Many businesses prefer Microsoft 365 not only because of its powerful features and cost-saving benefits, but also because of its world-class security. However, the cyberthreat landscape is constantly evolving, so using this suite of cloud-based tools and services will always come with security challenges. Fortunately, Microsoft is continuously looking for ways to address these issues to ensure that your environment and data are protected.
Vulnerabilities in SharePoint
Businesses typically use SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint sites to store sensitive information like personally identifiable data. Failing to secure SharePoint content against unauthorized users is one way to expose data and your business to malicious actors. This can be critical for companies that are required to comply with stringent data privacy and protection regulations and may face serious consequences for noncompliance.
To prevent this, limit administrator-level privileges and enable encryption. Additionally, set the necessary security restrictions per user for every application.
Unprotected communication channels
Phishing attacks and malware are two of the most common ways cybercriminals infiltrate a system, but there are other paths of attack. Microsoft 365 applications like Microsoft Teams, which can connect to external networks, may serve as a medium for ransomware and other types of attack.
Train your staff to identify potentially malicious files and links. Also, offer guidelines on how to handle and route sensitive files and communication to safe locations.
Security risks in dormant applications
Organizations using Microsoft 365 often won’t use all the tools and services included in the productivity suite. You may use one or several programs like Word, Excel, and SharePoint but rarely use OneDrive. If your business has been utilizing specific programs, note that some dormant applications may be prone to attack. This is why it’s crucial to identify the apps that aren’t being used, and have an administrator tweak user settings to restrict availability on such apps.
Like most cloud services, Microsoft 365 allows users to automatically sync on-premises files to the cloud, such as in OneDrive. This useful feature is not without security risks, however. If a file stored locally is infected with malware, OneDrive will view the file as changed/updated and trigger a sync to the OneDrive cloud, with the infection going undetected.
Office 365 Cloud App Security, a subset of Microsoft Cloud App Security, is designed to enhance protections for Office 365 apps and provide great visibility into user activity to improve incident response efforts. Make sure your organization’s security administrators set it up on your systems so you can detect and mitigate cyber risks as soon as possible.
Cybercriminals will continue to sharpen their hacking techniques, and your organization must keep up to protect your systems, apps, and devices. Call our team of IT experts now if you want to strengthen your business IT security.
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