The Best Practices and Strategies for Microsoft 365 Security for MSPs

Apr 19, 2022
4 min read

It is very popular and common for organizations to consider partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP). But suppose you and your organization just need the basics. In that case, that may seem reasonable but remember: you just made an investment in a service that provides a tremendous amount of value, and a Microsoft Managed Service Provider will help you reach your full potential. Whether you like it or not, new technology requires improved IT security. The burning question is: Can you afford not to work with an IT management company?

What is an MSP?

An MSP provides regular and ongoing support to customers for network, infrastructure, application, and security services, which can be performed on the customers' premises, in the MSP's data centre (hosting), or at a third-party data centre.

For instance, a security MSP offers system administration on a third-party cloud (IaaS). Pure-play MSPs concentrate on a single vendor or technology, which is usually their own core services. Many MSPs offer services from a variety of vendors. The term MSP was originally used to refer to infrastructure or device-centric services, but it has now been expanded to include any form of ongoing management, maintenance, or support.

Is Microsoft 365 Safe to Use?

Security is a primary concern for both small and large enterprises. With over a million businesses worldwide using Microsoft 365, including Team, Microsoft 365 is one of the most popular productivity suites. Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365), which includes Office 365, is a subscription-based suite of productivity and security tools and services. Microsoft 365 includes all of the features of Office 365 plus more, such as business-class email, cloud storage, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), Windows 10, and more.

Microsoft 365 is a heavily encrypted platform that improves cooperation and productivity. Its data centres are secured by cutting-edge security infrastructure and systems, making direct breaches almost impossible. Microsoft 365 comes with a 99.9% application uptime guarantee that is backed by money. Along with other security features, Microsoft 365 also includes identity and access management, threat prevention, information protection, and security and risk management. Microsoft 365 Security Strategies for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can use Microsoft 365 Business Premium's security solutions to help businesses avoid ransomware and hacks.

Microsoft 365 Security Strategies for MSPs

Threat Defense

Advanced Threat Protection (ATP): It is a cloud-based email filtering solution that employs artificial intelligence to defend enterprises from a variety of cyberattacks. ATP Safe Links protect employees from harmful embedded URLs in emails and documents, and ATP Safe Attachments protect from malware and viruses attached to messages and documents.

Multifactor Authentication (MFA): With millions of fraudulent sign-in attempts on Microsoft's cloud services every day, MFA has fast become a necessity for doing business online. Microsoft 365 Business Premium includes built-in multifactor authentication (MFA), which requires employees to provide a second form of identification, such as a verification code or a physical token, to validate their identity before accessing cloud resources.

Data Security

Business Premium's data security capabilities enable businesses to protect mission-critical data and ensure that only authorized individuals have access to it. Even though cyber security is the top priority, data protection and control provide a slew of additional benefits.

DLP (Data Loss Prevention): DLP policies aid businesses in identifying and safeguarding business-sensitive data such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, and medical records. You can design and implement a data loss prevention policy that is specific to your company's security requirements. Administrators must manually implement these policies.

Messages Encryption: The built-in message encryption in Microsoft 365 Business Premium combines encryption and access rights capabilities to ensure that only the intended recipients can see the contents of the message. Email providers such as Outlook, Yahoo, and Gmail are all compatible with message encryption.

Device Management

Device management tools in Business Premium give managers the insight and power they need to prohibit or grant access to employees with enrolled devices. Similarly, cyber threats can be a nightmare scenario, even if it's something as minor as a disgruntled employee. While this is a much lower-level threat, it's important to remember that data leaks can happen from anywhere, and businesses must protect themselves from everyone.

Conditional Access Policies: These policies can be used by businesses to restrict access based on a variety of factors. The time of day, device kind, location, and other factors are among them.

Encryption with BitLocker: An extra layer of security that encrypts data on a device using a Trusted Platform Module (TPM Chip). The data is unreadable by a third party unless the BitLocker key is present.

Automatic Updates: Keep security features and upgrades on employee devices up-to-date. Set up automatic updates to run on a set schedule.

Best Security Practices for Microsoft 365

Most users are unaware of or do not take full advantage of Microsoft 365's built-in security capabilities. Let's take a look at the top five techniques to improve the security of your Microsoft 365 account.

Multifactor Authentication: Setting up multifactor authentication is a simple and effective way to boost your company's security. When your users connect to their Microsoft accounts, MFA means employing two or more methods to authenticate their identities. For example, their passwords, phone passcodes, fingerprints, and so on. Even if threat actors know your password, this prevents them from getting unauthorized access to your apps and data.

Dedicated Admin Accounts: Because they have heightened access, admin accounts are a gold mine for cybercriminals. You should make sure that your administrators have a separate user account for non-administrative work and only use admin accounts when absolutely necessary.

Office Message Encryption: Microsoft 365 includes various encryption features, such as Office Message Encryption, which ensures that email messages sent and received within and outside your organization are secure. BitLocker and TLS connections, which protect your files on Windows machines, as well as OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, are further encryption options.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP): To be compliant with industry requirements, create and administer DLP policies in the Microsoft 365 Compliance Centre. Your company's sensitive information will not be lost, mistreated, or accessed by unauthorized individuals if you have a DLP policy in place.

Conclusion

The largest and most important value-added features and security strategies are provided in Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Small and medium-sized businesses will find the service to be a godsend. And having so much access to the Microsoft ecosystem is critical for organizations of all sizes and budgets. On the other hand, business premium and its solutions are providing a lifeline to SMBs in this continually transitioning and transformational age of work, where companies previously could not envisage adopting a remote workforce. So, partnering with a licenced Managed Services Provider to secure Microsoft 365 and Office 365 is just too crucial to managing.