Most Common Microsoft Office 365 Security Risks and How to Avoid Them

Microsoft Office 365 is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to collaboration in the workplace. However, it isn’t enough to decide that it’s the right choice for your business. You need to plan and tackle the deployment process head-on, which includes identifying security risks associated with the software.

The more prepared you are before migrating to Microsoft Office 365, the easier the transition will be for you and your employees. That said, you need to remember that just like any other IT software, Microsoft Office 365 has its share of security risks. Be aware of these risks so you can effectively prevent them. Here are some of the more common Office 365 security risks users should know:

Malicious Links and Phishing

Microsoft always tries to stay ahead of cyber threats; for the most part, it can deflect the most common types of online security threats.

However, it’s also worth noting that Office 365 is a platform that’s too large to be fully agile during security updates. This opens the possibility of highly-targeted cyber attacks on your system. One way to avoid this is by training users on how to safely use the software.

Cloud Vendors

Like the phishing emails that successfully steal information because they look very authentic, cloud vendors that seem legitimate need to be secured before implementation.

Microsoft Office 365 can benefit a lot from companies like Veracode, which test third-party apps before you link them to your platform. This prevents any security breach from taking place during or after the migration process.

Unauthorized Admin Access

The unauthorized admin access security threat in Office 365 and the SAML vulnerability are practically the same in that the most sensitive and critical data can be accessed. Once your organization makes the move to Microsoft Office 365, make sure that you have fortified protocols for data security.

Outdated Software/Apps

Outdated software presents a high security risk for many smaller and non-profit organizations. For instance, an outdated software like Office 2007 has lower security thresholds – leaving your data vulnerable during a migration. Before making the switch, don’t forget to install available updates and patches on any existing software you have.

Loss of Data

Instead of traditional backup methods, Microsoft uses replication. This means they cannot guarantee that all your files will be accessible if the data has been compromised by accidental deletion or ransomware.

The last thing you want right after an Microsoft Office 365 rollout is to deal with data loss or inability to find your files. When moving data, determine what you want to move, and think about the impact it will have on your organization.

Third-Party ESPs

Microsoft’s wide range of platforms and products function best together. When your organization uses a third-party email service provider, you are at risk of phishing, spoofing, and other email-based cyber threats.

While your ESP has DMARC, SPF, and DKIM protocols set up, even the most advanced email security can be broken down if your ESP doesn’t match your platform. A great way to protect your business from these email-based threats is to use Microsoft Exchange as your ESP during a Microsoft Office 365 migration.

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