4 Strategies for Office 365 Security and Compliance

Microsoft’s high-level guidance for Office 365 on the topics of security and compliance is straight-forward: monitor and proactively manage. Along with your users, data is the lifeblood of your organization. As a result, it’s critical to lay the groundwork to lock down access, manage the content (and end user) lifecycle, and protect your system from risk – and external threats.

To accomplish this, Microsoft recommends leveraging the Security & Compliance Center to:

  • Set up and monitor alerts
  • Regularly review access and usage reports
  • Use the Threat Intelligence tools to research and respond to threats
  • Filter and quarantine your organization’s email
  • Follow all of Microsoft’s recommendations, based on your license types and usage patterns
  • Leverage the Advanced Security Management features to investigate and mitigate potential issues
  • Regularly check your Office 365 Secure Score to identify areas for improvement
Photo by Paul Calescu on Unsplash

Photo by Paul Calescu on Unsplash

A cohesive, holistic and practical approach to governance is required for platforms like Office 365, where the reach is extensive. With the simplification of development practices in the move to a cloud environment, you now are able to more easily shift resources to concentrate on process and governance where doing so was difficult in the past.

When approaching governance of your Office 365 environment, is it important to review your strategy and tactical plans to execute your strategy. Consider each of these four areas:

Foundation

Set the ground rules for how your platform operates and what information technology security parameters it must operate in to remain secure and compliant. Address the structure and support your organization will provide to keep your environment in working order.

Administration

Placing an emphasis on teamwork between your administrative teams will streamline issue resolution and promote the nature of the platform’s collaboration core. As with any team environment, definition of roles and responsibilities will be key to success. Also be sure to set a clear vision for the future in order for your administrators to manage your environment with the future in mind.

Communication

One of the clearest forms of collaboration is communication. Be straightforward and open when it comes to your Office 365 platform. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, successful communication requires collaboration with management, stakeholders, and your end users. Bring your voice and vision to the forefront and give your employees a voice in the process.

Adoption

Focus resources on user engagement, awareness and recognition in order to ensure adoption of new features. Empowering your end users will encourage them to explore and become personally invested in the technology and how it can benefit their day to day work.

There are many great online resources available with guidance on how to approach modern governance. While Microsoft provides many of the tools and guidance you need to build and maintain your governance standards, also take advantage of Microsoft’s incredibly strong partner ecosystem and community of experts and practitioners to leverage the wisdom of the crowd – in addition to your own internal expertise.

To learn more about Microsoft’s offerings support, check out this blog post by AvePoint‘s Adrian Valencia “A Dive Into the Office 365 Security and Compliance Center”

Christian Buckley

Christian is the Microsoft GTM Director for AvePoint Inc., and a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He hosts the AvePoint Office 365 Hours (#O365hours) series, monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the #CollabTalk Podcast, and leads the monthly Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) live stream. He is based in Lehi, Utah (Silicon Slopes).