Securing Microsoft 365


Working from home has meant a soar in mobile devices and leveraging cloud platforms such as Microsoft 365. However, this has increased issues around securing and accessing this data.

But how do you increase protection and sustain M365 security?

Well, to avoid reputational damage and ensure business continuity you need to:

  • Mitigate the risk of being attacked by cyber-criminals
  • Reduce the impact of malware attacks

Microsoft recommends these 10 preventative steps:

  1. Identity and Access – Set up multi-factor authentication (MFA). When you log in, a code will be sent to your phone to access to Microsoft 365. This minimises the risk of a hacker intercepting, even if they have your password.
  1. User Training – Train them to create strong passwords, identify suspicious emails and keep their devices updated regularly, and automatically schedule these updates.
  1. Dedicated Admin Accounts – These should be used for administration only. Hackers will be actively looking for these accounts therefore, administrators should have a different account for general, non-administrative use.
  1. Malware Protection in Mails – Attachments with executable files are usually associated with Malware and should be blocked. Choose which type of files are automatically treated as malware by enabling the Common Attachment Types Filter.
  1. Ransomware Protection – Ransomware can be hidden inside macros, so users should be advised not to open these, especially if they do not know them.
  1. Avert auto-forwarding of mail – Prevent a hacker with access to a user’s mailbox from using auto-forward to exfiltrate mail. A hacker can do this without a user knowing.
  1. Use Office Message Encryption – This means that only intended recipients can view the email content.
  1. Phishing Protection – Configure targeted anti-phishing protection to protect important users and your custom domain from malicious impersonation
  1. Turn on Safe Attachment Detection in Microsoft Defender for Office 365 – This will  differentiate between malicious attachments and safe attachments.
  1. Use Safe links in Microsoft Defender fo Office 365 – This will scan URL’s for suspicious links embedded by hackers.

Unfortunately, even the greatest security cannot ensure guaranteed protection from malware. Many agree, it is only a matter of time before another organisation is attacked. Microsoft’s own services agreement (Section 6) recommends backing up M365 with a third party.

So, what is the best Microsoft 365 backup solution and most importantly how can you guarantee recovery from ransomware?

Here are the 10 essentials for protecting Microsoft 365 Data:

  1. Ensure the solution is true cloud-to-cloud protection. This negates the need for any on-premise servers or storage management.
  1. Protection of your Microsoft 365 data must be part of a unified, automated, policy-driven data management strategy.
  1. The solution should have a simple, secure interface that allows you to migrate data easily and cost-effectively to or from or between clouds.
  1. Go for a solution protects the important elements of M365 – OneDrive, SharePoint, Exchange and Teams in minutes and restores in seconds. The control centre should be intuitive and it should be easy to protect new users and sites.
  1. Have control of your retention policy, so that you determine hoe long you keep your Microsoft 365 data.
  1. Compliance. Ensure your solution is in line with UK GDPR. Data centres cannot be anywhere that does not comply with data sovereignty regulations.
  1. Make sure you can track changes across you data estate. Your solution should give you an audit trail for evidence.
  1. The solution should allow you to recover the data you need; down to an individual email, contact or calendar event, with the option to restore them to the original location or a new location. Having quick access to backups temporarily is also advantageous, as it will avoid the need for local disk space.
  1. Ensure you can recover historical point-in-time versions of data by allowing administrators and end users to see the data in its exact context. Microsoft  explicitly states that point-in-time restores of data are not in the scope of the Exchange service.
  1. You need a solution with strong security. Data should be encrypted before it is sent. When you are making additions, Microsoft should ask for your authorisation before giving access to your data. Role-based permissions will also ensure that only staff members who have the right, can carry out restores.

What next?

We cannot stop cyber-crime altogether and there is not a way yet of eliminating ransomware. However, with the right cloud backup solution, you can ensure that your organisation is not held captive to their demands.

Contact ClearYolk for peace of mind with our hassle-free, enterprise level data protection service for your business.

More to explore


Service Starter Mid Expert Enterprise
Monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes
Live Notifications & Reporting Yes Yes Yes Yes
Onboarding Session with our Success Team Yes Yes Yes Yes
Monitor all users (up to XX) 150+
Monitored Domain Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Domains No 1 3 5
Personal Email Addresses (Gmail / Icloud etc) No 10 30
Monitored Router IP & Device IP Breach No Yes Yes Yes
Dedicated Account Manager No No Yes Yes
Fully managed Service No No No Yes
Go Phishing No No No Yes
Staff Training No No No Yes
PCM (If paid monthly) £45 £75 £150 N/A
PCM (If paid annually 20% discount) £36 £60 £120 N/A
Annual 20% discount for annual transaction £432 £720 £1440 Call
Annual Saving £180 £180 £360 Call
1 Additional Domain £25 £25 £25
Add Additional 10 Personal Emails £25 £25 £25