Microsoft 365 Email Security Limitations You Should Know
- by Brittany Day
Despite the existing email protection provided by Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) in Microsoft 365, 85% of users have experienced an email data breach over the past year. This article will explore where Microsoft 365 email security falls short in safeguarding users and key business assets against credential phishing, account takeovers and the other dangerous threats that cloud email users face daily, and the type of proactive, layered third-party protection that is required to make Microsoft 365 email safe for business.
Native Capabilities of Microsoft 365 Email Security Are Limited
Protection Is Static, Single-Layered and Unable to Anticipate Emerging Attacks
EOP takes a retrospective approach to identifying phishing and malware attacks. This type of protection does not safeguard against human error, and is ineffective in anticipating emerging zero-day attacks and malicious URLs and attachments that are not included in its static lists.
Lack of Customization to Meet Businesses’ Varying Security Needs
EOP is not customizable to meet businesses’ unique security needs. This results in a limited ability to identify anomalous emails and social engineering attacks, leaving businesses vulnerable to account takeovers and targeted spear phishing attacks that often result in credential theft. The Radicati Group reports that while Microsoft has been investing heavily in its anti-malware, antispam, anti-phishing, and zero-day protection capabilities, customers still report high degrees of spam, malware and other forms of attack.
Homogeneous Architecture Makes it Easier for Attackers to Bypass Security Defenses
Due to the homogeneity of the Microsoft 365 security system, cyber thieves are able to open any account, test their methods until they are able to bypass default filters, and reuse these methods in attacks targeting thousands of different accounts.
Complex to Configure & Manage Securely
The Microsoft 365 setup and configuration process requires IT expertise that many SMBs lack, and Microsoft fails to provide assistance with setup and the ongoing system monitoring, maintenance and support required to prevent misconfiguration vulnerabilities and keep Microsoft 365 customers secure. Research conducted by the Radicati Group reveals that Microsoft 365 customers continue to report that Microsoft’s customer support organization is not sufficiently knowledgeable when it comes to security issues.
Customers with hybrid (on-premise and cloud) environments face an added challenge, as due to Microsoft 365's incomplete support for hybrid architectures, they will still need to acquire and manage a completely separate set of security services for non-Microsoft 365 workloads and data. These businesses often find it difficult to understand how to effectively layer and combine the many different Microsoft security solutions available. Osterman Research states, "Organizations that operate hybrid environments should use third-party solutions to meet the challenges that will be posed by hybrid environments."
How Can I Make Microsoft 365 Email Safe for Business?
To bolster built-in email protection and reap the benefits of Microsoft 365 without sacrificing security, businesses should implement a proactive, multi-layered supplementary email security solution like Guardian Digital Engarde Cloud Email Security. EnGarde is designed specifically to fill the critical voids in built-in Microsoft 365 email protection with the following characteristics and capabilities:
Phishing & Malware Protection
EnGarde uses an intelligent auto-learn system that leverages the vast resources of the open source community to anticipate and block advanced and emerging threats in real-time. The intuitive platform conducts a machine learning-based dynamic analysis of all URLs and files to protect against targeted spear phishing, ransomware and other dangerous attacks that often leverage malicious links and attachments. EnGarde's intelligent, multi-layered email vigilance supplements the inherent gaps in EOP’s protection, such as polymorphic virus and fileless malware protection.
Account Takeover Protection
EnGarde leverages advanced AI-based technology to detect the conversation-style anomalies that are characteristic of email account compromise (EAC) and business email compromise (BEC) scams. Protection is customized to address businesses’ specific security requirements.
System Monitoring, Maintenance & Support
EnGarde fortifies Microsoft 365 email against credential phishing and account takeovers with critical additional layers of security, fully supported by the ongoing system monitoring and support required for early detection of potential issues. The comprehensive security system offers the real-time cybersecurity business insights that are needed to keep businesses secure and productive via an interactive Dashboard.
Interested in learning more about how you can safegaurd your users and critical data in Microsoft 365 with EnGarde Cloud Email Security?
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