7 Email Security Best Practices for Office 365 in the Cloud
Cloud applications are not quickly approaching — they’re here. As organizations strive to manage costs and resources, solutions that are affordable, scalable and functionally robust are most appealing. Cloud applications promise to deliver this and more. For these reasons, adoption is accelerating.
Microsoft is at the forefront of the cloud application wave. Their Office 365 service enables workplace collaboration with not only a core email application, but also many popular Microsoft Office apps. However, Office 365’s potential for open exchange of information also makes it a prime target for hackers.
Migrating To Cloud Services While Ensuring Security
Well-informed organizations are keenly aware that modern emerging threats exploit email as the primary mechanism for delivering their payload, and thus are evaluating more leading-edge security solutions. Targeted, coordinated attacks, data leaks and email-borne threats (including ransomware, phishing and spam attacks) all threaten cloud-based email services, such as Office 365.
Although Office 365 does include some security measures, prudent organizations recognize the need to reinforce these elementary security controls. According to Gartner, “By 2018, 40% of Office 365 deployments will rely on third-party tools to fill gaps in security and compliance, which is a major increase from less than 10% in 2015.”
Furthermore, leading industry analysts, including Gartner and IDC, recommend reinforcing Office 365 by integrating third-party email security solutions that, at a minimum, provide the following essential components:
- Advanced threat protection: Most anti-virus solutions are signature-based, and therefore ineffective against advanced threats such as ransomware. A sandbox environment is required to detect and prevent ransomware and zero-day attacks before they even reach your network.
- Known threat protection: For effective security against attacks leveraging known malware, we recommend using multiple virus detection engines to scan email messages and attachments for viruses, Trojans, worms and other types of malicious content.
- Phishing protection: Phishing campaigns have emerged as the method of choice for delivering ransomware. Proper mitigation requires an email security solution that incorporates advanced analysis of an email’s subject, body and attachment by leveraging a sandbox environment.
- Fraud protection: Hackers utilize advanced tactics such as spear phishing, whaling and CEO fraud to solicit for personally identifiable information (PII), or to carry out fraud by impersonating emails from within the organization. Granular configurations for email settings, including SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance). These can help prevent illegitimate messages from entering your organization.
- Spam protection: To ensure spam does not clog inboxes and network resources, your organization needs an email security solution that leverages multiple methods of detecting spam and other unwanted email, including using specific allowed and blocked lists of people, domains and mailing lists; and the ability to enable third-party blocked lists.
- Advanced Reputation Management (ARM): A collaboration of multiple, cross-verified SonicWall Capture Threat Network sources, including SonicWall Advanced Content Management (ACM), provides dynamic, up-to-date analysis of email component reputations.
- Data loss prevention: An organization’s most sensitive communications require the utmost protection. The best measure is to encrypt sensitive emails and attachments using a service that works in tandem with email security.
How Sonicwall Hosted Email Security For Office 365 Can Assist
SonicWall Hosted Email Security (HES) is a multi-layer defense service that integrates with SonicWall Capture Advance Threat Protection (ATP), delivering fine-grained and user-transparent inspection of SMTP-based traffic to block zero-day threats.
SonicWall HES also includes advanced compliance scanning, management and optional email encryption, to prevent confidential data leaks, regulatory violations and to ensure the secure exchange of sensitive data.
With SonicWall HES, no additional client software is necessary. In addition, the service includes DMARC, a powerful email authentication method that helps identify spoofed mail, reducing advanced phishing attacks.
SonicWall HES enhances Office 365 using a multi-layer defense approach for industry-leading protection against advanced threats delivered via email. It also delivers superior anti-phishing, anti-spoofing, anti-spam, multi-engine AV and data loss prevention (DLP) for comprehensive protection.
Embrace The Cloud
Don’t let threat actors, criminals and nefarious organizations ruin the benefits your organization receives from workplace collaboration. Once integrated into Microsoft Office 365, SonicWall HES provides unparalleled breach prevention capabilities that defend against advanced threats originating from emails.
To learn more about how SonicWall HES protects your organization and enhances Microsoft Office 365, read more via the Tech Brief: Click here.