Microsoft Office 365 ensures forward-thinking companies can always benefit from the latest versions of Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, not to mention updated Exchange Online, OneDrive, Yammer and Skype for Business.

However, as security is becoming an increasing concern for organizations of all sizes, we are looking at the four best security practices to integrate into the cloud solution.

Protect Data from Threats

It is vital to secure your Office 365 from internal and external threats. Cybercriminals may attempt to steal or guess passwords to gain access to your sensitive data in the cloud, which is why it is so important to implement the processes to identify compromised accounts and take immediate action.

Unfortunately, it is not just external threats that pose a risk to your valuable data. Employees could unwittingly or maliciously threaten your data. For example, a negligent team member might download data from the cloud and upload it to another high-risk cloud service, such as FreakShare.

It is, therefore, essential your IT technicians monitor admin activity to ensure the cloud is protected. For instance, does an employee embark with excessive downloads? Have you noticed repeated login attempts from the same geographical location? Does an employee have the appropriate access for their job role?

Meet Compliance Requirements

It is believed that approximately 17.4% of documents within Office 365 contain sensitive company data. Therefore, it is unsurprising that security has become a primary concern for people considering or deploying the cloud service. This means employees or cybercriminals might hope to gain access to your financial information, trade algorithms, trade secrets, business plans or employee/customer data.

Every organization has a responsibility to ensure they are compliant with international data residency requirements. You must also aim to identify the DLP policies to implement within the cloud to improve compliance with privacy requirements and industry regulations.

Visibility into Employee Usage

It is vital you enforce a data protection policy across your organization to avoid deliberate or accidental data leaks or accidents. Unfortunately, many employees might be tempted to download files and share them to their own personal email addresses, such as Hotmail or Gmail. Other employees may also use “password” to log into the cloud, which will allow a hacker to enter your Office 365 environment easily. It is also believed that one in five employees write down their passwords on sticky notes.

Therefore, you must evaluate the deployed collaboration and file sharing services and their potential risks, as well as if any third-parties have been granted access to the Office 365 environment.

Secure Your Data with Encryption

Organizations will undoubtedly want to protect their sensitive data at every opportunity, which is why you should seriously consider encrypting data by using encryption keys that prevent third parties from accessing the information.

Data protection is easily one of the most successful ways to prevent the information falling into the wrong person’s hands. It is, therefore, essential to opt for an encryption service that does not interfere with the end-user experience, which is why we recommend the CloudFlex Encrypt Microsoft Office 365 solution, which can simplify the encryption process, provide a smoother user experience, improve security and will ensure your business meets its compliance policies.

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