Getting the most out of Microsoft 365 starts with ensuring that you are following best practices and a complete vision for how Microsoft 365 will serve the needs of your organization. It is also important that you understand how to keep your 365 environment secured and have well established processes in place that will keep your organization productive and without interruption.
In this blog, we are focusing on industry best practices and sound advice that will help to ensure that you are leveraging your investment and keeping your Microsoft 365 protected against hackers.
Over the last 15 months, many organizations accelerated their adoption of the Microsoft 365 applications that were underutilized pre-pandemic. The new challenges of supporting remote work required the use of new tools, and we saw a steady surge in clients that were looking to leverage Microsoft Teams. The use cases were more relevant as organizations that typically preferred on-site / in-person collaboration were forced to explore technology that would enable remote workers and distributed teams to collaborate and communicate.
The Microsoft 365 applications are powerful and easy to deploy, but there are administrative settings that are critical in Microsoft 365. The more features and applications that you roll out without the proper level of administration, the more vulnerable you become. This article hopes to outline a few best practices and help to secure your Microsoft 365 environment while mitigating risk.
Managing Admin Permissions and Authentication
Microsoft 365 administrators need to understand the implications of a compromised admin account. We recommend that organizations have processes in place to limit full admin access to the environment. Now, we recently wrote an article that explained why it is critical that our team have access to an environment when we are working on a client project, but we do think it is important that organizations remain vigilant and carefully consider privileged access. The best way to do this is by limiting the number of admin accounts and by using dedicated accounts.
We also highly recommend multi-factor authentication to help to secure your environment. Multi-factor authentication sends a user an SMS message when they log into their Microsoft account. The unique code is sent the user and can be used to validate that that user has indeed tried to access their Microsoft account.
Leverage the Full-Suite of Microsoft 365 Applications
As organization begin to use Microsoft 365 for than just Outlook and the Office applications, they may begin to realize that they have redundant applications. Microsoft 365 licensing gives organizations access to apps and capabilities that they may not know they had. We have worked with clients that have begun to use Power BI, Teams, and Power Automate and seen them cancel services with other SaaS providers since the Microsoft 365 tools give them everything they need.
Audit Your Environment
We have discovered that many organizations fail to assess the Microsoft 365 licensing. Many organizations are paying for seats that are unassigned, underutilized, or no longer in use. In order to maximize savings, we recommend that the administrator audit the licensing frequently or use tools that can help in surfacing the information.
This is just a short list of things you should consider right now if you are looking to maximize your investment and secure your environment.