The current COVID-19 pandemic has made us all realize one thing – the power and need for cloud technology. From virtual meetings to collaboration over business-related data regardless of location, the cloud empowers it all. A common platform that unites many of us while we work from home is Office 365. Now known as Microsoft 365, it is a cloud-based version of Microsoft’s productivity suite, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and many other tools. It is quite popular amongst businesses of all kinds because of its features and simplicity.
However, when it is mainly about keeping the data secure, we all need to ensure we do things correctly. Although the experts have backed Microsoft Office 365 to safeguard data, there are certain best practices that you need to know and implement to ensure utmost data security. If you administer Office 365 suite in your organization, below are the best practices you should implement:
1. Use Microsoft Secure Score
Being a big global organization, Microsoft has its baseline to provide security with all its business tools. It gives Microsoft Secure Score – an inbuilt analytics tool that businesses can use to measure their basic security requirements. This tool uses machine learning to compare activities and features with the standard baseline. Accordingly, it provides a score to improve the implemented security measures and keep the data safe on the Microsoft cloud.
You can improve your MS Secure Score by implementing suggestions that this tool provides after a thorough analysis of your data, app, and devices.
2. Use Encryption for Office Messages
Many of us use Office 365 to send and receive business-sensitive information. For example, it is common to send business contracts, payment invoices, or confidential business plans to clients over email. All this information makes your mailbox a source of valuable data – a vulnerable target for cyberthreats.
Microsoft Office 365 comes with several inbuilt security features, encryption being one of them. The best part is you can configure the encryption conditions for a specific recipient or message. Based on these configurations, you can easily forbid printing or copying such information. The recipients must log in to their authorized user accounts or request an OTP to read the encrypted messages.
Also Read: Data Encryption as a Part of Cloud Hosting
3. Configure User Access Management
Certain documents that you create or send using Office 365 suite are not meant for all users. To ensure that only the intended recipients can access or modify such documents, you need to configure document sharing settings. Using these configuration settings, you can encrypt documents and keep them safe from unauthorized interference. A good example is using Google documents and a user/group of users to read or make changes in the shared files.
Doing this helps keep the data secure in cases of accidental delivery of information to the wrong users. You should also know that shared documents may get infected with malware. Hence, it is crucial that you hire third-party service providers for data backups to avoid various hassles.
4. Create Strong Password
For your Office 365 tools, many of us end up selecting a password that is easy for us to remember. While doing so, we tend to forget that such passwords are easy to deduce. The most basic method to keep your data safe and secure is to have a strong password that unauthorized users cannot easily guess.
While you set passwords for different Office 365 applications, make sure to keep the following things in mind:
- Set complex passwords that include alphabets (both uppercase and lowercase), special characters, and numbers.
- Set unique passwords for each application. Using the same password is riskier because it can give unauthorized access to all your accounts to cybercriminals if cracked.
- Change passwords regularly.
5. Benefit from Multi-Factor Authentication
Have you come across mediums that require you to confirm your identity by entering your details multiple times? They use multi-factor authentication – a security method that requires the authorized users to login via different means and complement password access for enhanced security.
You can set this type of user authentication for distinct users, requiring them to login using their registered mobile number or email address. This way, a user can access the secured data files only after their identity is verified through multiple authentication steps.
Given the current COVID situation where most of your employees must be working from home, you might not be able to know which user is logging in to the tools and from which location. This makes multi-factor authentication a beneficial security standard for the present time.
6. Backup Data Regularly
The team behind Microsoft Office 365 does its best to make the tools available without any performance lag. However, it is your responsibility to take regular backups of your data. You can also hire Microsoft Office 365 hosting providers for such needs. They will keep your data safe with:
- Automated data backups to a secure cloud storage space
- Accurate data restoration when needed
- The ease of migrating data from one account to another
Recommended Read: Backup as a Service: A Complete Guide
Do More with Microsoft 365 Hosting Services
You can make the most of the Microsoft 365 suite with our cloud hosting solutions. With Microsoft 365 hosting services, you can choose to host the suite on our high-performance servers, ensuring 99.995% uptime. Besides this, you can integrate other add-ons and business software on the cloud.
To connect with our cloud solution consultant, click here.