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Nowadays nearly all businesses are vulnerable to ransomware, phishing, keyloggers, denial-of-service attacks, and many more specific threats lurking in the maelstrom of the internet. Fortunately, where there are security exploits, there are also security solutions. Office Protect security settings are here to help you defend your employees and data against attacks on Microsoft 365, one of the most commonly used—and therefore targeted—business applications.

Learn how Office Protect helps keep your Microsoft 365 tenants safe with our e-book

Office Protect features and security settings

Office Protect utilizes several key features to help keep your business, employees, and data safe. Let’s review each in turn.

Logs: Audit and mailbox logs are always on so you know who is accessing your most sensitive emails.

Multi-Factor Authentication: You can enable this setting to require users to verify their identity with more than one device. The setting can apply to either all users or just those with admin privileges.

Outbound Spam Notifications: When spam is identified as being sent outbound, an email will notify the sender.

Security Policy Monitoring: Any changes to your security policy will trigger a notification, keeping you fully in the loop about what’s going on in your environment.

Unusual Sign-In Monitoring: Any sign-in from a new or unusual location, or from an unknown device, will be flagged.

Suspicious Mailbox Activities: Office Protect will notify you of any suspicious mailbox activity, such as a large number of missing or deleted emails, inbox rules that weren’t created by a user or administrator, or an unusual signature being added.

Administrator Abuse: Office Protect will flag and alert you of any administrator abusing their privileges.

What does Office Protect monitor?

We’ve discussed some monitoring features above, but what exactly is Office Protect looking for? What will it tell you, and how can it protect your business? There are two main monitoring targets:

  • Hackers: Office Protect will know and alert you if hackers are deleting accounts, impersonating management, creating new accounts for themselves, or changing your security settings. Any and all of these can be accomplished through various phishing schemes or even social engineering, so it’s important to stay on top of any current threats.
  • Internal Employees: Office Protect will alert you if any of your own employees are creating security violations, whether unintentionally or intentionally. You’ll know if users are sharing private data publically, if anyone is sending a large number of emails to an external source, or if an unknown person is accessing an employee account.

Office Protect can also alert you of any SharePoint sites being created to publicize data or damage your reputation, if your account has been breached in foreign countries, or if your Office 365 credentials have been made public.

Benefits of Office Protect

As you can imagine, utilizing all of these features to stay on top of your security can provide many benefits to your company:

  • Proactive Monitoring. Instead of reacting after a threat has occurred and your data has already been compromised, Office Protect proactively detects and prevents security threats. This allows you to stay on top of your security and ensure that a cyber attack never happens in the first place.
  • Informed Reporting. With easy-to-read dashboards and automated reports, Office Protect makes it incredibly simple for you to monitor your IT environment. You can even export these reports to PDF or CSV for data collection and analysis.
  • Prevention of Human Error. Office Protect will prevent your users from accidentally making their information public via their calendar, encourage good password usage, and prevent employees from unwittingly sending out spam from their company account.

Finally, Office Protect can also ensure that logs are always captured, block malicious email attachments, and prevent a mass distribution of company emails to another destination.

Applying Office Protect settings

By now, you know how valuable these Office Protect security settings can be, but how do you apply them and make sure you’re getting everything you can out of the software?

It’s actually very easy! To start, go to the Office Protect menu and click ‘Set.’ You can then choose from four security profiles in the drop down menu:

  1. Low User Impact. Security and user impact for this setting are both low. End users most likely won’t even notice that anything has changed, but some security best practices will be compromised on this setting. It’s only recommended for familiarizing yourself with the Office Protect product without impacting your users.
  2. Recommended Best Practices. Security impact for this setting is high, while user impact is medium. This setting is recommended for most businesses, and is a compromise between having good security practices in place and accommodating your business activities. It was developed by talking to real business owners just like you to ensure that it strikes a healthy balance between usability and security. Some policies may impact users’ work, but this should not be detrimental—just make sure to communicate with your users so they know what to expect.
  3. Max Security. This raises your security level to maximum, but will have a high impact on your users. Every security feature that Office Protect offers will be turned on without regard for the impact to end users. For example, Office Protect may disable some user capabilities or popups.

You can also create a custom setting by reviewing the individual settings in each profile and modifying them to what works for your business. Once you’ve chosen what profile you’d like to use, simply click ‘Save and Apply,’ and everything will be set up.

Ready to begin securing your data? Office Protect is a great tool to make that sure your business remains safe from all of the cyber threats lurking in the shadows. Contact us if you have any questions, or sign up to become a Sherweb partner to get started.

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb