How to Stay Safe as Microsoft 365 Hacks Continue to Increase
Ever since most organizations transferred to working from home or formed hybrid working environments, statistics for Microsoft 365 data shows an increase in breaches at a staggering pace. What was the most secure platform in the cloud is now the most vulnerable. The numbers show that these breaches have become too common for your comfort, regardless of the company size.
Most attackers intrude into the company’s systems using malicious code in SolarWinds, an IT product that enables them to access the business network. Then they break into the Microsoft email clients.
Microsoft 365 is still an indispensable platform for almost all businesses operating securely on the cloud. As the world’s most popular productivity suite, it is a perfect target for hackers.
To continue being safe, you can take advantage of the following feature of the Microsoft 365 platform that keeps out hackers.
Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Employees only had a single technique to verify their identities to log into Office 365. They use a username and password provided at the time of installation.
Due to human error and negligence, it is impossible to trust every employee to be diligent with their password and safeguard it from intruders.
Therefore, Multi-Factor Authentication helps to carry the burden. It is one of the most straightforward methods companies use to increase the security of their organization.
MFA combines various codes, passwords, fingerprints, or retinal scans to verify the user’s identity, preventing software breaches. If criminals can access your password, they cannot access the account without the other verification method(s).
Setting it up is easy as follows:
- Sign in to your Microsoft account
- Select more security options
- Go to two-step verification
- Click on set up two-step verification
- Follow the next instructions.
The administrator has to enable the solutions to set it up on a Microsoft 365. After signing in, you will get a prompt for more information. Click next.
The default security measure used is the free Microsoft Authenticator App that you can have on mobile devices. The app gives a specific code that will expire after a set period.
Or, you can have the code sent as an SMS by choosing a different method in the setup. You will input the telephone number and get a six-digit code to verify your accounts.
Use Dedicated Admin Accounts
The administrative accounts in the Microsoft 365 environment have various elevated privileges. It is the most valuable target; hackers and cybercriminals. Therefore, the admin accounts should also cater to administration processes. Admins should have another separate account to use for their regular non-administrative use and only use their administrative accounts when necessary for task completion.
Before using the admins’ accounts, be sure to:
- Set up multi-factor authentication for the admin accounts
- Close any unrelated browsers and applications in the system, including personal email accounts, before accessing the admin account.
- Log out of the browser sessions every time you finish the admins’ tasks.
Protect All Business Passwords
It is common for people to use the same password for multiple accounts for ease of remembering. However, it is one of the most critical security features that a company should consider. Use password managers to keep track of all your business passwords. Some are free of charge and can increase your business security level effectively.
Passwords should also be firm, without any common words and at least eight characters in length. Remember, hackers, always try to match digits and letters that can suit your password. Having unrelated words and more letters will reduce any chance of getting the correct password.
Protect Your Apps
Businesses need to use various apps for different purposes. Apps you find on the internet can pose security risks to your network systems. Always be vigilant of the kinds of apps you are installing on your phone or computer. It is best to get them from trusted sources and run them after scanning for malware or viruses.
When using Microsoft 365, use Microsoft apps to access your accounts as the most secure option available. Update your apps regularly to meet the required security standards. Most updates help to fix security issues and bugs.
Avoid Phishing Scams
Most attackers impersonate your service provider to get into your systems. They mostly use a trick like your Microsoft account has a security issue. Then, they tell you to reveal personal details such as passwords, credit numbers, or any information they can use to access your accounts. These emails also have malicious code in attachments that, if you download, will infiltrate your network.
You can avoid falling into this trap by knowing how to spot phishing scams. Most of them have misspelled words or incorrect grammar. Ignore anything that looks suspicious and delete it immediately. Also, Microsoft customer service doesn’t email clients with issues since updates are automatic through your computer system.
Train Your Employees
It is prudent to cultivate a strong culture of security awareness in your workplace. It is a critical part of layered protection against cyber-crimes.
Employees require expert teaching on maintaining their passwords, recognizing phishing emails, using the security features in their devices effectively, and understanding company security policies.
Security training is an ongoing requirement that you can instill information as you progress in business.
You can do it in-house or outsource training. Most people prefer outsourcing since the processes enable developing, maintaining, and updating your security policies and programs, including regular employee training.
Ready To Beef Up Your Microsoft Office 365 Security?
Take the first step to learn about how you can continue maintaining the security of your Microsoft 365 by using the above tips.
ECW Network & IT Solutions helps you have a thorough look at your Microsoft 365 and produce a report on any gaps you may have at no cost. We can then help your business understand how to take advantage of the in-built features. Contact us Today to get started.
ECW Computers is an information technology company. Headquartered in Deerfield Beach, FL, we specialize in providing unique, specially-tailored Managed IT solutions to businesses in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami and across South Florida.