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How to Secure Office 365 Mailboxes?

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Security breaches are prevalent in the world of mobile and cloud in spite of our repeated attempts to secure users and their valuable information. User security gets compromised if a balance is not there between user accessibility and risk avoidance. With malware and data hacking attempts increasing every day, protecting your mailboxes against attacks in real time is a tough challenge.

Steps should be taken to prevent malicious attachments from messing up with your messaging environment. User security must be enhanced by hook or crook to protect your environment when users click malicious links. The chances of Office 365 data breach can be minimized by resorting to the following recommended practices.

  • Use Office 365 Cloud App Security

Establish policies in accordance with your business requirements to detect incongruous activities and initiate campaigns to probe into them. Set up notification alerts with Office 365 Cloud App Security so that admins can assess bizarre or anomalous user activity, that includes downloading large-sized data files, repeated unsuccessful sign-in attempts, or sign-ins from an unknown or dangerous IP addresses.

  • Secure Mail Flow

Activate this set of features in Exchange Online Protection and attain certainty about the sender identity of each email messages, and protect important conversations and files against malware, viruses, and malignant URLs disseminated through emails.

  • SPF Enablement

At the time of setting up of Office 365, a user is instructed to configure DNS to work with Office 365. SPF is a distinct record type which is used to inform other mail channels whether the email from is from an authenticated and protected system. SPF should be established to prevent spoofing. So, with a custom domain, set up SPF (Sender Protection Framework), DKIM, and DMARC.

  • Configuration of Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

DLP permits you to determine classified data and devise policies that restrict your users from sharing the data with the external users. DLP works across Office 365 including SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and OneDrive to prevent the users from being non-compliant with the policies. DLP helps to wipe out the vulnerability of sharing data fortuitously or intentionally.

  • Implementing Mailbox audit logging

By enabling this feature, you can browse the audit log in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center to seek out for the users who have logged into your mailboxes. It can also give information on actions performed by a delegated user, the mailbox owner, or an administrator. Mailbox audit logging is not enabled by default. You can activate audit logging feature for all user mailboxes in Office 365 by applying Exchange Online PowerShell.

  • Applying Customer Lockbox

Being an Office 365 admin, you can implement Customer Lockbox feature to control the access to your data by a Microsoft support engineer during a session of technical troubleshooting. Customer Lockbox lets you reject or approve the access request. On approval, the engineer can access the data. Once the problem is resolved, the request is closed.

  • Use Office 365 Secure Score

Secure Score, the Office 365 security analytics tool from Microsoft, suggests the methods of reducing risks in Office 365. Secure Score studies your Office 365 settings and activities, draws a comparison to the security standard set by Microsoft, and gives you a score. It’s a feasible way to kickstart the implementation of a number of enhanced security controls that Microsoft offers us.

What more you can do for Office 365 data security?

The aforesaid recommendations obviously help in securing Office 365 data. But these methods have some limitations. A third-party backup/recovery solution for Office 365 can resolve your concerns related to security and protection of your Office 365 mailboxes. Kernel Office 365 Backup & Restore is one such pragmatic tool that saves Exchange/Office 365 mailboxes as PST files. It executes both backup and import activities.

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.

This Office 365 Backup & Restore tool has many features that prevent loss of data and bolts on providing a secured solution. The software provides detailed reports after backup & restore and is compatible with all MS Office 365 Plans.

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