5 Tips to secure your Microsoft 365 environment

5 Tips to secure your Microsoft 365 environment

Migrating to a cloud-based Microsoft 365 deployment brings many business benefits, such as better remote working conditions, centralized management, and streamlined updates. But as with any cloud migration, it also introduces a host of new security challenges. While Microsoft continues to invest heavily in the platform’s service-level security, it’s still up to customers to ensure they correctly manage and enforce access controls.

To help you secure Microsoft 365, we compiled some useful tips you should follow right away.

1. Enforce strong login credentials

The convenience of being able to access Microsoft 365 apps from anywhere comes at a cost. End users often struggle to keep up with regular password changes and are often tempted to use weak passwords so they can easily remember them. Unfortunately, this also means they are far easier for attackers to exploit.

Azure Active Directory allows administrators to blacklist frequently used passwords and boost access controls with multifactor authentication. They can also configure conditional access by blocking login attempts from countries and regions where they don’t have any employees.

2. Enable logging and auditing

One of the biggest challenges in ensuring the security of distributed workforces is maintaining complete visibility into events across the network. Since you can’t protect what you don’t know, it’s essential to have a way of logging and auditing all access attempts and activities across your infrastructure.

Microsoft Azure Sentinel is a security incident and event management (SIEM) solution that resides in the cloud. It collects and interprets log events from Microsoft 365 and Azure, as well as other platforms like Amazon Web Services.

3. Create role-based access controls

It might seem easier to just give all employees access to your entire network and all its assets, but this greatly increases the chances of a data breach. Role-based access controls ensure that people only have access to the resources they need to do their jobs. After all, there’s no reason to give employees access to financial data if they’re in marketing or customer support.
Implementing role-based access controls is an important first step toward implementing zero trust security. When deployed correctly, it gives administrators the same level of security that they’re accustomed to in normal in-house office computing environments.

4. Deploy mobile device management

Mobile technologies now play a central role in business computing, even more so in the case of remote work and bring your own device (BYOD) policies. But as the number of company- and employee-owned assets used for work increases, it’s also getting much harder to ensure proper oversight.

Mobile device management (MDM) gives administrators visibility and control over their entire portfolio of mobile devices. For example, Microsoft ActiveSync can automatically wipe devices reported lost or stolen. Microsoft Intune takes things a step further by letting you manage all Windows 10, Android, and iOS devices from a web-based dashboard. This makes it easier to enforce security policies, such as device encryption and data loss prevention (DLP).

5. Use Secure Score to rate your efforts

The new Microsoft Security Center features a promising new feature called Secure Score. It uses machine learning to score the overall state of your security. The score is broken down to cover the individual state of your user identities, data, devices, apps, and infrastructure. While it’s far from being a comprehensive solution for conducting risk assessments, it does help you identify areas in need of improvement.

By reviewing your Secure Score regularly, you can rapidly identify opportunities to improve your cybersecurity and deploy new controls at scale without having a major impact on end users.

Online Computers provides safeguards that lock down your IT systems from intruders and internal threats. Our intelligent solutions are backed up by expert guidance tailored to the unique needs of your business. Call us today to schedule your first consultation.

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