As we all know, Microsoft Office 365 is used by majority of small, medium and big organizations for the official documentation purposes. Applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint are like the daily bread and butter for most of the people working in these Multinational Companies. Even as I type, thousands and millions of people are using one or the other of these applications for one purpose or the other. With a plethora of users working on these apps and sharing and collaborating with other users as well, security comes as a concern for them as they would want to secure their documents and data against any type of attacks. Now Office is commonly used a desktop application, so how can we make sure that our data is safe and secure? Lets deep dive into our options and go through the points in this article to understand our options to boost the security.
- Enable Multi-factor Authentication : MFA, also known as two-step authentication is a method that mandates the users to use a security code on a third party app on their phone to sign in to Microsoft 365. This is a critical first step to protect your business from attacks. Even if the attacker somehow has access to your password, he will need that additional code to sign-in.
- Protect the admin accounts : Admin accounts are the one with elevated privileges. You will need to setup a proper number of admin and user accounts. Also you should follow the principle of least privilege, which means that every user should only be allowed to access to the data which is required for them to perform their own jobs and nothing more.
- Use Microsoft Teams: With Microsoft Teams, all the files shared and the communications are stored in a protected environment. It is the best way to collaborate and share securely.
- Train the users : As they say, to each their own. Every individual must be responsible to protect their data and for them to do this properly, they should be trained through educational videos and courses. No one should share their passwords with their colleagues and keep their desks clean at all times.
- Protect emails from phishing attacks : Phishing attacks are most common in the corporate world and it is very likely that some user clicks on the malicious link in the phishing email as they are framed in an alluring way. Employees should be taught to separate the phishing emails from normal ones so that the phishing attacks can be nullified.
- Set sharing setting for SharePoint and OneDrive folders: Instead of using the default setting, the sharing levels should be set to a more permissive level. Also, keep reviewing and changing the setting on a regular basis to protect your business in a better way.
- Protect all devices: Every device is susceptible for outside attacks and it should be configured inside your network. The devices which are used for personal use but also contain official data should be considered as official devices and all the security measures should be applied to these kind of devices. You can use some other Microsoft web product like Microsoft Azure, Skype, AI, machine learning and more to grow grow your businesses.
- Maintain your environment: After the initial setup and configuration is complete, your organization needs a maintenance plan. You should track the users coming and going and keep prompting the users to change their passwords.
In conclusion, as an organization, we should keep the above points in check for making sure the data and documents are secure and every individual must take the responsibility of safeguarding the company’s information. The most secure information of any organization is most often stored in any Work or Excel document. So protecting these Office applications is crucial at any cost.