Submitted by: Martin Straub
As businesses increasingly rely on hosted services such as Microsoft 365, the risk of security threats looms large. Cyberattacks can result in significant losses, including financial, reputational, and operational. To address this issue, Microsoft has developed a powerful security analytics tool called Microsoft 365 Secure Score. Essentially a “scorecard,” the user-friendly interface shows your organization’s score (1-100) together with a list of detailed suggestions and helpful links. The score provides such a useful one stop overview that many insurance companies have begun to ask customers to include this score on their cyber insurance applications.
The dashboard (https://security.microsoft.com/securescore) is available to any organization that uses Microsoft 365 business products and is beneficial to assess a wide range of configured security, such as user access controls, data protection and device management. Not only does it provide actionable recommendations to improve security, it also includes a real-time check sheet that can be used to track your progress or make note of recommendations that may be impractical or inefficient for your organization to implement.
So, how can businesses use Microsoft 365 Secure Score effectively? Here are a few suggestions:
Evaluate your current score and prioritize recommendations
The first step is to evaluate your current Secure Score and focus on the recommendations that can have the most significant impact. The check-list assists with this process by initially sorting the most impactful changes. While every recommendation is important, some may have a more substantial effect on your organization’s security posture than others. Prioritizing those recommendations that can help you make the most significant improvements can make the best use of your resources.
Implement changes and assess results
Most recommendations include helpful links that will better explain the impact. If you are unfamiliar with a suggested policy, it may be worthwhile to consult with an experienced Microsoft 365 administrator to understand the impacts. Other recommendations may require additional licensing. As an example, Defender for Office 365 is a cost-effective add-on that provides additional phishing filtering protections and can significantly improve your score. As changes are implemented, your score should reflect the improved security posture within 24-48 hours.
Use Secure Score to initiate broader security discussions
Microsoft 365 Secure Score can serve as a starting point for more extensive security discussions within your organization. By discussing the recommendations and score with key stakeholders, you can raise awareness about security and build support for security initiatives across the organization. Furthermore, engaging in these discussions can reveal other areas where your organization may need to improve its security practices.
Customize recommendations to fit your organization’s unique security needs
While Microsoft 365 Secure Score offers valuable recommendations for enhancing security, each organization’s security needs are unique. Customizing the recommendations to fit your organization’s specific circumstances can make them more effective. For example, if your organization operates in a regulated industry, you may need to implement additional security measures beyond those recommended by Microsoft 365 Secure Score.
Undoubtedly, Microsoft 365 Secure Score is a valuable tool for businesses looking to improve their security posture, and despite the user-friendly interface, getting started or making changes can feel intimidating due to lack of time, unfamiliarity with suggested changes, or fear of “breaking something.” Organizations can address these roadblocks by working with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) that has the expertise to implement security measures and optimize the use of tools such as Microsoft 365 Secure Score. MSPs can also provide additional security services, such as threat detection and response, to further enhance a business’s security posture.
SimplePowerIT is an MSP that can provide tailored security solutions to help businesses address these challenges. SimplePowerIT offers a range of security services, including threat detection and response, to help businesses protect their assets from cyber threats. Contact SimplePowerIT today at (509) 433-7606 to learn more about how our services can help you improve your organization’s security posture.
About the author: Martin Straub has more than 20 years of experience developing, building, and maintaining frustration-free technology solutions. Now in its 10th year, he founded SimplePowerIT to focus exclusively on delivering frustration-free technology solutions to NCW businesses and nonprofits.