Microsoft 365’s Power Automate – previously known as Flow – provides powerful options for users who don’t want to wade through repetitive tasks. And really, who does? Nobody. Small wonder that Microsoft 365 users across the spectrum of small to large business operations have seized the opportunity to streamline their workday.
Power Automate links Youtube to Twitter, Outlook to OneDrive, Excel to SharePoint…the possibilities for collaboration and sharing are limitless.
Unfortunately, cyberattackers have exploited the ease of access to their advantage, launching record-setting attacks on enterprises using this powerful bridge between source and end-user.
There are ways to make the most of this tool without exposing your company to unnecessary risk.
A remote workforce: a double-edged sword
The coronavirus pandemic forced a large-scale shift in how business is conducted.
While a meager 20% of the United States workforce was telecommuting pre-pandemic, a whopping 71% now call home their office, as well.
The benefits of this shift are obvious. Many companies discovered that employees were more productive working from home, that meeting virtually was just as efficient as meeting in person.
Travel budgets and lease expenses were shaved…experts from around the world could become part of your technical team. International travel was restricted, but international information exchange was liberated.
When nobody could be in the conference room, anybody could be part of the conversation.
Unfortunately, cyberattackers joined the conversation, as well.
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft 365’s Power Automate and eDiscovery
Microsoft 365 has over 250 million users, enabling teams to collaborate across multiple platforms…but that power has come at a cost.
Cyber attackers exploit hybrid cloud-based enterprise software to get their foot in the door through one application and then distribute malicious updates that infect the entire network. With users increasing at a rate of 3.5-4.0 million per month, exposure is expected to grow, as well.
So, how do companies protect against system-wide security breaches? By following a few proactive steps:
If you have a dedicated IT department, they should be sending regular updates to your entire team to keep them informed of current threats coming via email. Cybercriminals are relying on employees jumping quickly from message to message and not scrutinizing the source. And they’re launching lateral attacks rather than racing up the chain to areas with higher security. They’re playing a numbers game.
If your company doesn’t have a separate IT department, make sure you’re reminding your staff to stay vigilant and watch for emails that can contain ransomware or malware. There are telltale signs in malware emails – misspellings and domain names that are close to, but not exactly like, your company’s domain.
Your staff can be taught to watch for outright attacks, leaving the backdoor breaches to an IT specialist to handle.
Don’t ignore software updates that Microsoft 365 sends to its users.
Cyber attackers are nimble, changing their tactics daily. They’re also sharing resources and vulnerabilities with their criminal colleagues. They operate on the principle of “power in numbers,” and it’s paying dividends for them.
Microsoft’s development teams are working hard to stay on top of novel threats and upgrade their software accordingly. If you get a notification about even a minor upgrade, take the time to install it, and make it a company-wide policy that every user – both off and onsite – do the same.
Feel like you’re in over your head with your software…and the malware that can come along with it? Ask for help from an outside source. It doesn’t take much to disable a business – whether you have 3 employees or 300 – with one wrong keystroke.
Microsoft 365 is powerful, accessible, user-friendly productivity software that can create connections among your team as they all collaborate remotely. It can link over 350 applications under one roof, but that opens up 350+ points of vulnerability to your employees and your company.
If you’re not sure how to safeguard your company, it’s wise to consult with an expert. They can tell you how to maximize the features that come with Microsoft 365 and tell you how to protect your data and keep your business running.
Microsoft 365’s Power Automate: a powerful collaboration tool
Resist the urge to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Cybercriminals can make cloud-based sharing look like an invitation to hand over the keys to your company’s vault. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
If you educate your remote team about common threats, conduct regular updates on your software, and enlist the services of experts in Microsoft productivity software – even on a consultation basis – you can enjoy the benefits of Power Automate and eDiscovery, secure in the knowledge that your corporate knowledge is protected.
Studies show that, even after pandemic restrictions are lifted, companies will continue to offer employees the option of working remotely. Over 50% of today’s workforce has indicated they would prefer to telecommute. Companies are seeing the benefits of giving their employees flexibility in their workspace…and they’re saving money on overhead expenses in the process.
If you’d like to learn more about the power of Microsoft 365, contact us. We’d like to help you create a safe and productive workforce.
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