Microsoft 365 Security, Governance, and Compliance
By Jason Lane, Cloud Manager
Do you have concerns over your current security posture and feel like there’s more you could be doing to restrict access to sensitive information? In this blog, I’m going to discuss features that Microsoft 365 and Azure offer to allow for a zero trust environment that enables users to be productive while having the control to secure their data. Microsoft offers an extensive toolset natively to 365 and Azure to accomplish this protection.
Microsoft 365 Data Governance
Let’s start with the governance of your data for user access. In today’s remote workforce environment, it’s imperative that users prove their identity in order to have access to the organizational information they need. Enforcing policies and procedures for managing and protecting data and applications to determine who has access to the data and who can make changes is critical.
Microsoft spends a significant amount of its budget on security each year, which has led them to be a leader in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Information and Event Management. There’s no denying that Microsoft receives more signals than any other Security Protection organization today. Let’s take a peek at what’s under the hood for these features.
- Enterprise Mobility & Security – One of the most important advantages of Microsoft 365 is the power to use Conditional Access policies. Azure AD P1 allows you to enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA) requirements for users by applying options for the Identity Protection users need to prove who they are in order to gain access to your resources. Single sign-on (SSO allows users to be more productive in accessing the applications. Target users and devices with policies that can grant or allow access on Windows, IOS, Android, and macOS devices with application packages for enterprise and 3rd party applications.
- Endpoint Configuration Manager – This system management allows for mobile device and application management by implementing device compliance policies that help secure your data on trusted devices. Enforcing software updates and being able to remotely wipe organizational information provides a way of lifecycle management. Intune allows for application packages to be pushed to devices for a zero-touch deployment by IT.
- Azure Information Protection – Part of Microsoft Purview Information Protection is the process for labeling your data to control how these documents are shared. With the AIP Scanner, organizations are able to locate where their sensitive documents reside and apply a unified labeling client to restrict users from sharing sensitive information.
Microsoft 365 Security
Now, let’s dive into the meat and potatoes of Microsoft Security with Microsoft Defender. Microsoft has many products in the Defender line, which can lead to confusion on which of them is needed for protecting specific services. This question, as well as how to license the Defender services, comes up quite often when talking with clients. The management of the services through the Security Admin portal provides a centralized view of the attack spectrum using the Microsoft Graph API. Let’s highlight some of the Defender features for Microsoft 365 protection.
- Defender for Endpoint – Also known as Defender ATP, Defender for Endpoint is the Microsoft enterprise endpoint detection platform providing Core Vulnerability Management, Attack Surface Reduction, Next Generation Protection, Endpoint Detection and Response, Automated Investigation and Response, and access to Microsoft Threat Experts.
- Defender for O365 – This provides email protection for anti-malware, anti-phishing, anti-spam, safe links, safe attachments, and zero-hour auto purge (ZAP). Most notable is the Attack Simulation Training that users can benefit from.
- Defender for Identity – This cloud-based security solution identifies, detects, and investigates advanced threats, compromised identities, and malicious insider actions directed at your organization. You can monitor user behavior and activities using learning-based analytics to protect user identities and reduce the attack surface.
- Defender for Cloud – Defender for Cloud is a Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) and Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP) for all of your Azure, on-premises, and multi-cloud (Amazon AWS and Google GCP) resources. You can continually assess, secure, and defend resources in the cloud and on-premises, as well as gain visibility into the Ghost IT applications being deployed, and control the usage of those applications.
Microsoft 365 Compliance
Compliance is a key factor in navigating the various regulations countries apply and meeting industry standards. Microsoft has the solution to help ensure you meet the standards which are specific to your organization, as well as the ability to apply the recommendations needed to comply.
- Microsoft Purview – This is a data governance, risk, and compliance solution that governs, protects, and manages your entire data estate for your organization. You can manage the visibility and governance of data assets; protect sensitive data across clouds, apps, and devices; identify data risks; and manage regulatory compliance requirements.
Deploying these solutions without help can be a daunting and time-consuming task. With MicroAge, a team of certified Microsoft 365 and Azure Engineers experienced in implementing these solutions can help you apply best practices to help your organization deploy a higher level of security, governance, and compliance.