Perform Secure Operations in Microsoft 365 (Office 365)

Microsoft Office 365, which now is called Microsoft 365, enables collaboration and data sharing through SharePoint Online, MS Teams, and OneDrive. While these applications are widely spread, there is still a barrier to adoption regarding security issues.

Microsoft is doing a great job of providing its cloud services. Moreover, cloud users must take responsibility in their hands for configuring and managing secure access and file sharing to minimize data leakage risk. Here are the biggest security issues.

Unauthorized or External File Sharing

Microsoft 365 allows your users to collaborate with people outside of your organization. Collaboration is through applications like Teams and SharePoint and direct file and folder sharing.

Files are shared outside the organization at any time, and they become vulnerable. With Microsoft 365, the user can share a single file or an entire folder, giving access to all the files existing in that folder and all its subfolders and new ones.

Privilege Abuse

Users often end up with more permissions than they need to do their job. Excessive rights increase the risk of data breaches because users may accidentally or intentionally expose or steal more data than they should.

Similarly, malware or hackers who take over a user’s account can access more data and systems than needed.

Global Administrator Account Breaches

Cybercriminals and hackers often target administrative accounts in their attacks to gain access to increased privileges. Microsoft 365’s centralized administration model allows all administrators to have global credentials that allow access to each user’s account and content.

If cybercriminals and hackers manage to take over a global account for administrators, they can change critical settings, steal valuable data, and let backdoors re-enter.

Disabled Audit Logs

By default, audit recording is not enabled in Microsoft 365; the administrator must manually turn on the audit. Similarly, to audit mailboxes, the administrator must enable mailbox auditing.

Understand that the audit log only shows events that occurred after enabling the audit.

Short Log Retention Periods

Microsoft stores audit logs for a short period of time, from just 90 days to a maximum of one year. Many compliance standards require that audit logs be stored much longer than that. For example, HIPAA requires diaries to be kept for six years.

The GDPR does not specify a detention period but requires organizations to investigate violations, which can take more than a year to surface. Until then, automatic audit logs are gone.

Ways to Overcome Microsoft 365 Cloud Security Concerns:

  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
  • Classify Your Data
  • Set Up Automatic Data Remediation Workflows
  • Minimize Privileges
  • Enable Unified Audit Logging
  • Enable Mailbox Auditing
  • Use Malware Protection
  • Defend Against Ransomware
  • Encrypt Email
  • Use Other Backup Tools

That being said, cloud providers have more resources dedicated to security than the average business. While you are ultimately responsible for protecting your sensitive data, there are robust natural security solutions for Microsoft Office 365 security issues.

Besides, third-party vendors with a robust Office 365 backup solution can help ensure a strong security grip throughout the infrastructure, not just Microsoft 365.

To address Microsoft 365 security issues, your organization needs to implement a comprehensive strategy to mitigate the most critical vulnerabilities. Many organizations implement third-party solutions to help:

  • Get deep visibility in their cloud or hybrid environment
  • Use a single console to manage on-premises access to the cloud and data sources
  • On the spot and investigate the threats that may result in data loss
  • Achieve, maintain and demonstrate regulatory compliance

Backing up Office 365 should be on any business list of priorities. Not all backup providers will ensure your data, and not all providers perform the way you need it.

A third-party Office 365 backup application like the following Office 365 Backup Software has all the functionality you’ll need in just a single tool.

This centralized application ensures that all users miss nothing. You can even view a complete audit log of each backup operation. It’s easy to deploy and manage your Office 365 data backup and recovery strategy.

There is even a version for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). This means that, as an MSP, you can offer your customers a value-added solution with Backup as a Service (BaaS). This is easy to implement, operate and charge, which gives you an excellent ROI.