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Summary: Securing Office 365 from data breaches demands vigilance. Strategies include Office 365 Cloud App Security, mail flow protection, SPF, DLP, mailbox audit logging, and Customer Lockbox. Leveraging Office 365 Secure Score and third-party tools like Kernel Office 365 Backup & Restore strengthens data security.

Security breaches are rampant in the mobile and cloud domains, despite our continuous efforts to safeguard users and their valuable data. Balancing user accessibility and risk mitigation is crucial to prevent user security compromise. The rising frequency of malware and hacking attempts makes real-time protection of mailboxes a formidable challenge.

Measures must be implemented to thwart malicious attachments from disrupting your messaging environment. Enhancing user security is imperative to shield your environment from potential harm when users encounter malicious links. Employing the recommended practices outlined below can significantly reduce the risk of an Office 365 data breach.

Use Office 365 Cloud App Security

Align your policies with business needs to identify unusual activities and launch investigations as needed. Configure notification alerts using Office 365 Cloud App Security, enabling administrators to evaluate abnormal user behavior, such as large file downloads, repeated failed sign-in attempts, or logins from unfamiliar or risky IP addresses.

Secure Office 365 Mail Flow

Enable these features within Exchange Online Protection to ensure the authenticity of email senders and safeguard critical conversations and files from email-borne malware, viruses, and malicious URLs.

SPF Enablement

When setting up Office 365, users are guided to configure DNS to function seamlessly with the platform. SPF, a unique record type, plays a crucial role in signaling other mail channels about the authenticity and security of the sender’s system. To prevent spoofing, it’s essential to establish SPF (Sender Protection Framework), DKIM, and DMARC with a custom domain.

Configuration of Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) empowers you to identify sensitive information and create policies that prevent your users from sharing it with external parties. DLP functions seamlessly across Office 365, encompassing SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and OneDrive, ensuring users comply with data security policies and mitigating the risk of inadvertent or deliberate data exposure.

Implementing Mailbox audit logging

Enabling this feature grants you access to the audit log within the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center, allowing you to track mailbox logins by users and actions taken by delegated users, mailbox owners, or administrators. It’s important to note that mailbox audit logging isn’t enabled by default; you can activate it for all user mailboxes in Office 365 using Exchange Online PowerShell.

Applying Customer Lockbox

As an Office 365 administrator, you have the capability to utilize the Customer Lockbox feature, which provides control over data access by Microsoft support engineers during technical troubleshooting sessions. Customer Lockbox empowers you to either reject or approve access requests. Upon approval, the engineer gains access to the data, and once the issue is resolved, the request is closed.

Use Office 365 Secure Score

Microsoft’s Secure Score, an Office 365 security analytics tool, offers recommendations for mitigating risks within the platform. Secure Score assesses your Office 365 configurations and actions, comparing them to Microsoft’s security standards, resulting in a score. It serves as an effective starting point for implementing enhanced security controls provided by Microsoft.

What More You Can do for Office 365 Data Security?

While the aforementioned suggestions are beneficial for enhancing Office 365 data security, they do have certain limitations. To address concerns regarding security and mailbox protection more comprehensively, consider opting for a third-party Office 365 backup solution. Kernel Office 365 Backup & Restore is a pragmatic tool designed to save Exchange/Office 365 mailboxes as PST files, offering efficient backup and import capabilities.

Some of the notable attributes of this software include

  1. Backup archive mailboxes, mailboxes and public folders.
  2. Import PST to archive mailboxes, mailboxes and public folders.
  3. Multiple Mailbox backup and PST import using CSV file.
  4. Backup of on-premises and hosted Exchange Server mailboxes.
  5. Incremental backup and recovery of mail data by skipping the previously saved data.

The Office 365 Backup & Restore tool boasts numerous features that effectively safeguard against data loss, ensuring a secure solution. Additionally, the software generates comprehensive reports following backup and restoration processes and is compatible with all MS Office 365 plans.