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How to manage one of the biggest security threats impacting businesses now

How to manage one of the biggest security threats impacting businesses now
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While most business owners diligently protect their businesses from theft, fire and damage by investing in security systems, alarms and insurance policies to protect their property and finances, an alarming number of businesses do very little (or nothing) to protect their data.

You probably wouldn’t leave the premises of your business for the night without locking the door, but for some reason many business owners are leaving things like confidential client files, reports containing sale figures, pitch documents, tenders, contracts and sensitive emails open for theft and duplication.

Consider the amount of sensitive data that is easily accessible and then think about how you would feel if that data were to end up in the hands of your competitor or someone hoping to replicate your business model? Often, business owners think of this only when it’s too late, when their security has been breached and they’ve lost trade secrets, proposals, contacts and other confidential data.

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Here are three ways Office 365 helps to combat common security threats:

Mobile Device Management

Gone are the days of employees working solely on their desktops located in a dedicated office space. These days, it’s very common for most people to work on other devices too, including personal laptops, tablets and smartphones. While these devices have made working from home and while away on business trips much easier, they also represent a threat to the security of most organisations.

If you don’t have adequate security settings enacted on devices used for work (out of the work environment), confidential data crucial to your business could end up in the wrong hands if an employee’s laptop or smartphone is lost or stolen. One thoughtless moment of leaving a smartphone in the back of a taxi or misplacing a laptop at a conference could result in far reaching consequences for your business if sensitive emails or documents end up in the wrong hands.

Related – https://www.axiomit.com.au/secure-your-business-against-employees-mobile-devices/

Fortunately, Office 365 has a comprehensive Mobile Device Management (MDM) system that allows you to protect your business when a device goes missing. With MDM you can do things like remotely wipe a device of all information (or just work-related information), block certain devices from accessing emails, configure devices to adhere to minimum password requirements and security settings, and generate reports to see a list of devices that aren’t complying with security settings and policies.

We feel it’s critical business owners get their head out of the sand when it comes to mobile devices. Employees are increasingly using smartphones and laptops out of the workplace, and this represents a huge security threat if not managed wisely. If you’re not sure where to start, ask us – we’re happy to chat.

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Rights Management

While we like to think we can trust our co-workers and employees, breaches of trust do routinely occur in the workplace. Office 365 has several security functions that keep confidential documents and information out of the wrong hands. When you have multiple employees working on documents in Word, you can set the security settings of the document to only allow the people collaborating on the project to view and edit the documents. This is particularly useful if you have doubts about the intentions of a particular employee, want to keep a project on the down-low or are working on a particularly important or confidential document. If you set the names of the people who can access the document, then they are the only ones who can read and edit the document.

Related – https://www.axiomit.com.au/achieve-top-grade-security-with-information-rights-management-office-365/

Litigation Hold

While most employers and business owners hope to never use this feature, Office 365’s Litigation Hold is a clever, swift way to react in the event an employee leaves a company on bad terms, is suspected of stealing documents to give to competitors, or is trying to take confidential in-house documents or contracts with them to a new employer or set up their own business using your business model.

To stop this, simply enact the Litigation Hold feature and an employee’s mailbox is essentially frozen in time. They can try and delete emails to cover their tracks, or remove emails from the system, but all that data is retained from the time and duration you select, and no damage can be done. This may seem quite dramatic, but every day there are many cases of employees and former employees doing the wrong thing to businesses, both large and small. Office 365 features like Litigation Hold are a clever line of defence against such incidences and could potentially stop the loss of important data critical to the survival of your business.

If you think the online security of your business isn’t everything it could be, then get in contact with us for a no obligation conversation about Office 365’s superior security features for businesses.

Tas Gray

Tas Gray is one of Axiom IT's directors. He spends most of his time working with Office 365 and other cloud technologies. He holds an MCSA in Office 365 and helps clients get the most from their Office 365 subscriptions.