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Why Office 365 Malware Protection is Necessary

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Why Office 365 Malware Protection is Necessary

Microsoft Office 365 is integrated with several enterprise systems, and it’s a great tool for productivity across departments. Because it’s commonly integrated into corporate systems, Office 365 is also a primary target for various malware, ransomware, and email-based attacks. Microsoft offers some basic security on its platform, but it isn’t sufficient for blocking sophisticated attacks. Several of the latest data breaches started with a sophisticated targeted attack on the Office 365 platform, so organizations need an added layer of security to fully protect their data and continuity.

 

Does Microsoft Office 365 Have Any Malware Protection?

The answer to this question is “Yes,” Microsoft does offer a layer of security. Unfortunately, the security is limited to avoid blocking legitimate email messages to their corporate clients. The Office 365 platform is built to support as many clients as possible including individuals with a basic account. The system isn’t fully customizable to support different unique corporate environments and is meant to support volumes of people rather than targeting corporate concerns.

Using Microsoft’s basic Office 365 security is sufficient to block common threats, so cyber-criminals create targeted threats for specific organizations. Basic security is unable to catch targeted sophisticated attacks, and cyber-criminals know it. Because of the inability to catch these sophisticated attacks, corporations need a way to add a layer of security to stop them. Think of this additional layer of security as an enhancement rather than a replacement of the basic Microsoft Office 365 security system for your email and documents.

 

Why Do Businesses Need an Added Layer of Security for Office 365?

The most common attack vector for malware and ransomware is email. Office 365 is more than just an email system in Exchange. It also has a document-sharing and creation feature commonly used in corporate environments. Corporations need a way to block malware and ransomware from being delivered in emails, documents, and any other Office 365 platform feature. The added security layer is necessary to block malicious executable files from accessing your internal network environment.

Malware can be devastating for an organization, but the most devastating attack comes from ransomware. Several variants of ransomware are completely irreversible while security researchers have found bypasses for others. Ransomware is a form of malware that scans your network for important files and encrypts them with an irreversible cryptographically secure cipher. After files are encrypted, the attacker asks for payment in exchange for the key that will decrypt and recover your files. For some nastier forms of ransomware, attackers promise a key and never deliver it if the payment is made. Ransomware can completely cripple an organization and force you out of business due to lost data and productivity.

Backups are the only way to recover from ransomware, and even then, most businesses lose some data after an attack. Paying the ransom isn’t suggested, although some corporations have no choice but to pay the ransom in the hope of recovering their files. Because a business uses Office 365, it gives an attacker the advantage of knowing the types of files that could be important to business owners.

Ransomware often starts with a simple email message, and it only takes one employee to fall for the attacker’s tricks to create havoc on the environment. Email isn’t the only form of delivery. A shared Office 365 document could contain a malicious link or a malicious executable used to download and install ransomware. Organizations need the added layer of security to stop all these various ways attackers use to install malware on a vulnerable machine.

SpamTitan email security seamlessly integrates with Office 365 accounts to prevent malware attacks. Learn more about SpamTitan Office 365 protection in a free demo.

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Can Organizations Block Spam and Downloads with Office 365 Security?

Malware isn’t the only issue for organizations with Office 365. Spam takes up resources unnecessarily, clogs up storage space, costs organizations in network and storage resources, and is a general nuisance for users. Microsoft Office 365 does what it can to block spam from reaching a targeted user’s inbox, but an added layer of security is necessary to block spam and the downloads attached to malicious messages.

Spam messages can fall into several categories, but the most dangerous spam tricks users into accessing a website where they are prompted to download spyware and other forms of nuisance programs. Good Office 365 security offers features to block websites from user browsers so that they are unable to access them and download malware programs.

DNS-based content filters block users from opening malicious websites in their browsers.  Instead of allowing a user to download malware and stop it during installation, DNS-based filters don’t let users access the download website at all. This level of Office 365 security is much more proactive instead of relying on antivirus applications to catch the malware installation before it can do any harm. Using DNS-based content filtering, an organization gets a much higher level of cybersecurity than standard antivirus and email filters included in the Office 365 platform.

 

Can Office 365 Malware Protection Stop Phishing?

As with any other type of attack, phishing can be devastating for an organization when a user is tricked into divulging private information. Phishing is more common than most organization owners think, and targeted phishing attacks can lead to millions lost in stolen data, money transfers, or paid fraudulent invoices. Even large organizations where cybersecurity training is prominent have fallen victim to phishing attacks. Microsoft Office 365 has some phishing prevention, but an added layer of email security is still necessary for a more comprehensive approach, especially protection from sophisticated spear-phishing attacks.

An added layer of security blocks phishing and the targeted spear-phishing attacks used in sophisticated threats. Office 365 lacks the ability to block targeted phishing attacks necessary to provide full protection from these threats.

 

Advanced Phishing, Malware, and Content Filtering

TitanHQ SpamTitan blocks many of today’s attacks and mitigates zero-day threats of the future. Our advanced Office 365 cybersecurity detects and blocks phishing, malware, ransomware, spam, and other email-based threats. Artificial Intelligence systems use our threat intelligence to add a layer of security to Microsoft Office 365 so that any messages that pass through the Microsoft system will be blocked by the SpamTitan solution.

 

SpamTitan email security seamlessly integrates with Office 365 accounts to prevent malware attacks. Learn more about SpamTitan Office 365 protection in a free demo.

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