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The Most Common Mistakes with Microsoft 365 Security

So you’ve made up your mind on implementing Microsoft 365, or maybe you’ve already deployed one or more features. Good call! For large organisations, migrating to the cloud makes more sense than the considerable capital expenses of servers and data centres. On the other hand, small businesses enjoy incredible benefits that beat the inefficient free file sharing and email systems.

Many businesses consider office 365 an indispensable tool, and industry leaders recognise it as the most popular office productivity solution globally. Unfortunately, this reputation means that it’s also a common target for hackers.

Despite comprising vast built-in security capabilities that can sufficiently mitigate risks, several common mistakes might render your system defenceless.

Overview of Microsoft 365 Risk Environment

According to a revelation by statista.com, up to 47.3% of email traffic globally is spam. If you rely on Office 365, the email messages inside your mailbox mainly comprise those that have gone through the mail-filtering system for malware (spyware and viruses) and spam. The subscription probably has this system configured automatically, but administrators can tweak the particulars to fit your organisational needs.

However, hackers have become more cunning and are now leveraging social-engineering techniques to bypass the filters and breach your infrastructure. They’ve resorted to using deceptive practices to manipulate users to surrender their login credentials.

Microsoft Defender is a reliable cloud-based security solution that uses a multilayered structure that protects your email and data throughout your Office 365 Business architecture, including Microsoft Teams, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint Online.

But it’s not enough to use Microsoft Office in your organisation. You must also create comprehensive plans and tackle deployment challenges head-on. To achieve this, you need as much information as possible about what you should expect with the adoption. The more prepared you are before the transition, the easier the migration will be.

One way to stay prepared is by making sure staff understand the common mistakes that could compromise Office 365 security.

Common Mistakes with Office 365 Security

Here are the most common deployment mistakes that could compromise Microsoft 365 security:

Lack of End-User Training

Your organisation may overcome every other hurdle of Office 365 deployment, only to realise that personnel still don’t use the new platform days after launch. Staff may have difficulties or find it scary to try the tools without prior experience, leading to a lack of involvement on their end and difficulty to achieve their full value.

Proper communicating and adequate training is key to successful Office 365 adoption and enhanced security. Regular education will keep your teams current on the relevant add-ons and services for Microsoft and any other third-party vendor. So ensure you introduce your employees to the platform before migrating and offer continuous training on how they can boost efficiency and productivity with the new features and keep their data secure.

Lack of a Unified Goal

If your management or IT functions are on different pages concerning Microsoft 365 adoption, you may face significant deployment challenges that could compromise the software’s overall security. From day one, stakeholders must establish a unified objective and the specific timelines to complete the move. Work in unison to agree on the major deployment and security concerns with Office 365, and let everyone know what to expect.

No One to Take Charge

Although it’s essential to have every Office 365 end-user on board, there must be someone to take the reins in proper implementation. The job may sound easy, but one will require lots of time and have the right skills to deliver the highest security levels on your systems and communicate with stakeholders.

You may be tempted to delegate the software security task to your IT department, but it can be a mistake. Whoever’s in charge of the project should understand your goals and work to deliver the best outcome.

Rushing Data Transfers

You definitely don’t want to experience major data loss issues or difficulty locating content. But unfortunately, this is what you may go through if you fail to plan your data migration adequately and move one with haste.

It’s fine to start slow. When migrating data from your on-premise server to Microsoft 365, define what you intend to transfer and the migration’s impact on your organisation. A “hybrid migration” or a similar strategy that staggers file transfers to the cloud can be helpful.

Incorrect Configuration

Another typical Office 365 security pitfall is the improper configuration of your cloud applications to replicate their original on-premise setup. Email, for example, is considered a quick success for organisations that are moving to the cloud using the software. But users may end up frustrated by the new inboxes that lack the same configurations as the old ones.

The new system may lack the custom filters and rules regarding essential elements like email security, placing the system at risk.

Overcoming the Common Microsoft 365 Security Challenges

An entire hacker community is always out to compromise your cloud security. Without the proper knowledge of the common mishaps and challenges, you may fall victim. Fortunately, Microsoft offers lots of cybersecurity elements that you can leverage to secure your system and data.

For instance, multi-factor authentication can substantially boost your security. You can use conditional access policies to set specific security rules on your mailboxes and data. For example, you may use geofencing to set up mailbox access based on country. Another vital Microsoft security element is enterprise access that allows third party organisations to access your mailbox without using passwords.

The final vital security element is the logging capability. When configured to default settings, Office 365 usually has most of the logging settings turned off. But considering how important this element can be when conducting forensic analyses, you must set it up appropriately.

Unfortunately, most organisations experience difficulties with configuring all these security elements, especially those in sectors that aren’t IT-centered. But why jeopardise your cloud data and digital assets when you can get comprehensive IT support from Reliable Networks?

Partner with us, and we’ll conduct an independent third-party assessment of your overall Microsoft 365 security posture. We offer affordable rates. Reach out today for more details.

Gregory Olczyk

Author

Gregory Olczyk