Microsoft 365 data loss protection: A quick and easy guide

Businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are turning to Microsoft 365 for the productivity-boosting benefits it offers. Many also choose the subscription service for its robust security features designed to safeguard against cyberthreats of all kinds. To make the most out of these functionalities and ensure your business data’s security, follow these tips.

Take advantage of policy alerts

Establish policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With these in place, your employees will receive policy tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

Secure mobile devices

Since employees often use personal smartphones or computers to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents — especially if they’re working remotely — securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.

Use multifactor authentication

Relying on a single password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Instead, enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts since they not only have to guess user passwords, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor like a one-time SMS code or a fingerprint scan.

Apply session timeouts

Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorized users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365 accounts, email accounts, and internal networks, users will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity, preventing hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.

Avoid public calendar sharing

Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing feature allows employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.

Employ role-based access controls

Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organization. It lets you determine which users have access to specific files in your company. For example, rank-and-file employees won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimizing the risk of data leaks.

Encrypt emails

Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.

Partner with us to ensure your organization’s Microsoft 365 accounts are always secure and compliant with changing data security requirements. Give us a call today — our team of experts are here to help.

This post was originally published on this site

Microsoft 365 data loss protection: A quick and easy guide

Businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are turning to Microsoft 365 for the productivity-boosting benefits it offers. Many also choose the subscription service for its robust security features designed to safeguard against cyberthreats of all kinds. To make the most out of these functionalities and ensure your business data’s security, follow these tips.

Take advantage of policy alerts

Establish policy notifications in Microsoft 365’s Compliance Center to help you meet your company’s data security obligations. With these in place, your employees will receive policy tips about sending confidential information anytime they’re about to send messages to contacts outside of the company network. These preemptive warnings can prevent data leaks and also educate users on safer data sharing practices.

Secure mobile devices

Since employees often use personal smartphones or computers to access their work email, calendar, contacts, and documents — especially if they’re working remotely — securing employee-owned devices should be a critical part of protecting your organization’s data. Installing mobile device management features for Microsoft 365 enables you to manage security policies and access permissions/restrictions, and remotely wipe sensitive data from mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.

Use multifactor authentication

Relying on a single password to protect your Microsoft 365 accounts could lead to account hijacking, which could put your data at risk of being compromised. Instead, enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA requires users to supply additional credentials on top of a password before they can access their accounts. This makes it difficult for hackers to access your accounts since they not only have to guess user passwords, but they also need to provide a second authentication factor like a one-time SMS code or a fingerprint scan.

Apply session timeouts

Many employees usually forget to log out of their Microsoft 365 accounts and keep their computers or mobile devices unlocked. This could give unauthorized users unfettered access to company accounts, allowing them to steal sensitive data. By applying session timeouts to Microsoft 365 accounts, email accounts, and internal networks, users will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity, preventing hackers from taking over users’ devices and accessing private information.

Avoid public calendar sharing

Microsoft 365’s calendar sharing feature allows employees to share and sync their schedules with their colleagues. However, publicly sharing this information is a bad idea because it helps attackers understand how your company works, determine who’s away, and identify vulnerable users. For instance, if security administrators are publicly listed as “Away on vacation,” an attacker may see this as an opportunity to unleash malware on unattended computers.

Employ role-based access controls

Access management is another Microsoft 365 feature that will limit the flow of sensitive data across your organization. It lets you determine which users have access to specific files in your company. For example, rank-and-file employees won’t be able to read or edit executive-level documents, minimizing the risk of data leaks.

Encrypt emails

Encrypting classified information is your last line of defense against data breaches. If hackers intercept your emails, encryption tools will make files unreadable to unauthorized recipients. This is a must-have for Microsoft 365, where files and emails are shared on a regular basis.

Partner with us to ensure your organization’s Microsoft 365 accounts are always secure and compliant with changing data security requirements. Give us a call today — our team of experts are here to help.

This post was originally published on this site

Protecting Your Business from Cyber-Criminals

Even small businesses can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which can compromise not only your company’s integrity, but possibly result in leaks of sensitive information, proprietary secrets, financial data, and client information. Ensuring your computer systems and online activities are protected will be an asset for you and your customers. B.S. Consulting offers a range of resources that can help keep your business operating in a safe and secure manner.

What is Cyber-Crime?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cybercrime includes activities like email scams, identity theft, and the installation of ransomware that holds data captive in exchange for monetary payment. Malware and viruses can also compromise or shut down your network. Some types of cyber-crime are highly sophisticated, which makes them even tougher to identify and eradicate. Your best defense, in this case, is a good offense. Making sure your systems are secure and that you’re alerted to suspicious activity will keep you, your business, and your customers protected.

What’s the Damage of Cyber-Crime?

On the low end of the spectrum, small attacks can result in slow-operating systems, glitches, corrupted files, and reduced productivity. On the higher end of the scope, cyber-crime can be financially devastating for you or your clients. You also run the risk of having your reputation ruined if you have a data breach. Consumers need to know the companies they do business with are protecting their personal and financial information, so guarding against cyber threats is a critical function of business operations. 

How Criminals Target Businesses

The majority of cyber-crime is financially motivated, so hackers and bad actors look for opportunities to steal money. This might be in the form of lifting identities and getting new credit or access to finances under those names. Skimming credit card data is another approach, while phishing scams that trick people into sending money under the guise of legitimacy are another. Criminals may also target wealthy individuals, as well as businesses that have wealthy clients or are likely to have financial information for clients in their databases. Criminals look for unprotected systems that are easy to access.

Why You Must Train Employees

Having anti-cyber-crime protocols in place can help reduce your company’s vulnerability. According to PC Mag, instruct employees about proper online activity and information protection. Also, be detailed in explaining what type of information is shareable and what is not, and institute strict password guidelines to help reduce the potential for botnets that spread malware. Staffers should also be instructed to immediately report any activity that appears unusual or suspicious. If you have an IT staffer or consultant, regularly-scheduled diagnostic system reviews can also help identify areas of concern.

Be Proactive in Protecting Networks

Preparation is key to reducing the potential for security breaches. In addition to training employees, back up your systems regularly and update software as necessary. If you aren’t a cybersecurity expert, enlists the services of someone who is. This is a rapidly evolving field, and professionals who work in it every day are up to speed on relevant best practices. Consider hiring a freelance cybersecurity professional from a reputable job board. Weigh reviews, delivery time, and cost before retaining someone’s services.

The world of cyber-crime is continually advancing, evolving, and becoming more and more sophisticated. To protect yourself, your business, and your clients, ensuring the security of your networks is an issue of paramount importance. If you are hacked or otherwise infiltrated, fast action is a necessity. Contact B.S. Consulting to learn more about the best ways to prevent and appropriately respond to cybercrime activity in your business. Call (512) 434-0611 or reach out via email.

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