5 Ways you can keep your Microsoft 365 environment secure

5 Ways you can keep your Microsoft 365 environment secure

Microsoft 365 is the most dependable cloud platform for many businesses today. It includes top-notch productivity and communication tools as well as an array of robust security measures, including advanced threat protection systems, firewalls, physical security protocols, and regular backups.

But even though Microsoft 365 is equipped with built-in protective measures, you and your team should also take preventive steps to secure your company's valuable assets. Here are five foolproof methods for protecting your Microsoft 365 environment:

Enable multifactor authentication (MFA)

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security measure that requires users to provide more than just a password to prove their identity. This can be a one-time passcode generated by an app or even biometric scans. By implementing MFA, you will have an added layer of protection against cybercriminals attempting to access your network using stolen credentials.

To enable MFA in Microsoft 365, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your company’s Azure Active Directory admin center.
  2. Go to Properties > Manage Security defaults.
  3. Click Yes under the enable security defaults option, then press Save.

With MFA enabled, the next time your users attempt to access their accounts, they'll be asked to set up a second authentication method for added security.

Disable email auto-forwarding

Email auto-forwarding is a common tactic employed by malicious actors to steal confidential data from unsuspecting users. By setting up forwarding rules on compromised 365 accounts, hackers can divert all emails to an external inbox that they control. In more targeted approaches, attackers may choose to only forward emails that contain keywords that would interest or grab the receiver’s attention, such as "password," “invoice,” “VPN,” or "account number."

Here’s how to disable email auto-forwarding in Microsoft 365 and prevent hackers from exploiting this feature.

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft 365 admin center.
  2. Go to Exchange > mail flow > rules and click on the + sign to create a new rule.
  3. Click on More options on the rules tab and provide a name for your new rule.
  4. Open the drop-down menu for the apply this rule if option.
  5. Select the sender, then the is external/internal option.
  6. Choose the Inside the organization option when the select sender location pop-up appears, then click OK.
  7. Click on the add condition button and choose The message properties, then include the message type from the drop-down menu.
  8. From the select message type pop-up dialog box, choose Auto-forward, then click OK.
  9. Open the Do the following drop-down, and choose Block the message, then the reject the message and include an explanation option.
  10. Enter your explanation on the specify a rejection reason pop-up and click OK.
  11. Scroll to the bottom of the new rule page and click on Save.

Implement data loss prevention policies

Microsoft 365 can use data loss prevention (DLP) policies to prevent classified information from being shared outside your company. When you activate DLP, Microsoft 365 searches your network for confidential material such as financial documents, private records, and Social Security numbers to ensure that there is no unauthorized access or risk of exposure of the said data.

You can then determine which protective measure Microsoft 365 will take. For example, you can choose to block outbound sharing of private data or to encrypt the information before it is sent. These and other similar security measures can help mitigate potential internal leaks and keep your company's data secure.

Limit the use of administrator accounts

Administrative accounts should not be used regularly, as these are an unnecessary and dangerous security risk. The continual use of these elevated privileges puts users in danger of being targeted by phishing attacks or having their passwords hacked. Administrators should have standard user accounts for everyday use and only rely on their admin account when it is necessary to accomplish tasks related to job roles.

Conduct training seminars

No matter how extensively you invest in cybersecurity solutions, your Microsoft 365 environment is still vulnerable to human error. Unsuspecting employees can easily put your entire system at risk by setting weak passwords or clicking on malicious links sent via phishing emails. For this reason, it's essential that you provide regular training to all of your staff on security best practices.

Cybersecurity awareness training covers a wide range of topics, including how to identify phishing emails, how to create strong passwords, how to protect sensitive information, and how to report security incidents. By training employees in cybersecurity, organizations can create a strong culture of security, minimize the risk of data breaches, and enhance their overall security posture.

Are you looking for a reliable security solution for your Microsoft 365 system? At Kortek Solutions, our team of experts will customize your environment to keep cybercriminals from stealing your valuable data. Call us today at 702-242-4862.