Microsoft’s Office 365 is one of the most powerful business productivity tools today. This cloud-hosted suite lets users work anywhere and collaborate easily. Although it’s undoubtedly useful, Office 365 may present a few security challenges that businesses must address.
Vulnerabilities in SharePoint
Businesses typically use SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint sites to store sensitive data like personally identifiable data. Failing to secure SharePoint content against unauthorized users is one way to expose data and your business to malicious actors. And for companies that have to comply with regulatory authorities, there are serious consequences to data privacy non-compliance. To prevent this, limit administrator-level privileges and enable encryption. Set the necessary security restrictions per user for every application.
Unprotected communication channels
Launching phishing attacks and installing malware are two of the most common ways to hack into a system, but there are other paths of attack. Office 365 features like Skype for Business and Yammer, both of which connect to external networks, may serve as a medium for ransomware and other types of attacks.
Train your staff to identify potentially malicious files and URLs. Offer guidelines on how to handle and route sensitive files and communication to safe locations.
Security risks in dormant applications
Organizations using Office 365 won’t use all applications in it. You may use one or several programs like Word, Excel, and SharePoint but rarely use One Drive. Businesses and users that have not been utilizing specific programs should note that some dormant applications may be prone to attacks. This is why it’s crucial to identify the apps that aren’t being used, and have an administrator tweak user settings to restrict availability on such apps.
Like Google and other cloud services providers, Office 365 allows users to sync on-premises files to the cloud such as in One Drive. This useful feature is not without security risks, however. If a file stored in an on-premises One Drive is encrypted with malware, One Drive will view the file as “changed” and trigger a sync to the OneDrive cloud, with the infection going undetected.
Office 365 Cloud App Security, a subset of Microsoft Cloud App Security, is designed to enhance protections for Office 365 apps and provide great visibility into user activity to improve incident response efforts. Make sure your organization’s security administrators set it up on your systems so you can detect and mitigate dangers as soon as possible.
Cybercriminals will continue to sharpen their hacking techniques, and your organization must keep up to protect your systems, apps, and devices. Call our team of IT experts now if you want to strengthen your business IT security.
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