Taking the correct steps to secure your business with M365
Now, we know that, just because your business is smaller, it doesn’t mean that you are immune to cyber attacks. In fact, due to the considerably lower budget that most small businesses have in comparison to their larger counterparts, you are more likely to be attacked.
This led us to explore how we can secure our 365 environments. Most of our businesses rely on the power of 365 to thrive, so we focused on some of the most popular methods used by cyber criminals to attack your system.
In the remainder of this article, we will explore what the potential consequences of a breach are, and some different ways to protect your system to prevent them from happening.
What could happen if a breach is successful?
The extent of a breach could be disastrous, but that depends upon the goals of the cyber criminal – the most severe of these are:
- Business masking – A cyber criminal having access to your entire Microsoft 365 environment would be a disaster! They would have full visibility of your contacts and correspondence history – this means they can learn details about your business that should be kept private. They have unbridled access to delete or distribute that data, and full sight of not only who you do business with but also what sums of money are exchanged with those businesses. In brief, your system could inadvertently become a shopping list of potential targets for future attacks.
- Data theft – The file data you have contained within your OneDrive and SharePoint libraries could be corrupted, stolen, or deleted – this would be disastrous for your organisation, as not only could you be in trouble legally but you will also find it a hard task to earn back the trust of the customers whose data was lost.
- Sensitive data theft – The data you hold more than likely contains password credentials for third-party systems, or, in the worst-case scenario, bank details for your own business or your customers. Again, if specifically stolen this could be disastrous and potentially business-defining.
Microsoft 365 – The tool that makes it all possible
Microsoft 365 is a cloud ecosystem that makes work possible for millions of us around the world. It has been a part of our lives for decades now, and for some has been a part of our lives from childhood. Its day-to-day uses have become essential to completing our daily tasks. Over its years in service, its functionality has evolved to accommodate practically every circumstance. It allows for an influx of emails, so malicious emails will inevitably find their way through. You must secure 365; protecting that environment is integral.
Securing Microsoft 365
There are two main areas that need addressing in order to ensure that your system is as secure as possible. Let’s explore them now:
- A clear and concise policy around how users access and use Microsoft 365.
- The implementation of technical controls and defences within your organisation.
Technical defences can help you to combat cyber threats. They protect against:
- Your domain becoming a victim of a ‘spoofing’ attack with cyber criminals purporting to be your business.
- Phishing attacks being received or having their links clicked upon within emails.
- Malware, Ransomware, and other malicious file attachments being received or downloaded from emails.
- Email content or attachments being intercepted or viewed by unauthorised parties.
Your users are by far the most important line of defence to your system. Your system is fragile, regardless of what you spend on technical measures, and just one click is what stands between your business and potential failure.
Let’s take a look at some of the risks posed by your users in the way they interact with Microsoft 365, that depend upon:
- The ability to share files and documents
- The ability to share potentially sensitive information with email messages
- The level of system access and permissions assigned
- The complexity of their password and whether this password is unique to 365 or used as a general password across other services.
Microsoft 365 security defaults – what are they?
You can define security parameters for all of your users wherever they are on the globe, and they can be activated to enforce a number of procedures automatically. Security defaults are part of your subscription fee, so for those having used 365 for quite some time now – and having not used the defaults before – they will feel like a free addition to an already packed offering (they are free provided you are an organisation that utilises at least the free tier of the Azure Active Directory service).
Let’s look at what the security defaults include:
- Require all users to register for MFA (Multi Factor Authentication)
- Require all system administrators to perform MFA
- Require users to perform MFA actions upon certain actions
- Block legacy forms of authentication.
Implementing Security defaults – How to
- Visit your Azure Portal (https://portal.azure.com)
- From the main menu scroll to ‘Properties’
- Click ‘Manage security defaults’
- Move the slider across by clicking ‘Yes.’
When your users next log in to the system they will have to activate MFA on their accounts by entering a mobile number or another method of personalised identification – this is an easy process and is worth doing, because you just can’t put a price on peace of mind that your team are cyber secure and working in a cyber secure manner.
365 – A Secure and Safe Environment
4TC take time to understand the daily challenges that your business faces. We then provide cost-effective tech solutions to these issues that will help you save time, protect vital data, and enable you and your staff to be more effective with your time management. Alongside our proactive IT support, we will ensure that your staff are using the technology at their disposal in a way that works for them, whilst making sure that they are educated on how to use it as productively as possible. The right Cloud solution has the power to revolutionise your business forever – utilising your IT to its full potential is essential to guaranteeing that you and your business can thrive and grow into the future. If you would like to find out more on how 4TC Services can provide affordable tech management for your business, drop us an email or call us now for a full demonstration.
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