The Remote Worker's Guide to Safely Navigating Office 365
- by Brittany Day
With a large portion of the global workforce now working remotely, many businesses have migrated to Office 365 to fulfill thier communication and collaboration needs, and to reap the array of benefits that these platforms offer - namely, flexibility, convenience and cost efficiency. Cyber criminals have matched this trend, directing more of their attacks at Office 365 email users than ever before. Here's what you need to know as a remote worker to reap the benefits of of cloud email without sacrificing security.
Office 365 Users Face Heightened Risk without Effective Supplementary Protection
The static, single-layered built-in email security features in Office 365 alone are unable to anticipate zero-day exploits, and have proven insufficient in safegaurding users against credential phishing, account takeovers and other sophisticated modern threats. According to Osterman Research, despite existing protection, 40% of Office 365 users have experienced credential theft nevertheless.
The FBI has issued multiple warnings regarding sophisticated COVID-19 related business email compromise (BEC) scams targeting cloud email users, and strongly urges businesses to implement critical additional layers of email protection in Office 365. Consistent with the FBI’s findings, Guardian Digital has identified and blocked more malicious emails targeting Office 365 users in 2020 than in any other year in the company's twenty-two year history.
Fortifying Office 365 email requires a layered supplementary email security solution designed to close the dangerous gaps in default cloud email protection, along with vigilant, secure behavior online and the implementation of the security best practices outlined in this article.
What Are My Risks Using Office 365?
In order to safely navigate Office 365, it is critical that remote workers fully understand the threats they face on a daily basis, including:
- Phishing: Cyber criminals are taking advantage of remote employees’ increased dependence on cloud email, and are launching sophisticated phishing campaigns targeting Office 365 users, many of which continue to exploit the pandemic. These scams employ highly deceptive tactics such as impersonating government agencies, advertising fraudulent vaccines and asking for donations. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, there has been “an increase in phishing attacks under the guise of coronavirus-themed emails containing attachments” - a trend that persists to this day.
- Malware: Threat actors are targeting Office 365 users with malware designed to infect and destroy their computers by wiping files or rewriting a computer's master boot record (MBR). This malware can be geared toward either destruction or financial gain.
- Insecure networks: Incidents involving insecure configurations of services and firewalls have increased, as administrators are taking shortcuts to enable remote access for employees. From dealing with insufficient bandwidth, undersized VPN infrastructure and limited availability of managed devices for employees to take home, many businesses are unprepared to accomodate a remote workforce - and network security has suffered.
- Office 365 vulnerabilities: Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) - the default security defenses provided in Office 365 - is glaringly inadequate, leaving remote employees vulnerable to credential phishing, account takeovers and other advanced threats. According to the FBI, 30% percent of phishing attacks make it through existing systems and are opened by target cloud email users.
Tips & Advice for Staying Safe in Office 365
We want to help you safely navigate Office 365 regardless of your current work environment. Here are a few tips and best practices to help keep you and your business secure:
- Implement a comprehensive, fully-managed email security solution that seamlessly complements Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP), providing the critical additional layers of security that Office 365 lacks.
- Choose a strong password and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).
- Ensure that Azure AD password sync is configured correctly.
- Enable mailbox auditing and unified audit logging in the Security and Compliance Center.
- Disable legacy email protocols (if not required).
The Bottom Line
We recognize that properly setting up and securely navigating Office 365 while working remotely may seem challenging and overwhelming. The harsh reality is that organizations cannot rely on administrators to configure their cloud email service to be 100 percent secure. Thus, implementing a fully-managed solution that seamlessly complements Office 365 default protection, bolstering EOP's features with critical additional layers of defenses, is the most effective way to fortify cloud email against sophistiacted modern threats. Ongoing expert system monitoring, maintenance and support can simplify administration, improve security and reduce costs - delivering a rapid return on investment (ROI).
Want to learn more about how to prevent attacks in Office 365? If so, be sure to check out our free Office 365 protection guide. For more email security tips and advice on how to stay safe online, we encourage subscribe to our weekly Behind the Shield newsletter.
Have additional questions on how to safely navigate Office 365? Please do not hesitate to reach out to us - we are eager to help!
- Thinking Strategically about Email Security in 2021 and Beyond
- There’s a Lot to be Gained with Effective Email Security
- Behind the Shield: EnGarde Cloud Email Security Explained
- Open Source: A Powerful, Yet Underutilized Weapon against Phishing & Zero-Day Attacks
- Buyer's Guide: What to Prioritize in an Email Security Solution
- Buyer's Guide to Office 365 & Workspace Email Security
- EnGarde Cloud Email Security: The Logical Solution to Cyber Risk in Office 365
- Exchange Servers Are Vulnerable - Learn How To Secure Your Email Server Now
- Top Email Security Risks in 2021 - How To Set Your Business Up for Safety & Success
- Ransomware By The Numbers: How Big Is My Risk?
- SMB Ransomware Warnings & How To Prevent an Attack
- Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.6 Release Fixes Two Potentially Aggravating Bugs
- Top Tips and Advice for Staying Safe Online in a Work-from-Home World
- Effectively Securing Business Email Accounts: Are Employees the Weakest Link?
