This Office 365 security Guide contains a list of Office 365 security best practices administrators should implement to protect their data in Microsoft Office 365, one of the most powerful business productivity suites housed in the public cloud today. Many businesses today are either already running business-critical services and applications in Microsoft’s Office 365 environment or they are considering the move from on-prem to public cloud by way of Office 365. Office 365 certainly touts some really great benefits for organizations looking to move to the public cloud. As with any technology solution used for business today, it must be scrutinized for any potential security risks.
Are not public cloud environments immune to the common security risks to business data that lives on-prem? Hardly! There exists a huge misconception among many today that simply moving to the cloud eliminates many of the major security concerns that exist in on-prem environments. Microsoft has taken a few steps in the right direction in terms of security for its Office 365 customers. However, there are still concerning security gaps that exist in Microsoft’s Office 365 environment that businesses need to be aware of. Let’s take a look some of the security concerns as they exist in Office 365 today and why it is important for organizations to not take these lightly.
Best Practices for Office 365 Ransomware Protection
A common misconception among many when considering moving to the public cloud is the security concerns such as Ransomware that can have significant impacts with on-prem environments do not apply to public cloud. Many may think that since the servers do not exist in your own enterprise datacenter, the data that is contained on public cloud servers is untouchable by threat actors that may utilize Ransomware or other means to compromise data. However, this is an extremely dangerous assumption to make comparing security of on-prem with the public cloud.
Also, important to consider is the threat vector of file synchronization. Most public cloud environment providers such as Google and Microsoft provide utilities for synchronizing files from on-prem devices up to cloud storage. Microsoft’s One Drive on an on-prem device synchronizes changes to the cloud. It is easy to see how with file synchronization, security events affecting on-prem environments are easily extended to the public cloud. If Ransomware starts encrypting files on-prem, One Drive simply views the files as “changed” and would trigger a synchronization with the One Drive public cloud.
The only real way to know your data is safe despite any threat is data protection. Backing up your data and having backups that are resilient and stored off site effectively protects against any ransomware infection that successfully infiltrates your environment. While security is an absolute must and critically important to business survival in today’s threat-filled technology-centric world, there is no amount of security that can absolutely guarantee the safety of your organization’s data. Organizations today MUST account for and expect data loss at some point due to a ransomware or other malware infection.
Protect Office 365 Environments from Ransomware with Spinbackup
Spinbackup is an API-based CASB armed with machine-learning capabilities that provides superior data protection capabilities for Office 365 environments. When focusing in on backup and recovery of Office 365 environments, how does Spinbackup allow organizations to confidently protect data from ransomware?
Spinbackup provides the following backup and recovery benefits to Office 365 environments:
- Automated daily backups that can be configured to run 1x or 3x daily.
- Incremental backups stored in either Google Compute Storage or AWS provides a data protection solution that stores your data separately from the Office 365 environment.
- Security of data both in-flight and at-rest means your data is encrypted while it is in transit and when it is stored on disk in the cloud.
- One click recovery allows easily restoring selected items or the data in an entire account with a single click.
- Data protection notifications keep administrators alert to backup and restore events.
- Backs up not only OneDrive for Business but also Outlook, Calendar, and People backup.
- Makes data migration extremely easy by simply choosing a different user account during a restore operation. Granular files or entire data sets can be migrated to different user accounts.
- Weekly and monthly reports monitor status of your protected data
- Unlimited restore points.
By leveraging Spinbackup’s robust data protection solution for Office 365, organizations have a powerful solution to combat the threat of ransomware in Office 365. Be sure to check out Spinbackup Office 365 Data Protection by signing up for the free trial. Spinbackup Office 365 Data Protection allows businesses today to make use of the Office 365 public cloud, confident of their data’s safety despite the ongoing threat of ransomware.
Limited Backup and Recovery Options in Office 365
One of the glaring security gaps with most of the security add-ons from public cloud vendors themselves and third-parties is the lack of effective backup or recovery options. While there are many other crucial components of security that are generally covered by third-party solutions, backup and recovery typically is one area that is missed time and again or it is tossed off as the responsibility of a “backup solution”.
Many may not think of backups as part of security. However, backups should prove to be a cornerstone in design when architecting any security solution. For instance, if Ransomware activity is detected, this does not “undo” the damage to files caused by Ransomware affecting OneDrive Storage or even email. Even if the progression of the ransomware infection is stopped, the downtime that could result due to already damaged or encrypted files could be catastrophic.
With Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection or Cloud App Security, there are limited backup and recovery features for Office 365. With OneDrive for Business, customers can restore files up to 30 days that have been deleted, infected, or otherwise corrupted. However, business customers can only restore OneDrive files with this restore option and not other Office 365 services. The granularity of restores is also limited.
Organizations must have the ability to take effective backups of all business-critical services that are hosted in Office 365 infrastructure and also have the ability to recover files and services as part of their overall security strategy. Data protection must be a requirement for businesses looking to house business-critical data in the public cloud, including Office 365. There will never be an impenetrable security solution. Businesses must plan for and expect the day when data in the public cloud must be restored.
Data protection should play a key role in the security of Office 365 or any other public cloud environment. Additionally, threat responses and alerting provide only basic capabilities. While native Microsoft tools have come a long way, it is evident that more is needed in terms of securing Office 365 environments.
Spinbackup Office 365 Data Loss and Cybersecurity Solution
Spinbackup has certainly made a name for itself with its world class protection of Google’s G Suite environments. Businesses who have migrated to G Suite and looked for robust data loss and data leak protection, along with a very powerful cybersecurity solution, have found Spinbackup to be in a class of its own.
Recently, Spinbackup for Office 365 was released, bringing data loss protection to Office 365 environments. The additional cybersecurity features provided by Spinbackup will include Apps Audit, Domain Audit, Security Alerts. Let’s take a look at how Spinbackup protects your Office 365 environment data and the additional features and functionality coming very soon to the Spinbackup Office 365 cybersecurity offering.
Spinbackup Office 365 Cybersecurity
The forthcoming cybersecurity features, will include the Apps Audit, Domain Audit, and Security Alerts features that are already found in the G Suite offering. Spinbackup is a powerful API-driven CASB that uses machine learning to analyze and profile the Office 365 environment. Any anomalies are detected and flagged accordingly.
Third-party Apps Audit allows administrators to see the intent of applications that are integrated with Office 365. Which data do they have access to? What permissions are granted to the application? How is data being accessed? Is data being copied or downloaded from the sanctioned location in Office 365? Spinbackup gives Office 365 administrators the visibility to these types of concerns and issues.
With Domain Audit Office 365 administrators have a global view of all actions taking place inside the Office 365 environment. This includes:
- Installation of third-party apps
- Downloading/transferring data
- Data sharing
- Credit card data movement
- File Deletion
- Abnormal Logins
With Domain Audit, administrators have a searchable and filterable dashboard that gives tremendous visibility to all the pertinent Office 365 environment activities and this allows for custom alert configurations on various types of events.
Be sure to check out the Spinbackup Office 365 beta and try out the powerful Office 365 features in your organization. If businesses have been holding off on migrating business-critical services and data to the public cloud such as Office 365 due to data protection or cybersecurity concerns, Spinbackup effectively eliminates these concerns. It allows businesses to operate backups and security in Office 365 in a modern, machine-learning enabled, streamlined, all-inclusive data protection and cybersecurity solution.
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