How to protect your Office 365 data

How to protect your Office 365 data

Office 365 is a cloud solution that provides an integrated experience of apps, services, and allows you to store files and collaborate on them, too. Aside from its variety of productivity features, it also comes with several security and compliance solutions. These solutions can help businesses avoid financial loss and legal repercussions in the event of a data breach. But even with comprehensive security tools, Office 365 still has potential security risks that users should be aware of. These following tips will help you avoid data loss and keep your business’s sensitive information secure.

Set up policy alerts.
Office 365’s Compliance Center allows users to implement policy notifications which can help meet their company’s data security requirements. For example, if an employee is ready to send confidential information, to a contact that isn’t in the company network, a policy tip can warn them before they decide to hit send. These alerts not only help prevent data leaks, but they also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

Secure all mobile devices.
Today, cellphones and tablets have become miniature pocket computers and are often used to access work information. Many people use their smart devices to access work documents, contacts, etc., therefore, securing theses devices is an absolute must. Every business should require employees to properly secure their device in order to protect the organization’s data. With Office 365, users can install mobile device management features that allow them to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions. These features also enable you to remotely clear data from devices if they ever become lost or stolen.

Enable multi-factor authentication.
It is never a good idea to rely on a single password to protect your Office 365 accounts. Multi-factor authentication helps reduce the risk of account hijacking by providing a second authentication factor such as a temporary SMS code.

Apply session timeouts.
It isn’t uncommon for employees to forget to sign out of their accounts and keep their smart devices locked. This sort of forgetfulness may give unauthorized users access to company accounts and confidential data. You can help prevent this from happening by applying session timeouts which will automatically log users out after 10 minutes and ultimately protect against hackers accessing company workstations and private information.

Keep away from public calendar sharing.
Office 365’s calendar sharing features are convenient for they allow employees to share and sync their schedules with colleagues. Publicly sharing this information, however, is never a good idea because it helps attackers determine who’s away and pinpoint vulnerable users. If a business’s security administration is listed as “Away on vacation”, and the calendar is public, a cybercriminal may see this as an opportunity to attack and send malware to unattended computers.

Implement role-based access controls.
Access management is another useful Office 365 feature in that it limits the flow of sensitive information across a company. It allows you to determine which user(s) have permission and access to certain files. For example, you can minimize data leaks by restricting office administrative staff from having access to executive-level documents.

Use email encryption.
Encrypting classified information is another measure you can take to help secure your data. If an email is seized by a hacker, Office 365’s encryption tools will make the files completely unreadable to unauthorized recipients. If you share files and emails on a daily basis, then email encryption is an absolute must.

While Office 365 offers productive services and gives users the ability to share data and collaborate, you must always be mindful of potential data security risks. At Online Computers, we will make sure your business keeps up with ever-changing data security and compliance obligations. If you need help securing Office 365, we can assist you, too! Contact us today for details.