Cyber-security in a post-pandemic environment should be a top priority for every business. However, recent surveys of IT leaders at small to midsized business (SMB) organizations say that up to 60% of them don’t feel prepared for cyberattacks. Microsoft 365 Business Premium actually has a number of built-in cyber-security features to protect employee and company data that should not be overlooked by SMBs.
Amaxra deploys a wide range of Microsoft 365 Business solutions regularly for SMBs and is an early adopter of the Microsoft 365 Business Premium for our own consultants going back several years. Designed for SMBs with less than 300 employees wanting a comprehensive productivity solution, Microsoft 365 Business Premium combines Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook apps with Microsoft Teams collaboration, mobile device management (MDM) features, advanced cyber-security protections, and the ability to deploy the Windows 10 Pro operating system to any compatible device for free. Fun fact: Microsoft 365 Business Premium used to be called just “Microsoft 365” until all Office 365 SKUs were rebranded as “Microsoft 365” back in 2020.
Amaxra has written a number of blog posts about Microsoft 365 Business Premium’s various cyber-security features such as the ability to stop forcing employees to remember complex passwords while still staying secure and more. But we’ve never done an all-up list of cyber-security benefits that SMBs can get from a Microsoft 365 Business Premium solution. To rectify this oversight, Amaxra consultants have gathered the top five ways in which Microsoft 365 Business Premium keeps your corporate data secure and boost your organization’s productivity in the process:
- Communicate and collaborate effortlessly. One key advantage of any Microsoft 365 Business solution is the integration between all of the productivity apps and cloud-based services. Everybody wants to spend less time switching between apps or searching for files and more time being productive. Amaxra consultants and our clients accomplish this in Microsoft 365 Business by using Microsoft Teams. This cloud-powered app comes standard with every Microsoft 365 SKU and enables your employees to collaborate in real time through chat and online meetings, share files, and coauthor documents all in one convenient place.
- Protect from unauthorized access. No matter where an SMB employee is located—and a recent survey of SMBs with less than 1,000 employees found 54% would prefer to work from home after all COVID-19 restrictions are lifted—collaboration requires access to data and files. Cloud-based file storage such as Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint have helped make this a reality, but IT leaders are always concerned that an employee’s email and password could get hacked. Microsoft 365 Business Premium empowers SMBs with multi-factor authentication (MFA) protections for all users. Amaxra has a blog post about MFA for SMBs, but the gist is that it uses a second form of user authentication that has been shown to thwart 99% of identity attacks. An additional feature in Microsoft 365 Business Premium that protects employees is the ability to enact conditional access policies. Conditional access is exclusive to the Microsoft 365 Business Premium solution that helps ensure only authorized people have access to company data.
- Defend against malware attacks. A crucial advantage of the Microsoft 365 Business Premium solution is its built-in ability to protect SMBs against phishing attacks and ransomware. Real-time security, powered by advanced artificial intelligence running in the global Microsoft Cloud, can scan for malware to help protect attachments and links in shared documents and files across email, Teams, and OneDrive while anti-spoofing technologies help defend against impersonation. The AI-powered malware protection can also help stop ransomware attacks by preventing unauthorized apps or scripts from accessing files before they can get into your corporate network and cause real damage.
- Safeguard your sensitive data. Even if your SMB does not directly deal with credit card numbers or personally-identifiable information (PII) that is regulated by the government, it is a good cyber-security practice to treat all information as “sensitive.” Microsoft 365 Business Premium helps safeguard confidential data against breaches or accidental loss by encrypting email and protecting against unauthorized access.
- Mobile device management to protect work data on personal devices. As employees use personal phones or tablets to access work data, Microsoft 365 Business Premium helps prevent confidential work files from being saved to unsecured personal locations. These MDM protection policies help SMBs to keep work and personal apps separate—even on employee-owned iPhones and Android tablets. The MDM controls in Microsoft 365 Business Premium also allows IT managers at SMBs to remotely delete company-specific data off of employee-owned personal device without touching any personal data if an employee moves on.
For those SMBs looking at a Microsoft 365 Business solution, Amaxra strongly recommends Microsoft 365 Business Premium for its advanced security capabilities with collaboration tools to help you run your business securely from anywhere.
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