With increasingly more companies moving from an on-premises environment to the cloud, Microsoft 365 has become one of the most widely used cloud productivity suites in the world. Microsoft 365 enables seamless communication and collaboration on projects from anywhere and anytime. With an increase in important files and communications being stored on the cloud, there are some security risks to be aware of to ensure your data is not vulnerable to becoming compromised.

Top Microsoft 365 Security Risks

Some of the main security risks to Microsoft 365 include:

  • Privilege escalation
    As Microsoft 365 doesn’t allow for granular control over access permissions, oftentimes users end up with more access than they actually need. The higher the number of people with access to sensitive information, the higher the likelihood that it can be lost, stolen, or exposed to unauthorized parties, even by accident.
  • External file sharing
    Microsoft Teams and SharePoint have made it extremely easy to share files and folders with external users. However, sometimes a link might not be set to expire, or might allow unauthorized users to share or edit it with anyone else on the internet, increasing the risk of unauthorized disclosure of data.
  • Account compromisation
    Attackers often use phishing email tactics with malware to gain access to administrator accounts, which usually have the highest permissions to change important settings, disable security features, and add new users. If personal information is shared with an attacker, they could potentially gain access to an admin account and compromise organizational security.
  • Lack of multi-factor authentication
    Even having a strong password that is difficult to guess is not enough, as we know hackers can use other methods to try to gain access to sensitive information. Lacking multi-factor authentication on all accounts, but especially administrator accounts, increases the likelihood that bad actors can gain access to accounts across your organization.
  • Data exfiltration
    Attackers can exploit certain Microsoft applications, such as Power Automate, to create workflows that exfiltrate data from other applications like SharePoint and OneDrive. Data exfiltration is usually one of the later stages of an attack and can have devastating consequences for organizations.

Mitigating Microsoft 365 Security Risks

While there are quite a few security risks to Microsoft 365, many of these can be tackled easily. To improve your security, you can:

  • Give least privilege access
    Give users access only to what they need and keep the number of administrators on your account at a minimum.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication
    Add an extra layer of security by prompting users to enter a code or verify sign-in through an authenticator app.
  • Educate users on malware and phishing attempts
    Provide cybersecurity training to employees to ensure they can recognize what a phishing attempt looks like and to avoid clicking on suspicious links.
  • Improve Microsoft Secure Score
    Configure recommended security features, perform security-related tasks, and address improvement actions to improve your Secure Score.
  • Enable audit logging
    Use the Microsoft 365 unified audit log in the Microsoft 365 admin center to keep an eye on suspicious activities across all services.

By adding an extra layer of security when logging in and removing unnecessary permissions from those who don’t need it, you provide bad actors with less chances to get into an administrator account, significantly decreasing the likelihood of your data being compromised.

Work with Klarinet Solutions for Increased Cloud Security

We understand maintaining and improving your Microsoft 365 security to keep your organization safe in the cloud can be challenging, but luckily, it doesn’t have to be! Klarinet Solutions can set you up for success and provide ongoing cloud security services to protect your business and your people.

Get in touch with the digital workplace experts at Klarinet Solutions today to see how we can help you tackle the topic of Microsoft 365 security.

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