6 Security Concerns with Office 365

As more organizations migrate to the cloud, the popular misconception that the cloud is not safe is slowly going away. Business owners understand that cloud providers, such as Microsoft and Google, have more resources dedicated to security, yet over 6 million data records are still lost or stolen each year*. Although there is no denying that cybercriminals have targeted Microsoft services and products for decades, the increasing exposure of company data outside its firewall has made Office 365 an even bigger target. A study shows that 58.4% of sensitive data stored in the cloud is stored in office documents. Because of this, cloud security has become the number one concern for organizations when migrating sensitive data to the cloud. It’s no secret that the cloud is a convenient storage unit for organizations. Employees can easily share, collaborate, store, and access files from anywhere on any device. In fact, one out of every five employees uses an Office 365 cloud service and 91.4% of organizations with over 100 Office 365 users leverage the cloud-based software. This massive growth has also created major headaches for information security and compliance teams. Access to these files is so easily shared that it can easily land in the wrong hands. This is why it’s important to take necessary precautions in protecting your Office 365 instance. With the rapid expansion of Office 365, more and more accounts are being compromised. A 2016 comprehensive survey of 27 million users across 600 enterprises revealed that 71.4% of business Office 365 users have at least one compromised account each month. When migrating your system to Office 365, you must ensure your organization doesn’t forget these 6 crucial security concerns: 1. Third-Party ESPs Phishing, spoofing, and other email-based cybersecurity threats are main Office 365 vulnerabilities when an organization leverages third-party email services. So how do you protect yourself? Make sure your company’s ESP has SPF, DKIM, as well as DMARC protocols in place; however, even the most robust and sophisticated email security may break down when the ESP does not match with your specific data storage platform. Using Microsoft Exchange as your ESP is the most effective way to safeguard against many email-based threats. 2. Data Loss When Microsoft uses replication instead of conventional data backup methods, they can’t guarantee all your files will be accessible if some are compromised via ransomware or inadvertent deletion. For example, if you delete a user, whether you meant to or not, the deletion will be replicated across the entire network. Given Office 365’s suspect file recovery-record and tiered responsiveness, your company would be better off protecting key data. 3. Whaling, Phishing, and Malicious Links Microsoft tries hard to stay ahead of security threats, and deflects common types of malware and cyber-attacks the majority of the time. That being said, Office 365 is too big to be agile in all its security updates, which leaves the door open to targeted cyber attack risks. This is why effective protection is important. 4. Cloud Vendors Keep in mind that the majority of phishing emails are very effective since they look like the real thing. Chosen cloud vendors should be secured well before implementation. There are many companies that can easily test third-party apps before connecting these apps to your Office 365 platform. 5. SAML Single Sign-On Kakavas, a research and tech network company based in Greece, discovered a security vulnerability in MS Office 365’s protocols when it used cross-domain authentication for bypassing federated domains. So, when you have migrated to Office 365, it is important to ensure that all of your data is secure from a variety of cyber threats with another layer of protection via SaaS data protection. 6. Unauthorized Administrator Access The unauthorized administrator access in Office 365 is a security threat that is similar to the SAML security vulnerability in its ability to give access to the most sensitive and critical data. This is why when your organization is migrating to Office 365, it is important to ensure data security with more protection layers and fortified information security protocols. To address these concerns, your organization should implement a comprehensive strategy to mitigate as many vulnerabilities as possible. Many organizations implement a cloud access security broker to gain deep visibility into the cloud environment, manage access to certain clouds and data sources, prevent against possible threats, and ensure data loss protection. Gartner recently ranked cloud access security brokers (CASB) as the number 1 technology for information security. To learn more about how CipherCloud’s CASB+ solution can mitigate the following Office 365 risks: • Unintentional Data Loss • External Sharing of Unauthorized Data • Regulated Data Stored in the Cloud • Compromised Accounts and Insider Threats • Proliferation of Malware Register to watch the Why You Need a CASB for Microsoft Office 365 on-demand webinar. *

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from CASB Vendors | Cloud Access Control Security Companies | CipherCloud authored by CipherCloud. Read the original post at:

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