- Encryption: An Essential Yet Highly Controversial Component of Digital Security
- Business Email Security Redefined: Key Benefits of Securing Your Business Email with Guardian Digital
- 8 Business Email Security Best Practices
- Demystifying Email Encryption: Stop Sender Fraud
- Demystifying Phishing Attacks: How to Protect Yourself Now
- Demystifying Tax Fraud: How to Avoid Falling Victim to Deceptive, Costly Scams This Tax Season
- Coronavirus Phishing Scams are On the Rise - Is Your Business Email at Risk of Infection?
- Dave Wreski: A Passionate Engineer Brings the Power of Open Source to Business Email Security
- FBI: Existing Cloud Email Protection Inadequate Against Phishing, Ransomware
- Email Risk is Universal: Securing Business Email in Every Industry Sector
- The Remote Worker's Guide to Safely Navigating Office 365
- Why Your Business Needs Better Email Security
- Defending Against COVID Email Spoofing Attacks with DMARC
- You’ve Got Mail: How To Tell If It’s Fraud
- Open-Source Security Is Opening Eyes
- Think Like A Criminal: How To Write A Phishing Email
- The Four Biggest Email Threats Your Business Faces Today
- Everything On DocuSign Phishing Attacks in 3 Minutes
- Understanding Payload-Less Email Attacks in Under 3 Minutes
- Demystifying Fileless Malware in Less than 3 Minutes
- How to Protect Sensitive Data & Maintain Client Trust in Financial Services Industry
- Apache SpamAssassin Leads A Growing List of Open-Source Projects Taking Steps to Correct Instances of Racism and White Privilege
- Cyber Risk Is Greater than Ever in the Legal Industry
- Understanding Malicious URL Protection - And Why You Need It to Secure Your Email
- Email Security for SMBs Beyond COVID-19
- Email Risk Is BIG for SMBs - How To Protect Your Business Now
- The Modern Email Threat Landscape: Where Traditional Defenses Fall Short
- Why Email Security Is More Important Than Ever in This 'New Reality'
- The Threat of CEO Fraud Extends Beyond the C-Suite
- Top Email Security Trends Putting Your Business at Risk of Attack
- Think Like A Criminal: What You Need to Know About Social Engineering Attacks in 2020
- Managed Services: A Key Element of Effective Email Security that Even Modern Solutions Lack
- How to maintain security when employees work remotely: Advice from Leading Security Experts
- FBI: The 2020 Presidential Election Is Under Attack by Email Scammers
- AT&T Security Researchers Identify a Correlation between Strong Cybersecurity and Business Success
- The Aftermath of a Cyberattack Pt. 1: Phishing Recovery Basics
- It Pays to be Prepared! Ransomware Preparedness & Recovery Basics
- Breaking Down Fileless Malware: Anatomy of an Attack
- Office 365 Email Is Vulnerable to Attack Without These Critical Supplementary Defenses in Place
- Keep the Holidays Merry & Bright - Beware of These Sneaky Seasonal Phishing Scams
- Migrating Business Email: The Hidden Complexities You Need To Know
- How Do SPF, DMARC & DKIM Secure Email Against Sender Fraud?
- Your Current Approach to Email Security May Not Be Enough
- Ways to Prevent Email Account being compromised in a Breach
- Celebrating 20 Years of Revolutionizing Digital Security
- IBM Closes its $34 Billion Acquisition of Red Hat
- Interview with Security Expert and Author Ira Winkler
- What is Phishing Email? How to prevent Phishing email scams?
- Ways Our Business Email Exceed Your Expectations
- Spear Phishing Protection - Definition & How To Recognize Spear Phishing Email
- What is Whaling (Whaling Phishing)? & How to Prevent Whaling attacks?
- Ransomware Attack Explained - Best Practices For Ransomware Protection
- Business Email Compromise (BEC) - Definition & Prevention From BEC Attacks
- Wire Transfer Scams Involving Real Estate Transactions: How to Prevent Fraud with Effective Email Security
- Guardian Digital and Mautic: A Dynamic Open-Source Duo
- Email Malware - How to Recognize & Prevent Malware Email Attack
- An Open-Source Success Story: Apache SpamAssassin Celebrates 18 Years of Effectively Combating Spam Email
- What is Spam Email - Types & How to Prevent Spam Emails?
- 2020: A New Decade of Digital Threats - Is Your Business Email Secure?
- Linux: An OS Capable of Effectively Meeting the US Government’s Security Needs Heading into 2020
- Complete Guide on Email Security & Threats Faced by Organizations
- Email Virus - Complete Guide to Email Viruses Plus Best Practices
- What Are Zero-Day Attacks & How Can I Prevent Them?
- Guardian Digital Keeps its Customers Protected from Intel Design Flaw
- Security Spotlight: Open Source Email Security Solutions
- Top Six Advantages of Open Source Development/Products
- Python and Bash - Contenders for the most used scripting language
- Guardian Digital Outlines Top 4 Benefits of Choosing Cloud
- Unrivaled Protection Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Guard Your Email Accounts Against Today’s Most Dangerous Threats
- Security Highlights from Defcon 26
- Linux / Open Source FAQs: Common Myths / Misconceptions
- Email Security FAQs Answered by Guardian Digital
- Guardian Digital Mail Systems: Designed to be Secure Without Fail