How secure is your data in Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 on PC screen.
Microsoft assumes an attack has previously occurred and is not identified yet while Microsoft’s security team try to identify and remove the threat.

The latest whitepaper of Cryptzone discusses how companies can reap the advantages of Microsoft Office 365 while mitigating privacy risks connected with saving data outside the business firewall.

After reading the whitepaper, companies can see how they can manage security concerns in Microsoft Office 365 by nonstop monitoring and automatically applying restrictions to access sensitive and private content. The tech giant (Microsoft) even assures 99.9% uptime!

Recommended Read: How Safe is iCloud

Despite these noted advantages, there are security limitations that should be taken in account before using the cloud:

  • Blacklist Support: Office 365 is not supporting blacklist feature.
  • Filtering: File filtering and instant messaging are not available in Office 365.
  • Inbound Detection/Protection: Spear phishing and phishing detection features are not offered in Office 365.
  • Spam filter support: Office 365 is not supporting spam filters redundant emails.

Based on these privacy risks, it is obvious that Microsoft Office 365 could leave your company vulnerable and it doesn’t allow the complete protection that a business needs.

What Microsoft deals in Office 365

The tech giant breaks down the security level into logical layers, data layers, and physical. These features that are already there in Office 365 without needing any 3rd party vendors and customizations are extensive and expand far beyond.

  • Logical Layer – admin user, host, application

The giant has automated almost every operation performed on the apps and hosts by admins in order to decrease human interference. Access to Microsoft Office 365 material is privately controlled where minimum privilege is allowed to perform particular operations as per the role describe. Lock Box process develops by Microsoft, significantly limits human entrance to data.

  • Data Layer

Microsoft developed a multi-tenant service in a shape of Office 365. This shows multiple users use few hardware resources that is among the major features of a cloud. The giant isolates co-tenant data via Active Directory and has other benefits particularly designed to protect the multi-tenant atmosphere.

  • Physical Layer – Network security and Facility

The giant begins by providing protection for the physical access of the material. The data centers of Microsoft saves the data of users on geo-basis, limits access to the centers, and use badges, biometric scanners, smart cards, video surveillance for the physical security measures.

How to prevent security threats of Office 365

If you want to protect your data from Malware or hackers or other threats, Microsoft follows a proper approach named “Assume Breach”. Microsoft assumes an attack has previously occurred and is not identified yet while Microsoft’s security team try to identify and remove the threat. Below are four pillars of security holding the building of assuming breach:

  • Prevent Breach – The giant continues to expand its security capabilities including system patches, port scanning, DDoS prevention, and vulnerability scanning.
  • Detect Breach – Company uses a kind of machine learning, taking in signals from their inner system security warnings and joining it with user incidents (external signals) to trigger alerts and detect patterns.
  • Respond to Breach – Microsoft issues its quick response process when the breach gets identified. The quick response process includes rapid suspension of access to private data while informing the authorities.
  • Recover from Breach – The last step of the process returns the access to data, auditing the hack, and automatically updating the systems to identify anomalies.

What are the Security Measures taken by Customer?

Although Microsoft is offering so many built-in security measures (at least they’re relaxed that they have provided total security), it also described the features that can be imposed by the user, including:

  • TLS (Transport Layer Security) for SMTP messages from partners
  • Message Encryption
  • Rights Management service
  • S/MIME (Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension)


Currently, the market of Office 365 is growing very fast. It provides many valuable features that your company requires for collaboration. To ensure full compliance and protection, you should implement the security measures described above and additional security solutions such as VPNs.

Ali Raza Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a Master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology for SecurityGladiators. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.
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