Microsoft understands the value of business data and the costly repercussions of losing it. That’s why they’ve released a slew of security and compliance tools for Microsoft 365 subscribers. But given the increasing sophistication and frequency of data breaches, these cloud security solutions aren’t enough to protect your files. You’ll need to follow these seven security tips to prevent data loss in Microsoft 365.
Take advantage of policy alerts
Establishing policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center can help you meet your company’s data security obligations. For instance, policy tips can pop up to warn employees about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts who aren’t listed in the company network. They can also be configured to alert on specific information like social security numbers. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.
Secure mobile devices
Since personal smartphones and tablets are often used to access work email, calendar, contacts, and documents, securing them should be a critical part of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.
Use multi-factor authentication
Don’t rely on a single password to safeguard your Microsoft 365 accounts. To reduce the risk of account hijacking, you must enable multi-factor authentication. This feature makes it difficult for hackers to access your account since they not only have to guess user passwords, but also provide a second authentication factor like a temporary SMS code. We recommend setting up multi-factor authentication whenever possible and use a multi-factor application, like google authenticator, when possible.
Apply session timeouts
Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorized users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365, email accounts, and internal networks, the system will automatically log users out after 10 minutes, preventing hackers from opening company workstations and accessing private information. You can also set web browsers to clear active session when closed to protect all your other accounts.
Avoid public calendar sharing
Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing features allow employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues’. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.
Employ role-based access controls
Another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your company is access management. This lets you determine which user (or users) have access to specific files in your company. For example, front-of-house staff won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimizing data leaks.
Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.
While Microsoft 365 offers users the ability to share data and collaborate, you must be aware of potential data security risks at all times. When you partner with us, we will make sure your Microsoft 365 is secure. If you need help keeping up with ever-changing data security and compliance obligations, we can assist you there, too! Contact us today for details.
Our team can help your business implement these and other security measures to prevent data loss. Give us a call to find out how.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution, also provides expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing and Unified Communication Solutions.