. Protect Against Ransomware

Ransomware works by locking users out of their files or screens and then demanding payment before releasing the withheld data. Delivered via damaging and often suspicious email attachments, ransomware can be prevented simply by educating users so that they recognize these attempts and don’t open certain file extensions that are commonly associated with ransomware – especially from unknown or unfamiliar senders. Email security solutions enable you to take it a step further and create rules that will block these attachments from getting through altogether.

3. Increase Your Malware Protection

Blocking certain file extensions prevents more than just ransomware. You can also bulk up your Microsoft Office 365 security by activating an anti-malware policy within your Microsoft 365 administration dashboard. There, you can choose which file extensions are allowed to pass through, and which will be blocked. If your company doesn’t share software through email, blocking .exe, .bin, and other application file types is an easy way to ensure that these don’t reach your employees, managers, and other staff. However, malware can also be contained in Word documents (.docx), PDF files, and other more common file extensions that your company is likely to use on a regular basis. The built-in Microsoft Office 365 security features are designed to detect suspicious email attachments, but education is still a crucial component in ensuring that your organization’s data isn’t put at risk.

4. Protect Your Documents with Rights Management

Ramping up security to prevent unauthorized breaches protects your users from accessing potentially harmful incoming files, but you’ll also need to protect the files that your organization sends out into the world, saves to a user’s personal cloud storage, or copied to other locations. Taking action for the sake of your Microsoft Office 365 backup and security with Rights Management enables you to be sure that your organization’s files remain protected even when they leave your systems and venture into the outside world. Rights Management can also protect various supported file types beyond your Microsoft Office 365 specific files, enabling you to protect a wide array of data regardless of where it ends up. A good example would be an email attachment intended only for authorized users that is sent to recipients outside of your organization. While anyone could read the email text, only those with authorization can open the file once it’s protected.

5. Use Message Encryption Features

If you use Outlook or Outlook.com you already have some built-in encryption features for sending sensitive email messages. These features can prevent emails from being shared or forwarded to individuals outside of your organization with a layer of encryption. You can configure specific domains for clients, vendors, and others so that recipients can view the emails you send and disable domains for organizations that shouldn’t have access. With Office Message Encryption enabled, you’ll need to sign in to view encrypted messages or use a passcode if you’re trying to receive an encrypted email to a personal email account such as Gmail or Yahoo.

The OTAVA Solution for Enhanced Microsoft Office 365 Backup and Security

These methods can help you secure your data and protect your users, but the one component that’s missing is a comprehensive Microsoft Office 365 backup solution. Your organization needs to be sure that when data is deleted by mistake, removed, or involved in a case of misuse that you have dedicated backups to ensure that your operations can be maintained. Powered by Veeam, OTAVA Office 365 Backup eliminates the risk of losing your data and places you in control with benefits that can offer your organization peace of mind, including:

  • Backup for Microsoft Exchange
  • Backup for SharePoint
  • Backup for OneDrive

At OTAVA we have developed our Microsoft Office 365 backup solution to give you more control over the advanced protection and stability of your data.

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