Many business worry that when they move their email, files and applications to run on cloud services that they not only lose control but that it becomes less secure. This is a common misconception. Business owners often believe that if you can feel and touch the server where the data resides then it safer, whereas having the data controlled by another party and having access over the internet is less secure.
The first thing to realise is that any on premise server will be also be connected to the internet and be accessible via the internet. All Email is delivered via the internet, so mail servers are connected to the internet. Secondly most business need to share their data with employees or contractors over the internet. This can be done via a secure VPN connection, but it still means the data is exposed over the internet. Often the only level of security is user name a password, so if these are leaked then the email and data can also be stolen or compromised. Installing a firewall on premise can help keep data secure, but in the increasingly mobile world the data can be anywhere and not necessarily all kept on premises.
Cloud service providers make a huge effort to keep their systems secure. Here are three features which are available via Microsoft Office 365 that make these generally more secure than on premise solutions.
1 Multifactor Authentication. This adds an extra layer of security on top of the usual email address and password log in. When accessing a service like email, files or accounting or business apps over the internet the user will be prompted with an additional challenge via an sms message, authenticator app or biometric, like fingerprint or facial recognition. Refer to our article here MFA Article
2 Threat protection. This service is built into Microsoft Office 365 email. There is also an enhanced version called Advanced Threat protection which improves on the default offering. Threat protection examines all incoming emails for malicious links and phishing attacks and either quarantines these in the Junk folder or neutralizes the links before they can do any harm. Microsoft look across all email for a wide range of sources and use advanced analytics to keep users safe.
3. Advanced reporting and Analytics. Microsoft office 365 includes many advanced analytics which can detect and report on suspicious activity. Microsoft can provide alerts on suspicious access from foreign countries and even block that access It can report on suspicious email forwarding often associated with fraud. It can also block access to emails that use POP or IMAP , often associated with older email clients and used as part of fraudulent activity. Microsoft’s audit facilities also make it easy to track and report on suspicious activity.
So cloud based services can be more secure than on premise solutions. Microsoft provide a security score that looks across your Office 365 environment and makes suggestions for improvements. To better understand your security score and take action please make use of our initial free consultation. Contact us on (03) 9555 4986 or via the contact form to make an appointment