Is Microsoft Office 365 Email Secure? How Can I Improve Microsoft Office 365 Email Security?

We have clarified your most pressing questions about Microsoft 365 default email security so you can prevent breaches and attacks.

What is Office 365 Security? Why Do Millions of Businesses Use the Platform?

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based email platform that allows organizations to communicate and collaborate easily and efficiently. Online environments like Microsoft Office 365 only grew in popularity following the shift to more frequent remote work following the pandemic, as such platforms make messaging and interactions much easier.

How Secure is Office 365? How Do Default Microsoft 365 Capabilities Fall Short?

cloud email securityMicrosoft 365 offers a variety of built-in email protection controls for users to prevent attacks, but these features do not do much to combat modern email threats like business email compromise, phishing email attacks, and CEO fraud. The Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) program promises to keep organizations safe but does not do enough to avoid damaging threat types. In fact, eighty-five percent of users experienced email security breaches in the past year, leading to data loss, reputational harm, and significant downtime.

EOP has a retrospective approach to modern email threats that is ultimately static, single-layered, and incapable of adjusting based on human error. You cannot customize EOP to meet your business’ unique email security needs, which can permit social engineering attacks to trick your users, leading to account takeovers, data loss, and credential theft. Such weaknesses make EOP ineffective for anticipating zero-day attacks, malicious URLs, and suspicious attachments that threat actors could attempt to send victims.

To make matters worse, the Radicati Group experiments concluded that users still experience spam and malware attacks despite Microsoft’s attempts at improving email security. Office 365 email protection has a homogeneous architecture that helps attacks easily bypass security defenses, open accounts, and escape email filters to target thousands of victims.

businessman typing wireless keyboardThe Microsoft platform presents challenges in configuration and management. The setup process requires IT expertise that most small- and medium-sized businesses lack. Since Microsoft fails to assist users with configuration, organizations may prepare the platform incorrectly, leading to cybersecurity vulnerabilities that can leave customers at risk of exploitative attacks. The Radicati Group revealed that users found Microsoft customer support to be insufficiently knowledgeable regarding the email security issues on servers. Such a situation leaves businesses struggling with absolutely no help from their provider.

In remote work environments, businesses often struggle to layer and combine Microsoft email security solutions to ensure email protection. Osterman Research states, "Organizations that operate hybrid environments should use third-party solutions to meet the challenges that will be posed by hybrid environments.”

In “Determine If Email Security in Office 365 Meets Your Organization’s Needs,” a report by Gartner, industry researchers emphasized that “Organizations should strongly consider integrating third-party solutions to strengthen their email security.” You must install additional email protection on top of EOP and Microsoft 365 built-in features to make the platform secure enough to continue utilizing for daily operations. Consider additional layered protection from third-party companies that specialize in preventing phishing email attacks and other email threats.

Keep an Eye Out For Critical Microsoft 365 Email Protection Gaps 

Be sure to implement email security patching as much as possible if you identify gaps in your protection that could lead to phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks. You need more than the basic signature detection and blocklists that Microsoft provides users.

Keep Learning: How Can I Make Microsoft 365 Email Safe My Business?

Implement a proactive, multi-layered, third-party solution for email security so you can enjoy utilizing Microsoft Office 365 while bolstering the built-in email protection on the platform. Close critical security gaps with security patching solutions that protect against malware, phishing email attacks, account takeovers, and ransomware.

Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security software provides users with ongoing system monitoring, maintenance, and support while overseeing all online interactions to guarantee that your users, data, reputation, and employees are always safe.

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