If you’re considering a Microsoft Office 365 deployment for your organization, you’re in good company: millions of companies worldwide continue turning to Office 365 to help improve productivity and collaboration.

As with any cloud-based platform, Office 365 is routinely targeted by hackers due to the sheer volume of data enterprises entrust Microsoft with protecting.

In one case, millions of Office 365 users were targeted » by a phishing campaign with the goal of installing password stealers on infected devices.

In another instance, high-profile Office 365 user accounts were victims » of an attack designed to quietly steal sensitive corporate data.

Office 365 SecurityShould you wait on the sidelines and wait for a completely bullet-proof platform that hackers can’t penetrate? Absolutely not. If you take these five steps, you can drastically reduce the threat that hackers will infiltrate your Office 365 deployment:

  1. Analyze your data. If you don’t understand what data you have and how much it’s worth, it’s impossible to implement a strategy that will keep data secure while minimizing business disruption while when you move to Office 365. Gain insight into which data is important to your organization, assign a monetary value to it, understand how it flows through your organization, and restrict where sensitive data is stored and who can access it. If you deploy Office 365 into a Wild West of data governance, no platform will be successful.
  2. Educate your users. Train and educate your users on the ins and outs of Office 365 – its architecture, how it works, and how they can safely and securely collaborate without putting vital data at risk. If you’re afraid you don’t have the expertise in house to educate your colleagues on Office 365, US Cloud’s experts can help ».
  3. Assess how Office 365 and other cloud platforms handle your data. Office 365 brings about new collaborative workflows, processes, and data storage. You need to understand what impacts this will be when you combine Office 365 with other cloud service providers (such as Dropbox or Salesforce) you may use in your organization. A good rule of thumb is to have a balanced, holistic approach across all your data types and cloud service providers so it’s easier for your users to understand and for your IT colleagues to implement.
  4. Define the business use cases to inform how you can secure and protect your data in the cloud. Once you understand how data will flow throughout your IT infrastructure, marry this with the business objectives that drive your organization’s data taxonomy and associated policies. The policies are then used to define what is acceptable, and a reference architecture defines how policies are enforced for each level of classification.
  5. Identify gaps in your existing governance model and operational processes. You know how your data will flow and the business use cases to protect it. Now take a look at your existing IT infrastructure and look for where you need to shore up any gaps – some examples can include identifying solutions for protecting email messages, links, and attachments as well as considering cloud access security brokers and security information event management (SIEM) systems.

Microsoft Office 365 Secure Deployment

If you’ve taken these five steps, then you’re ready to create a deployment plan and execute. US Cloud has 20+ years of Microsoft experience, and our Microsoft Consulting Services » will help you reduce your timelines to deployment, lower costs, and get faster time to value. Our Microsoft Consulting Services include:

  • Planning: Guidance, planning, and remediation to better align your teams and environment to online services architecture best practices.
  • Implementation: Includes project governance, solution architecture, and solution delivery to provide technical implementation, including development, configuration, migration, upgrade, and deployment of the solution based on Microsoft technologies and its integration with your IT environment.
  • Optimization: US Cloud offers adoption services, IT services management, and security services.  Assess your organization, modernize IT, and understand how to protect and innovate your IT infrastructure, applications and data against internal and external threats.

Start the New Year with a successful Microsoft Office 365 deployment that will keep your data safe and drive greater business results for your organization. Contact us today for a free Microsoft Consulting Services quote ».