One of the primary benefits of migrating from on-premises IT to cloud deployments is the inherent security increase in storing your company’s information Google’s or Microsoft’s very-secure data centers. That’s absolutely true, but with every new user comes a new attack vector for hackers and malware. Improving Office 365 security should be a top priority for businesses using the cloud collaboration platform.

Fortunately, Microsoft has just announced new systems that can improve Office 365 security through the use of sensible governance requirements and some new machine learning features announced by Microsoft.

For those who have migrated to Office 365 already, there are some practical solutions and new features to help mitigate risk and harden your deployment with these new tools.

Why it’s important to know your Secure Score

The Office 365 Secure Score analyzes all the elements and options in your configuration to give you at-a-glance information about what features you have partially or fully adopted. If your score is 150/273, for example, it means that you’re making strong headway but that there’s much more that could be done.

Office 365 Secure Score also offers practical suggestions about what actions a company could take that offers a high level of improvement but doesn’t impact users very much. You can also track the progress of the Secure Score over time to understand how your choices are affecting the company’s IT infrastructure.

This at-a-glance method of tracking security can even “gamify” the process, letting even the non-technical employees understand how they’re helping.

Get smart assessments about threats

A data breach can be an incredibly expensive hiccup in any company’s operations, both in money and time. Migrating to the cloud reduces the risk of someone physically accessing your company’s data, but there are still a rapid increase in ransomware attacks, particularly focused on small businesses.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence examines billions of data points from across the global Office 365 infrastructure—plus the Windows and Azure ecosystems—to deliver actionable information about attack trends from around the world. The system delivers practical solutions to these threats, plus crucial information, such as how much Bitcoin is typically requested during a ransomware situation.

On top of that, Threat Intelligence delivers recommendations on how they can best mitigate potential security risks, reducing the risk of future breaches, which will save costs.

The Office 365 Threat Intelligence Dashboard for improving Office 365 security

The Office 365 Threat Intelligence Dashboard gives real-time insights about critical threats from around the globe.

Take control of data governance

Data is an incredible asset to businesses, but holding onto increasing amounts of data comes with significant risk when it comes to governance. If you’re holding onto personal information of past employees, for example, or are working with data that would be held under HIPAA guidelines, there’s an inherent increased risk if that data is breached.

Office 365 Advanced Data Governance aims to help companies shed redundant, obsolete, and trivial data from their archives, particularly if it could damage the business if it were compromised. Machine learning algorithms build custom policy recommendations and make recommendations (such as preservation or deletion) of data based on who has accessed it, its age, and more.

Let Office 365 make security smarter

Microsoft is currently estimating that these features will be available by the end of March 2017, and are focusing on the E5 enterprise-level plan.

Have questions about the differences between E3 and E5, or Business Premium and E3? Get in touch or take our quiz and we’ll help hand-craft exactly the right plan for your business with all the built-in security you’ll ever need.

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