While Microsoft has developed and released many security tools for Office 365, more advanced ransomware and hackings require additional security procedures to avoid data loss and theft. Also, many people are not aware of these security tools and if they are, there is confusion about how to implement them. Knowing which Office 365 Security Tips to implement and which to avoid is important, especially when standardizing across all employees within a business environment.

Check out these Office 365 Security Tips to help stay ahead of the increasing sophistication of ransomware.


Implement Multi-Factor Authentication
A single password should not be the only safeguard for your Office 365 account. To reduce account hijackings, you must enable Office 365’s multi-factor authentication. This feature makes it very challenging for hackers to access your account because they not only have to figure out the password, but also provide a second authentication factor like a temporary, 4-digit code (which would be texted to your phone, for example).

It’s very easy to implement multi-factor authorization. Your Managed IT Service provider can assist you with this, if they haven’t already put this in place, or you can see this page on Microsoft’s site.

Apply Session Timeouts
Most people don’t make a conscious effort to log out of their Office 365 account nor their computer profile, or think it’s unnecessary. With an unlocked computer, mobile device, or 365 account, unauthorized users have complete access to company accounts, data, contacts, and intellectual property. By applying session timeouts to Office 365, the system will automatically log users out after 10 minutes, preventing hackers from simply opening the company-owned device and accessing private information.

Secure Mobile Devices
Securing mobile devices is now a critical component of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Office 365 enables your company or your IT Services team to manage security policies, access rules, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen. This will only become more and more vital as employees use their personal smartphones and tablets to access work email, calendars, contacts, and documents. Your Managed IT Service provider can also recommend additional mobile device management tools for layered, higher security.

Avoid Public Calendar Sharing
The Office 365 calendar sharing feature enables employees to sync their schedules with colleagues. Publicly sharing this schedule is a security risk because it helps attackers figure out some ways that your company works, who is out of the office, and the most vulnerable end-users. For example, if Jim, the Finance Manager is publicly listed as “on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash a specific malware or email attack acknowledging this and requesting something specific. An email could be sent to the finance assistant stating, “Hi Alex, I’m on vacation so I would like to ask you a favor. Please wire $3,500 to the following account to pay for some services we received from ABC Consulting. Thank you, Jim.” In the case, Alex may fall for it because it is so specific and accurate.

Implement Access Management
Properly implementing access management through Office 365 will help limit the flow of sensitive data to the wrong people within your organization. This is an area where your IT Support team can help plan and guide the process. Based on a business needs analysis your Managed IT Service provider can partner with company leadership to set the appropriate user access based on the roles and responsibilities of the employees.

Office 365 offers users the ability to collaborate and share data, but it’s important to be aware of the potential security risks with this. Encrypting classified files is an additional line of defense to secure your data. If a hacker is able to intercept your email account, encryption tools will make the files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Office 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.


Office 365 Security Tips from Parachute

If you would like to learn more about how these Microsoft Office 365 Security Tips fit into a Managed IT Service Plan, please check out this page. If you would like to see how Parachute can help increase your company’s IT security with Microsoft Office 365, give us a call today! (415) 762-0720 – We always answer the phone.