Understanding Microsoft 365 Security OptionsBefore we study how to improve email security, let us discuss the default security features built into the Office 365 suite. Microsoft offers two email security options for Office 365.
- Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is the basic one and is included with the standard Office 365 license cost —The protection provided by EOP is considered a minimum level of security against malware and phishing. It is effective at blocking known malware threats. In EOP’s tests, signature-based antivirus controls stopped 100% of these threats. EOP also provides a reasonable level of anti-spam filtering, blocking 99% of unsolicited bulk mail, and EOP provides reasonable protection against standard phishing emails.
- Advanced Threat Protection (APT) — This is the second tier of security which offers more advanced security features. APT provides this protection through sandboxing through ‘Safe Attachments’, malicious URLs or web links protection in emails and attached documents by comparing the links against Real-time blackhole lists (RBLs) through “Safe Links”, and advanced anti-phishing protection. APT is divided into two tiers:
- Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (part 1) — The above-mentioned measures are included with APT Plan 1. It is available at Microsoft 365 Business Premium. It comes with configuration, protection, and detection capabilities:
- Safe Attachments
- Safe Links
- Safe Attachments for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams
- Anti-phishing protection in Defender for Office 365
- Real-time detections
- Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (part 2) — Plan 2 extends protection by adding threat trackers, browsers, and automated investigation and response capabilities. Plan 2 comes with Office 365 E5, Office 365 A5, and Microsoft 365 E licenses. Part 2 comes with Defender for Office 365 Plan 1 capabilities
- Threat Trackers
- Threat Explorer
- Automated investigation and response
- Attack Simulator
Layered Security: Improves Protection Against Sophisticated Email AttacksThe key to good Office 365 email security is layered defence. By adding different layers to your defences, you can ensure that when one detection mechanism fails to detect a threat, other mechanisms are in place to provide protection. It’s not wise to rely on just one cybersecurity provider to provide complete security. Combining solutions from multiple vendors increases the likelihood of detected threats. Companies that keep their emails on-premises usually use multiple cybersecurity protections, and multiple vendors rarely provide the same security solutions. A similar approach is to secure cloud-based email using cloud-based security solutions from different vendors. Most cybersecurity companies have developed Office 365 email security solutions that can be layered on top of Office 365 protection to provide better protection against Microsoft defender for office 365 login threats.
Office 365 Email Security ChecklistAsides from improving anti-spam, anti-phishing, and anti-malware protection with advanced security solutions, there are several other steps you need to take to improve Office 365 email security. Below is a list of other protections that enable your Office 365 account.
- Make sure multi-factor authentication is enabled to prevent leaked credentials from being used to access Office 365 accounts.
- Enable mailbox audit logging.
- Ensure SPF, DKIM and DMARC are enabled to identify and block email spoofing attacks.
- Disable automatic forwarding of mailboxes to remote domains.
- Disable POP3 or IMAP4 access to mailboxes in Exchange Server.
- Prevent shared email accounts from logging in.
- Disable macros on all devices.
- Click-time protection against malicious hyperlinks in emails with a web filtering solution.
- Enable Office 365 Message Encryption or use a third-party email encryption solution.
- Create an email retention policy and reduce the number of emails stored in the mailboxes using an email archiving solution.
- Prevent accidental sharing of sensitive data via email by creating a data loss prevention policy.
- Ensure your employees are provided with regular email security awareness training.
Need Help Setting Up Your Office 365 Email Security For Your Business?
Speak To An Expert At ArravoAt Arravo, our security advisory team can evaluate your entire IT infrastructure for susceptibilities and verify that your policies and procedures meet the latest industry best practices. We offer various security solutions and services, including Security Advisory, Governance Services, and vulnerability assessments. Security monitoring and detection services, Network Security, Security Operations Center, Endpoints security, perimeter security, application and email security, and Cloud Security. Featured Image Source: ClipartMax
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