Tips to Secure Your Microsoft 365 Account

Microsoft 365 has become one of the best collaboration and productivity tools around. It provides users seamless communication, scalability, and supports remote work with various features. In addition, Microsoft 365 provides a very secure environment with a wide array of defense mechanisms. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be susceptible to cyber attacks. Here are five tips to take your data protection to the next level and better secure your accounts from cyber attacks. 

Tip #1: Establish a Password Creation & Management Policy

You would be surprised how many people still use “password” or “123456” to log into their email. Instead of blindly trusting that your team understands the importance of complex passwords, give them a set of guidelines for password creation and management. The policy should also include training on the importance of using a strong password. Have requirements such as passwords must be a certain minimum length and include a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numeric and special characters. Passwords should be different from any other password they’ve used in the past. It’s not uncommon for employees to use the same passwords for multiple accounts. This is easy for them to remember but also easy for hackers to gain access to all your business data. We understand strong passwords can be tough to remember.

Implementing a business password management tool like the GTS Password Portal is the best way to manage and keep your passwords secure. Our system offers tiered access for everyone in your company: you can store personal passwords in your personal portal, and give access to shared passwords through a company portal. 

Tip #2: Turn on Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

It’s easier than people think to steal or guess passwords. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your account sign-in. For example, you enter your password along with a verification code sent to your phone or provided by an authenticator app. This forces impersonators to get past two or more barriers. MFA is especially important for administrators and other high-privileged accounts. Whether it should be required for all accounts depends on the level of security your organization needs and the nature of the workforce.

Tip #3: Utilize Encryption

By default, emails are not encrypted as they travel from your email servers to the recipient. So, if a hacker can compromise the data, they can read your emails and attachments. When emails are encrypted, the contents of the emails are scrambled so that only the intended recipient can access them. Email encryption is typically available through five platforms. Unfortunately, most modern email encryption services only use two of these platforms, which can cause problems if your recipient doesn’t have the correct email protocols. However, GTS EncryptGuard ensures your emails never go unencrypted by providing encryption services through all platforms. If your email comes up against a compatibility error, our service can change encryption methods to ensure your email reaches the intended recipient safely, no matter what.

Tip #4: Have a Dedicated Administrative Account

Administrative accounts are the holy grail for cybercriminals. If a hacker gains access to your admin account, they can quickly take control of your entire network. Therefore, we recommend setting up a separate, dedicated administrative account with login credentials different from all your other user accounts. This way, admins in your organization can have individual user accounts reserved for non-administrative work, reducing the threat of a critical account falling into the wrong hands. 

Tip #5: Train & Educate Your Employees

One of the best ways to prevent security breaches in your business is to schedule employee security training and education. The better prepared and educated your employees are, the safer your network is. In addition, regularly send test “phishing” emails to your employees and give users an easy button to flag suspicious emails. These tests can raise their awareness of potential threats and guide them on how to address them. 

Email security threats continue to change as hackers develop more sophisticated methods of accessing your data. At GTS, we are happy to help you identify places where your defenses could be stronger—and put safeguards in place to keep your business protected. Give us a call at 904-606-6011 or email to learn more!


Paul May