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Microsoft Office 365 Security Tips On Why Basic Protection From Microsoft Is Not Enough

Microsoft Office 365 provides a functional platform for businesses and organizations to transition to the cloud successfully. The Office 365 suite is a collection of collaboration and productivity tools essential for modern business. In addition, Office 365 provides cloud storage, cloud-based document sharing, cloud-based email, and video conferencing tools.

Thanks to these tools and services, your organization’s online transition will be much easier and simpler. But there is one area where Microsoft is lacking – advanced security. Despite Microsoft offering numerous security tools and features, the suite isn’t capable of detecting all threats. By all means, these tools can stop most security threats, but the last thing you want is to leave critical data security down to chance.

What’s more interesting is that Microsoft states that data protection is the customers’ responsibility. Given that, it begs the question of whether or not Microsoft Office 365 security is enough.

We will look at that and give you the security tips to enhance your Office 365 cloud security configuration. With all that said, let’s start.

3 Tips to Enhance Office 365 Security

We’ve examined the basic protection from M365 and present a list of three tips to stop potential risks and security issues.

Set Rules to Stop Privilege Escalation

One of the suite’s core functions is the ability to give privileges to accounts. The most privileged accounts are the global administrator accounts. These accounts handle administrative tasks, which are essential for business continuity. Examples include allowing user access to apps, such as SharePoint Online, forwarding email messages from Outlook, and more.

These tasks, however, can compromise your cloud environment if the wrong people gain access to privileged accounts. So how do threat actors abuse privileges in Office 365? First, threat actors will launch attacks on your Office 365 environment by elevating the compromised accounts’ privileges to the global administrator level.

Then, they will use these accounts and perform a wide range of malicious tasks, such as data exfiltration. We can stop these threats by controlling access to those who can and cannot set privileges. Best practices and tips include creating separate accounts for administrative tasks and day-to-day tasks.

That way, administrators minimize the chance of getting their account credentials stolen by threat actors.

Setting Multi-Factor Authentication on Company and Personal Devices

One of the suit’s strongest security features is multi-factor authentication. This feature enhances threat protection by preventing hackers from accessing tenant accounts.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an app that generates a code to be used whenever users need to access their tenants. It is a tenant-level security feature that hopes to control access and enhance your Microsoft Secure Score.

The app is installed on a smartphone or tablet device. Then, users need to input the randomly-generated code whenever they log in to their company email or other Microsoft Office 365 apps.

Employees are encouraged to install MFA on both company and personal devices to improve online safety greatly. Despite being a core security feature, MFA is regarded as one of the most effective best-practice tips to improve Microsoft Office 365 security.

Use Total Protection Software to Stop Advanced Threats

We mentioned that Microsoft isn’t responsible for protecting your data. But the suit does offer numerous security features to stop advanced threats. Sadly, these aren’t nearly as capable of stopping threats as third-party tools.

Microsoft encourages integrating third-party tools for protecting user accounts and preventing data theft. These are specially-designed tools for Microsoft 365. So that begs the question, what can these tools do?

Most of these tools focus on detection. The tools rely on artificial intelligence to monitor endpoints and detect unknown threats. Once a threat has been detected, your security teams will be alerted. You can even modify these tools to deal with the threats themselves.

These tools can detect malicious files and malicious links sent through email, phishing attacks, ransomware links, and more. You can also monitor suspicious activity on apps such as Microsoft Teams, Outlook, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Exchange Online, and more.

However, not every third-party security solution is as capable as the next. So you’ll need to do your research to determine which one is best for your organization.

Is Microsoft Office 365 Security Enough?

Despite the numerous security features, tools, and apps, such as Microsoft Defender for Office 365, the suite cannot stop every advanced threat. While Microsoft Office 365 is stands-out from other cloud competitors, data security and protection remain your responsibility.

Therefore, we can safely say that the built-in Microsoft Office 365 security isn’t enough. Fortunately, we can turn to third-party security solutions to cover the areas where Microsoft lacks. These tools improve security by allowing you to create threat protection policies, conditional access policies, RBAC (role-based access control), and come with improved anti-phishing protection for your email.

These are some of the security features that aim to prevent compromised accounts from wreaking havoc in your cloud environment. However, considering how important data has become, organizations must find ways to prevent sensitive information from getting into the hands of threat actors.


Microsoft’s basic protection will only get you so far. Hackers are finding new and innovative ways to breach cloud environments and compromise information protection policies. To prevent hackers from causing data breaches, set rules for privileged accounts, use multi-factor authentication, and employ third-party tools for total protection.

Written by Marcus Richards

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