How can I keep my data safe if it’s stored in the cloud?

We will explore a few options available to keep your data safe from accidental mistakes, or deliberate attempts.

Passwords

The days of leaving the front door unlocked are gone, as are having an insecure Pa$$word.  This is your first and most important line of defence.

Office 365 Provides the following options:

  • Force users to change passwords on a regular basis.
  • Enable Multi Factor Authentication

Like some banks multi factor authentication makes you enter a code from a txt message when you enter your password.  Providing two forms of identification. Yes it’s a pain.. but it’s secure and can be turned on for select people only.

It’s also worth reviewing your list of users. If staff have left or are on extended leave, mark them as not able to login.  Check also if your support partner has access to your account and what their password policies are.

Data Loss Prevention

Accidental or deliberate loss of data hits the headlines often. There are a variety of ways you can avoid this including.

  • Not allowing people to send email with attachments
  • Scan all outgoing email to look for certain number sequences, e.g. credit card numbers or account numbers

This can also apply to files in OneDrive or SharePoint.  Options include

  • Warn, or block users sharing or sending files with certain content
  • Block all users from sharing files with people externally
  • Block certain files based on their classification from being shared.

Setting this up can be tricky but there are some basic templates that can used and easy SharePoint or OneDrive settings to control what’s shared.

There is a lot happening in this space, the following video on Azure Information Protection provides an insight into whats possible.

Device Management

So what happens when you have a PC stolen, or want to protect data in a BYOD environment.  Again there are options

  • Remote wiping devices if you are using Microsoft Intune
  • Controlling use of apps on devices, eg removing Pokémon Go from company owned phones!
  • Protecting data on devices, ie not allowing email attachments to be saved to a personal  Dropbox
With good user training and application of some simple device and security settings Office 365 can be made as secure at your business needs.

Read more at these links:

Microsoft Trust Center   An overwhelming resource on information covering almost anything you need to know and more

Videos and more product related information on  Office 365

Device Management with Microsoft InTune

Setting up multi factor authentication