Microsoft 365 Email Security Limitations You Should Know in 2023

Microsoft 365, also known as Office 365, is used by around 38% of companies, making it one of the most commonly used platforms of cloud-based applications. Microsoft 365’s popularity is driven by the fact that it enables easy collaboration within an organization even if employees are working remotely. However, a platform with access to large amounts of sensitive data and designed to make data sharing easy is a common target for cyber attackers. Companies need Microsoft 365 security solutions to protect against these and other cyber threats.

Despite the existing email protection provided by Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) in Microsoft 365, 83% of users have experienced an email data breach over the past year. Time is of the essence when attempting to detect, respond and recover from threats. For example, companies that used AI and automation resulted in a 74-day shorter breach lifecycle and were able to save $3 million on average in comparison to those that didn’t.

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 supplementary protection that is required to make Microsoft 365 email safe for business.

 Watch: Quick Overview of Microsoft 365 Email Security Gaps

Native Capabilities of Microsoft 365 Email Security Are Limited

Watch for critical email security gaps in Microsoft 365 that can lead to phishing and ransomware attacks. To protect against the most sophisticated attacks, email security must provide more than basic signature detection and blocklists provided by Microsoft.

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.

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 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.

How Can I Make Microsoft 365 Email Safe for Business?

EnGardeShield22-01.pngTo 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

Keep Learning About How To Bolster Protection

Microsoft 365 is the most used email platform, but despite its strengths its weaknesses also make it the most attacked. A 3rd party email security solution with better security features is a necessity to bolster protection with Microsoft 365.

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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