The protection of crucial data is highly important. Microsoft Office 365 has a data loss feature that highly secures your data. According to research, four in every ten organizations are currently using or planning to implement this application. It’s no wonder Microsoft has deemed it necessary to implement the right safety measures for all of the application’s users.

Unfortunately, even with a slew of safety tools and compliance guidance, there are security issues that still exist. However, you don’t have to be a victim to this. Why leave your safety to chance? Here are ten security tips that will reduce data loss in Microsoft Office 365:

1. Encryption of Emails

There are companies that have written policies which forbid employees from publicizing a customer’s personal data or sensitive information. While this may not be a reliable solution, companies may alternatively choose to encrypt all classified emails. This not only secures the data but also prevents it from leaving the company.

In addition to this, files containing information like security or credit card numbers should not be shared. In order to ensure that encryption is successful, workers should be educated on this data protection method.

2. Creation of Policy Tips

The creation of new policies can help in establishing a system that satisfies the company demand. For instance, employees can be guided by policy tips anytime they want to send out messages. The use of a detection report is also efficient in blocking messages that contain confidential information.

Policy tips can also be directed to the Microsoft Office 365 compliance center. This ensures better protection for information. Data Loss Prevention Policy (DLP) can prevent impending data loss and also educate users on how to curb such security risks.

3. Use of Built-in Mobile Device Management (MDM) Features

Microsoft Office 365 makes it possible to keep your personal and company apps separate. This capability will enable you to set all the relevant device security policies, wipe data and even prevent unauthorized users from accessing any corporate data from your phone. Plus, all your Office 365 apps can be protected by the right protocols. The application has an easy to use Wizard-based setup which will allow you to maneuver and see all the devices that are connected to Office 365.

4. Enabling of Multifactor Authentication for Users

With today’s cyber-attacks being highly sophisticated, a simple password cannot protect you. In order to prevent any account breach, it is important to enable the Office 365 multifactor authentication for all users. This provides an additional level of identity check and prevents the violation of user data. Attackers find it difficult to maneuver a highly authenticated system. As such, you will always be assured of top-notch protection at all times.

5. Prevention of Anonymous Calendar Sharing

Microsoft Office 365 allows its users to share their calendar with other users. Although this may sound like a ridiculous data loss preventive measure, it is one that should be taken seriously. For instance, if the CEO chooses to share his calendar, attackers on the lookout may perform a reconnaissance about the organization before launching the data attack. Public calendars will enable these attackers to understand how the company works and determine users who are more vulnerable. This should not be disregarded.

6. Migrating Public Folders

While public folders are designed for easy access and offer an efficient way of sharing information, they still pose the highest security risk. As these folders are used by many people simultaneously, they can cause the loss of unrecoverable data if various individuals carelessly handle them.

As such, the folders should be migrated in order to enhance business productivity and security. As a business owner, you can migrate public folders to Office 365 with a Public Folder Migrator like ExchangeSavvy. It has a zero-downtime migration process and it is highly reliable.

7. Deployment of a Cloud Access Security Broker

Sensitive data leakage is a big concern for many companies that have fully adopted Office 365. Therefore, the deployment of a cloud access security broker is important as far as supporting cloud-based data loss prevention is concerned. Unauthorized access of sensitive data in OneDrive and SharePoint will be restricted. Finding sensitive data is the first step and the use of a block policy is the way to prevent it from leaking.

8. Compliance Management

It is highly important for employees to have the ability to move data around without a documented trace. This is because some of them disclose sensitive passwords to each other and even release security numbers. In order to effectively manage a company’s compliance, securing information is crucial. Fortunately, Microsoft Office 365 provides a reliable compliance center.

9. The use of Different Browsers and Anonymous Modes to Check URLs

When using Microsoft Office 365, there is always the possibility of data leakage. For instance, if a free account is created and then later switched to a paid business subscription, Microsoft may confuse the accounts and share the content in the paid subscription account with the trial account.

This automatically poses a security risk. Once this is recognized, different browsers and anonymous URLs should be used.

10. Apply Session Timeouts

Many employees tend to leave unlimited login durations open. This could lead to unfettered access, especially because attackers are willing to take riskier approaches. They can simply open your computer and access all sensitive data. This commonly applies to emails, social media accounts, internal networks and even banking. It leads to the compromising of company or client data. The attacker can change passwords and tamper with important contact details. By applying timeouts, the system will automatically log out and the user will have to take a re-authentication action.

Conclusion

Through Microsoft Office 365, users have to enjoy a certain level of freedom when sharing critical information for workflows to be efficient. But this freedom comes with risks. In order to ensure these critical data protection measures work, it is important to understand the gamut of attitudes and behavior of the people that work together within your organization. Only in this way will you be able to identify the proper security steps that should be taken.

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.