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4 ways to improve your Office 365 Secure Score

Paul Weeden

Written by Paul Weeden

Founder & Managing Director at Foration. IT and technology fixer.

[fa icon="clock-o"] 31 May 2017 [fa icon="user"] Paul Weeden [fa icon="folder-open'] IT security, Microsoft Office 365

office-secure-score.pngWith high-profile cases of hacking making headlines around the world, more and more businesses are taking cyber security seriously and are stepping up their efforts to protect their assets and data.

To help Office 365 users in particular ensure the security of their organisations, Microsoft released Secure Score to the public in early 2017 - an analytics platform that assesses a company’s current security measures and suggests any possible improvements that could be made.

Providing you with a daily update of your security score and ranking your business’s online security against others’ gives managers and security experts the tools they need to boost their organisation’s defences. Microsoft themselves have said customers using Secure Score to monitor and adjust their security measures have seen their scores rise five times more than those who aren’t using the tool - and they’re keen to see more customers make use of it in the future.

Boosting Your Score With Actions

Logging into securescore.office.com for the first time, administrators will typically be met with their organisation’s current Secure Score, their maximum possible score, and a checklist of recommended ‘actions’ to immediately improve that score.

Sortable by both their potential effectiveness and their expected impact on end-users, these actions represent security features highlighted by Microsoft to help you prevent hacking and data breaches.

Here are four of the most commonly recommended actions to improve your Secure Score today:

  1. Enable Multi-factor Authentication

Even if you’re already forcing your users to make use of strong passwords, the prevalence of cyber attacks today means that user accounts can never really be too secure. By offering up multiple layers of defence against any would-be attacker, you can not only deter many attacks but make it much harder for even the most determined hackers to gain access to your data.

Click here to read more about setting up MFA on your Office 365 account.

  1. Enable Mobile Encryption and Passwords

If your organisation’s staff frequently use mobile devices to store or access secure data, it’s important to make sure that those devices aren’t a weak-link in your system’s defences. Ensuring each user’s mobile device makes use of a password can help to prevent physical access to any on-device emails or data. Encrypting all the data on each device can add yet another layer of defence, making any stolen data unusable by hackers.

  1. Thorough Data Auditing

Keeping track of what users are accessing, how often and when they’re doing so can be invaluable when trying to predict an attack and when assessing the extent and damage of one too. Auditing email use can help highlight any unauthorised access to Exchange Online accounts, as well as showing email access and actions by registered users.

Recording audit data and email use auditing are two separate actions in Office 365, but you can read more about how to enable them here.

  1. Restricting Global Administrator Roles

Although still common in many organisations, global administrator roles represent a significant weakness in many Office 365 users’ defences. Pooling too many admin roles in a small number of users can lead to hackers gaining access to large amounts of data with relatively small breaches.

Find out more about setting admin roles in Secure Score by clicking here.

Microsoft provides a long list of possible actions that you can consider when looking to improve your Office 365 Secure Score - helping you to tailor security to meet your own unique mix of services and user requirements.

Email Security Diagnostic from Foration

Paul Weeden

Written by Paul Weeden

Founder & Managing Director at Foration. IT and technology fixer.

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