Essential Microsoft 365 Security Features

How to get the most value from Microsoft 365’s robust security features

Microsoft 365’s tools feature some pretty serious security protocols. But they’re not a magical solution. They work best when you use these features in a way that drives the best outcomes. 

Microsoft 365 is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and popular productivity suites around. And for good reason. Not only does the suite bring together a whole host of best-in-breed apps, it’s also incredibly secure, making it easier for businesses to protect their critical and confidential data.

However, as with most things, results vary depending on how the software is used. 

Microsoft 365 tools feature some pretty serious security protocols. But they’re not a magical solution. They work best when you use these features in a way that drives the best outcomes. This is the most effective way to protect your business against the risk of breaches, attacks, and cybercrime. 

Here are four ways to get the most from your Microsoft 365 security features:

1. Use multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides a second line of defence against possible attacks. This feature requires users to provide two distinct forms of verification to access the Microsoft 365 tools they wish to use. For example, as well as entering a password, they may also be required to input a one-time code sent to their phone. If a security breach compromises that password, hackers will still be unable to gain access to the account. 

2. Activate session timeouts

A session timeout automatically logs users out of a given Microsoft 365 tool following a period of inactivity, or when the app has been closed. If the user forgets to log out, nobody else will be able to access the session from the same device. Different Microsoft 365 apps have different timeout settings. For example, web-based SharePoint will log a user out after one hour of inactivity, while web-based Outlook will log them out after six. 

3. Utilise alert policies

Microsoft 365’s alert policies automatically alert you to any unusual account activity. For example, you may choose to receive alerts when admin privileges are changed. Or when an unusual level of file sharing is taking place, or a large number of files are being deleted. There are many alert options to help you track activity and take action if something doesn’t look right. 

4. Assign user permissions and privileges

Many tools within the Microsoft 365 suite offer role-based access control. This means that individual users can be given access to the specific data and app features that they need to carry out their tasks effectively. This helps limit the number of people who can access business-critical data and confidential customer information, reducing the risk of a breach. Possible permissions vary from ‘viewer’ – unable to make changes to data – to full administrator capabilities. 

Protect your business

Microsoft 365’s reputation for security is unrivalled. So much so, in fact, that it’s very easy to view the suite as the be-all-and-end-all of data protection. And in many instances, default 365 settings do reduce risk. However, at a time when cyber attacks are becoming increasingly advanced, it never hurts to take additional action to boost your resilience. 

At Reliable Networks, we help businesses get the most from their Microsoft 365 subscription, offering tailored support to enhance app security. To learn more about how we can help you protect your business, get in touch

Stephen Howe

Stephen Howe