What are the key threats to Office 365 data security?
Beware of watching criminals. With every technological advancement comes new opportunities for lurking fraudsters and hidden hackers, patiently waiting in the shadows. From phishing to ransomware, methods may be increasingly sophisticated but there is a solution when it comes to ensuring improved Office 365 data security – and staying one step ahead of the bad guys.
Cloud migrations need to be handled carefully
Migrating to the cloud and Office 365 has many benefits to business. The ability to work remotely, on any device and in any location, means greater flexibility and more productivity. Staff and clients can collaborate and share in real-time, with less need for bulky and expensive on-site equipment.
However, when organisations make the decision to migrate to the cloud (and there’s every reason why they should), they need to be aware that the transition should be managed carefully. Old systems may become redundant and neglected, leading to gaps in security and a discrepancy between legacy software and new applications which will have a higher standard of protection.
Out of sight, out of mind is a dangerous place to be.
External threats to Office 365 data security
By Microsoft’s own estimates, cyberattacks will cost £4.6 trillion worldwide by 2021. These include large-scale, highly coordinated attacks and opportunistic theft by individuals who enjoy a lucrative trade in dark web data dealing.
Phishing is a well-known tactic, which involves sending a fake but convincing email from a supposedly reputable company with the aim of tricking someone into revealing personal information such as bank details or passwords. Whaling works in a similar way but targets high-profile people in a company to skilfully extract sensitive business information.
Then there is ransomware, a particularly malicious type of malware which encrypts files so that users cannot gain access to business-critical information unless they pay sometimes substantial amounts of money to a hacker.
True, users will find that there is some inbuilt security in Microsoft applications. For example, you may be familiar with spam filters in Office 365 email, which can help protect against unwanted messages and attachments. However, this simple line of defence will not be enough for most organisations. Instead, businesses need to adopt a multi-layered approach to Office 365 data security, which combines high-level firewalls, anti-virus measures and backup procedures.
Internal threats to Office 365 data security
We’re not ones to suggest that you need to operate your business in a climate of suspicion and control. However, the sad truth is that some employees have been known to steal data. Take the case of Bupa Insurance Services Limited (Bupa). Between 6 January and 11 March 2017, an employee was able to extract the personal information of 547,000 Bupa Global customers and offer it for sale on the dark web. Bupa was subsequently fined £175,000 for data protection failures.
Malicious intent aside, Office 365 data can be vulnerable to genuine human error such as accidental deletion of files. We’ve all had an uh-oh moment.
How can businesses guard against threat?
One of the best strategies a business can adopt in the war against cybercriminals and data loss is to implement a rock-solid, safe and secure backup strategy.
Choose Backup Heroes for:
- Complete system recovery in the event of a ransomware attack
- Item-level restoration if needed
- Backup solutions that safely store your business-critical data
- Improved compliance with data protection legislation
Backup Heroes’ Veeam-powered recovery and storage solutions are a cost-effective way to guard your business against data loss – with prices starting from just over £3 a month. If you would like to discuss how we can work with you, give our friendly team a call on 0845 6460146.