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For small businesses, a holistic software solution that is capable of handling a multitude of tasks simultaneously saves precious time and resources. And no other office software is as famous for smoothly carrying out multiple tasks than Microsoft Office 365.

The most recent release is loaded with features that integrate automatic backups, online cloud storage, and file sharing without the need to maintain an in-house server. And best of all, there are plenty of robust security capabilities.

However, no software is 100% impervious to cyberattacks, and since Office 365 comes with unprecedented mobility and flexibility, there is a long list of vulnerabilities that should be on your radar. For example, unauthorized access becomes far more likely among businesses that allow employees to use their own devices and access data from compromised networks.

All the risks beg the question: is Office 365 secure enough for small businesses? Yes! You merely need to incorporate and optimize some of its best features. Although some of them can be handled by people who have limited IT experience, a trust-worthy managed service provider (MSP) like Austin Technology, can secure your data and increase your ROI on cloud investments

Here are some ways we help small businesses secure Office 365:

#1. Eliminate unnecessary user access

Users who can view, edit, and share documents that aren’t relevant to their work are some of the biggest security liabilities in any organization. Each file they can access represents a security breach that is waiting to happen. Audit your Office 365 at least once every six months to apply the principle of least privilege, which means no one has the ability to view anything that they don’t need for work.

#2. Remove accounts for former employees

You must revoke user privileges for employees who have resigned or been terminated. This isn’t a new tip, but one that has become exponentially more essential as users have more access to data on personal devices. Keep in mind that former employees may intentionally or unintentionally cause data loss or a breach as they transition to new jobs or devices.

Considering that most small businesses use at least four different apps for communication alone, revoking an employee’s IT privileges is a big task. It’s usually more efficient and economical to let an MSP make sure everything is handled securely. MSPs are equipped with large teams and a variety of tools to transfer and archive files that need to be kept on record.

#3. Practice safe password habits

While writing down a list of your passwords may save you time, it’s a huge no-no. Every user in your organization needs to have strong passwords (at least 12 characters long) that are unique to every app (i.e., different passwords for your customer relationship management platform and your email client).

Short passwords are easily cracked using programs that make thousands of guesses per second, and reused passwords mean that one hacked password grants access to all your other accounts.

#4. Use a two-factor authentication

Office 365 has built-in multi-factor authentication (MFA) features to ensure that a hacked password isn’t enough to gain access to an account. In addition to the normal username and password combination, MFA also requires a fingerprint or a short code sent to a mobile device. This goes further to ensure that the person logging in is actually who they say they are.

#5. Have your Office 365 managed by experts

Managed Office 365 services allow you to simplify and optimize your cloud security. From a seamless migration to ongoing support, MSPs provide valuable advice and reliable assistance when securing your data in the cloud.

For more information on how you could exhaust the features of Microsoft Office 365 while working with collaborators over the cloud, call us today!

By Austin

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