With the rapid transition to an increasingly digital society and a largely remote workforce, Office 365 use has skyrocketed, highlighting dangerous risks users face in the platform due to both its immense popularity and inadequate built-in email security defenses.

Catering to businesses of all sizes in all industries with various subscription plans, Office 365 now has nearly 300 million users active subscribers and the platform experienced a remarkable 21% growth of users in 2020. Naturally, cyber criminals are deeply invested in compromising Office 365 security, and the default email protection provided by Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) alone is ineffective in preventing sophisticated modern attacks. Despite existing protection, 40% of Office 365 users have experienced credential theft nevertheless.

Fortifying Office 365 email requires supplementary email security defenses designed to close the dangerous security gaps that exist in the popular platform with critical additional layers of proactive email vigilance. This article will explain why and how Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security is the perfect fit - designed specifically to seamlessly complement existing protection in Office 365 with multi-layered real-time protection, enabling businesses to enjoy the benefits of cloud email without sacrificing security.

Email Risk Is Abundant in Office 365

Office 365 users enjoy a selection of benefits including flexibility, ease-of-use and cost-efficiency - but they also face great risk without effective supplementary email security defenses in place. EOP alone does not provide complete protection against today’s sophisticated attacks including:

  • Spear phishing
  • Zero-day exploits
  • Fileless malware
  • Polymorphic viruses

Its defenses are static, single-layered and there are no preventative measures in place to safeguard against emerging threats. Rather, users must rely on updates and patches that are issued after vulnerabilities have been discovered- and potentially already exploited by malicious actors.

As Office 365’s user base continues to grow, EOP’s limitations become increasingly apparent, and its defenses face even greater pressure from cyber criminals trying to bypass existing protection. Threat actors are designing attacks specifically to evade built-in protection in Office 365 using stealthy fileless tactics and deceptive social engineering techniques to outsmart traditional security software.

EOP vulnerabilities are also a persistent threat to Office 365 users. Microsoft has launched a public bug bounty program for Office 365 to help uncover security bugs, an effort that builds some degree of security into the popular cloud platform, but also confirms the serious ongoing risk that vulnerabilities pose to Office 365 users.

Make Office 365 Safe for Business with EnGarde Cloud Email Security

Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security is exactly the type of supplementary protection that is needed to mitigate email risk in Office 365. The comprehensive, fully-managed security suite proactively identifies and blocks the most sophisticated attacks targeting Office 365 users in real-time, effectively bolstering EOP’s protection with critical additional defenses. EnGarde offers enterprise-class protection that is highly customizable and scalable to any size business, and designed specifically to seamlessly integrate with Office 365’s email architecture.

Multi-Layered, Real-Time Email Vigilance

Unlike EOP’s statics protection, EnGarde Cloud Email Security features AI-powered auto-learn capabilities that enable the system to rapidly adapt to evolving threats, upgrading its protection in real-time to protect against future attacks. The transparent, collaborative open-source development approach that Guardian Digital engineers uniquely employ results in highly effective phishing and zero-day protection for its customers. Emails gathered from millions of systems from around the world are used to identify patterns and perform large-scale tests on filters, and the results of these tests are then distributed back to Guardian Digital and incorporated into EnGarde.

EnGarde’s modern multi-layered design consists of a selection of advanced safeguards that work harmoniously to detect and block threats in Office 365. These key features include:

  • The SPF, DMARC and DKIM email authentication protocols are implemented to the fullest to protect sensitive information and prevent sender fraud and spoofing attacks.
  • Malicious URL protection defends against attacks such as phishing and ransomware that leverage malicious URLs and attachments. All links are extracted from Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, archive files (ZIP, AIZip, JAR) and other file types (uuencoded, HTML), and then undergo a dynamic real-time analysis in order to detect malicious URLs leading to compromise.
  • EnGarde tracks hundreds of thousands of message attributes including sender-recipient relationships, domain reputation, email headers and envelope attributes, as well as message content.
  • Predictive spam and virus detection using heuristics analysis (an advanced technique that scans messages for characteristics and behaviors that are unique to spam email) protects against polymorphic viruses and fileless attacks that otherwise go undetected by traditional security software.
  • EnGarde offers complete visibility into the security of your email and the threats targeting your business in Office 365 with an accessible real-time Dashboard. This interactive portal increases the level of security, effectiveness and cost-efficiency that our solution is able to provide your company, enabling better cybersecurity planning, allocation of resources and enforcement of company security policies, reducing your exposure to risk and providing granular control over your email systems.

Fully-Managed Services & Accessible Support

Businesses cannot rely on administrators to configure Office 365 to be 100 percent secure, but should instead seek the help of a reputable email security provider with experience and expertise in this critical area. Office 365 is too large and complex for companies to secure on their own, and a single security misconfiguration or improper setting could put the entire system at risk due to hidden complexities.

Choosing a fully-managed email security solution that offers ongoing expert system monitoring, maintenance and support can enhance the benefits that Office 365 offers, making the platform even more efficient and cost-effective by simplifying administration and reducing strain on your company’s limited cybersecurity resources. Managed services can also greatly improve security in Office 365 by ensuring that the platform is properly and securely set up and configured, and that the email security defenses your company has deployed are working as they should. Managed email security services are highly beneficial for all businesses, but are especially important for SMBs, who often lack adequate cybersecurity resources and expertise to protect against today’s sophisticated threats.

Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security is fully-managed around-the-clock by a team of security experts, and is accompanied by accessible, helpful support. Our experts work closely with your team to identify risks you face so we can better protect against them. We handle the setup and configuration of our security system and its integration with Office 365, and continue to monitor it closely to ensure that it remains secure. 

The Bottom Line

Businesses face great risk in Office 365 without the implementation of effective supplementary email security defenses and the accompanying expert ongoing system management and support necessary to ensure they remain effective in protecting against the latest, most sophisticated threats. It is critical that companies fortify Office 365 email with a solution that provides additional layers of real-time defenses, closing the gaps in EOP’s protection and safeguarding against threats such as credential theft, account takeovers and ransomware. Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security offers the multi-layered, real-time defenses required to make Office 365 safe for business.

Ready to reap the benefits of Office 365 without the risk? Learn about a threat-ready, fully-supported solution designed to safeguard your users and your critical data in Office 365. Get a Demo>

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