Businesses have been gradually moving to the cloud for the last few years. As this trend continues, an offline business had only two options: to close or to go online.
2020 has led to the most rapid transition to the cloud we have ever witnessed.
Aside from the necessity, the cloud has proved itself to be safe, convenient, and, unlike on-premises, very easy to set up. Besides, it allows your workflow to move at light speed, co-operating across many departments and locations with low operational costs.
Microsoft is doing a good job of trying to secure its users’ data from different kinds of losses. And yet, even such a Software-as-a-Service giant can’t 100% protect your business-critical data from being lost. It only provides you with data management and cooperation platform with some relatively basic security features. The rest of the data security job is left on your shoulders.
So, how can you prevent data loss in your Microsoft 365? Here are the three must-follow rules.
1. Enable Data Loss Prevention in the Security and Compliance Center
O365 Security and Compliance Center enable you to set up data loss prevention policies. Those policies are very important, even though they don’t eliminate data loss risk completely.
Data Loss Prevention policies let you to:
- Classify files with sensitive information (like banking or personally identifiable information) across Microsoft apps.
- Limit users’ ability to share any kind of sensitive information by accident by limiting access to it.
- Control and protect sensitive information in the desktop versions of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
How to create a Data Loss Prevention policy:
- Log in to your Office 365 account.
- Go to the Admin centers section and find Security & Compliance.
- Click Data loss prevention.
- Click Create a Policy. You can create a new policy on your own or use one of the pre-built Microsoft
This Data Loss Prevention Policy is very effective in decreasing the chances of unintentional (or intentional) deletion or sharing sensitive data, which makes it necessary to be set up. And yet, that’s all to it.
Here are things that DLP policy can not help you with:
- Unintentional deletion or sharing of data, not labeled as sensitive. To conduct a Microsoft 365 recovery deleted items in OneDrive or Outlook you must have a backup whether it is native or third-party.
- Insider threats
- Incorrect migration
2. Protect Your Microsoft 365 From Ransomware
The Microsoft 365 security best practices against ransomware attack are:
- Avoiding clicking suspicious links.
- Updating security software.
- Creating applications whitelists to restrict unapproved programs from connecting to your system.
- Giving access to important folders only to trusted users.
Nevertheless, even these efforts can’t promise security from ransomware. The only proven way to secure data is to restore the pre-encrypted versions of it.
There are a few things you can do when a ransomware attack hits your Microsoft 365 data. We recommend combining them to ensure nothing of value is lost.
Disconnect from the Internet
If you have spotted ransomware in your network, instantly cut the infected devices from the network (turn off Wi-Fi and unplug Internet cable). This will restrict ransomware from circulating through the network and infecting other devices. Plus, you must turn off your OneDrive sync and other synchronization services.
Protect OneDrive documents
You can secure OneDrive from ransomware with Microsoft native tools. In order to do so, login to OneDrive from the non-infected device. You need to find the infected file and recover its previous, uninfected version. Select the file and click Version history (or More, then Version History, if you have a classic OneDrive view). After that, Restore the file.
This method has a significant drawback. Multiple files may be infected and restoring them manually takes an enormous amount of time. It’s not that hard to restore one file, but imagine restoring tens of thousands.
Security software installed on your device is likely to have some anti-ransomware tools. Have a full scan of your system. The infected files will be detected. By removing them, you’ll restore the system.
However, do not rely on your security software too much. Antivirus software may not detect new versions of malicious software. In other words, even a full scan may not recognize ransomware with 100% accuracy.
Create a Backup
In-built ransomware security and recovery tools are not helpful if you need to restore high volumes of data. And antivirus won’t always protect your data from ransomware.
That’s why recovery from a backup is the best Office 365 ransomware protection practice. Backup is a safe copy of your files which means you get back your items even if they were encrypted with ransomware. You can try Spin Technology to backup your files and protect them from ransomware at the same time.
3. Make Cyber-security Training for Employees Mandatory
One of the leading Microsoft Office 365 security issues is not cyber-attacks – it’s a human mistake. Human blunders let threat actors in the system, and this is what makes these mistakes so dangerous.
Security education for employees is like preventive medicine: it works, but often delayed as a secondary concern. Businesses don’t care about potential risks until they become urgent problems with tremendous potential losses.
At the same time, human error is on the top of cyber-security concerns. People’s carelessness and ignorance in security matters cause notorious losses for businesses. People are usually the ones who let the cyber-criminals and hackers in the system in the first place.
Here are just a few human mistakes that will harm your organization:
- Sharing sensitive and secret company information with third-parties
- Clicking on infected links and attachments
- Accidentally deleting important information
- Being easily tricked by social engineering tactics
Provide your new-coming employees with security awareness training. You have two options: to instruct your security department to prepare it.