Cybercrime is a growing threat for businesses of every shape and size. No matter what industry your business competes in, the need to gather, store, and process data from your customers and employees is crucial to your company's success. It's especially tough for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) who typically have limited IT and cybersecurity resources.
Hackers know this, which is why they often attack you with phishing via your Microsoft Outlook email. But even though Microsoft does an excellent job hardening their cloud-based Office 365 productivity solution against these threats, all it takes is just one distracted employee to click on malware in an email to bring down your entire company. So, how can you stay on top of these type of cybersecurity threats without disrupting your business' productivity?
Our IT security experts here at Amaxra use a cloud-based solution called Office Protect to proactively monitor our employees' usage of Office 365. Office Protect enabled us to quickly set up automated security policies for every Office 365 user—whether the user is on our corporate network or not—then instantly report on unusual activity on a per user basis. This is a game changer because Office Protect knows when users are accessing Outlook, SharePoint, or OneDrive on both Amaxra's secure corporate network either in our office or while on our virtual private network (VPN) and over the public internet.
The reason it's so important for us to catch threats coming from the public internet because there are a limited number of places and devices related to Amaxra's business. Those "known good" places and devices are logged by Office 365 as safe because they're on the physical network in our office building and the virtual network our remote employees use on our VPN. However, the convenience of the cloud and mobile apps can put some Office 365 users at risk when using Wi-Fi internet access at a coffee shop or other public location.
We added Office Protect and now we get instant alerts when someone tries to sign into any of our corporate Office 365 accounts from a previously unknown location, device, and IP addresses. An example of this was when one of our employees, Patrick, had to sign into his corporate Office 365 account on a spare iPhone. Because that iPhone was not his usual smartphone device, the Amaxra Office Protect recognized his account but not his device. As per the automated security policy Amaxra set in Office Protect, I was immediately alerted of Patrick's login from a "previously unknown device" and that I should validate his device for use on Office 365:
What makes Office Protect so great is that it empowers you with self-service administration of your Office 365 security settings. This level of visibility and control over Office 365 security is only available to IT administrators who know how to program complex scripts using PowerShell commands. But when you have Office Protect, that same administrative control is accomplished with a few clicks or taps. From the Amaxra Office Protect admin panel, I could give ad-hoc permission to the Australian IP address and set up a new security policy with drag-and-drop ease that completely blocks all requests coming from Ukraine. I can also set my overall password policy such as making all user passwords expire either less than or greater than the default 90 days Office 365 automatically sets for users.
From this single pane of glass, the Office Protect admin panel also provides comprehensive reporting without being too complex or overwhelming (a huge plus for SMBs).
Your company can add the Office Protect proactive cybersecurity solution to your Office 365 from Amaxra starting at $1 per Office 365 mailbox/per month. Amaxra can even provide you with Office Protect regardless of whether or not you buy Office 365 through us.
Contact me at Rosalyn.email@example.com or call 425 749 7471 if you have any questions or comments on this blog.