Office 365 is being used by over a million companies worldwide in 2020. As the number of Office 365 tenants is expected to increase in the years to come, it is essential to focus on protecting sensitive data in Office 365.
The number of Office 365 tenants has increased significantly from 200 million in 2019 to 258 million in 2020. Creation, management and transmission of documents play an extremely important role while running a business. As more and more organizations adopt Office 365, there is a strong focus to protect sensitive data migrated to or created in Office 365.
- Microsoft 365 consists of Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), and Windows 10. Office 365 and EMS security features help organizations protect sensitive data. The features of Microsoft 365 are organized as four pillars: Identity Access Management
- Data Security
- Threat Management
- Security Monitoring
Identity Access Management
One of the major challenges with Office 365 environments for organizations is the fact that it offers more data access points than its on-premise counterpart. Some of the categories of data access points provided by the Office 365 environment include:
- Internal users
- External users
- Authorized and unauthorized applications
- Microsoft Support Engineers
Therefore, security professionals must keep an eye on and secure each channel for accessing data. To secure all these channels, it is important to implement the following categories of security controls:
- Tenant access controls
- Service-specific controls
- Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) controls
- Shared controls
In addition to putting these security controls in practice, it is essential that sensitive data in Office 365 is secured by the organization by:
- Preventing data exfiltration using Cloud app security
- Preventing file uploads without right labels and protection
- Monitoring user sessions for compliance
- Protecting file downloads in unauthorized devices by enforcing Azure Information Protection (AIP) protocol
- Blocking access of specific users and applications
- Scanning sensitive content and blocking them in real time
While using Office 365, it is essential to implement various controls and put different layers of security to ensure there is no breach of data.
The use of Office 365 is expected to increase significantly in the next few years. Organizations need to have all security policies in place to protect sensitive data created and shared using Office 365.