microsoft 365 security isn't enough to protect you from cyber attacks

Why Microsoft 365 Security Isn’t Enough to Stop Cyber Attacks? 

Internet & Security

Why Microsoft 365 Security Isn’t Enough to Stop Cyber Attacks? 

In today’s digital world, there’s one thing that can make or break your business: Email Security, especially if you’re using Microsoft 365.  

Many experts agree that when handling advanced attacks like spear-phishing, brand impersonation, and ransomware, the native security tools provided by Microsoft 365 or Google are inadequate. Although Microsoft and Google have tools such as Advanced Threat Protection and spam and phishing filters that are powered by AI, their ability to prevent specific attacks is outmatched by third-party cybersecurity tools.

Why you shouldn’t rely only on Microsoft 365 native email security alone? 

1.Microsoft 365 Is A Favourite Target Of Cyber Criminals 

    Attacking Microsoft 365 is extremely common, which shouldn’t be a surprise since so many reputable companies use it. It is used by many of the biggest and best companies in the world to get work done.   

    In March 2023, Microsoft’s chat app Teams had a monthly user base of 300 million people. Based on Gartner’s Vendor Report, Microsoft dominated the market with a staggering 88.1% market share in 2021. 

    Statistics: The latest State of the Phish report by Proofpoint highlights the significant interest cybercriminals have in Microsoft. 

    ‘’There were almost 1,600 campaigns that used brand abuse in 2022, and Microsoft was the most abused company.’’ 

    ‘’Microsoft-branded messages or products like Office or OneDrive exceeded 30 million in 2022.’’ 

    Setting up your own Microsoft 365 tenant is a straightforward process, and even a small business account includes essential security features. Hackers often test out their malicious emails by setting up their own account and sending them to their own inbox. This gives attackers the ability to pick their own locks and, in the process, generate a universal key that unlocks all businesses that rely on the same native controls. 

    2.The Limitations of Microsoft 365 Email Security 

      When you initially set up your Microsoft 365 account the chances are you have purchased either Microsoft 365 Business Exchange, Basic or Standard license as these fit your needs. These come with basic email protections Exchange Online Protection EOP and Defender for Office 365. 

      However, it’s important to note that while EOP and Defender provide a solid baseline of protection, certain threats may require additional measures.  

      Such as: 

      -Personalised deceptive messages that EOP may sometimes miss and newly discovered vulnerabilities that EOP might not detect immediately. 

      -Microsoft does only offer some basic response capabilities if something does get through, security teams often face significant challenges in attack remediation.  

      -Even if you subscribe to every Microsoft 365 security tool, today’s threats require more than just attack detection.  

      – Cyberattacks imitate well-known businesses to gain your trust and data. However, Microsoft EOP lacks the ability to determine if an email has originated from a trusted source. 

      – Microsoft EOP does not have the capability to follow a link and thoroughly scan the website and its attachments for any potential threats. 

      3.Cybercriminals Are Constantly Improving Their Skills

        The cybersecurity sector is always trying to combat cybercrime. On the other hand, cybercriminals constantly make efforts to get ahead of the people who are protecting them. Since everyone is trying to come up with new ideas, threats are changing at a record speed, and they are now more dangerous than ever. 

        Some common, clever, and difficult-to-identify attacks causing a big damage on businesses:   

        Advanced Phishing: Phishing techniques for more experienced users. Many users today know more about the traditional phishing emails. However, the current phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated. 

        Attackers run advanced strategies to obtain multi-factor authentication (MFA) tokens. This poses a significant risk to the company’s entire Microsoft 365 cloud environment. Once cybercriminals obtain access to a company’s directory and files stored on cloud services like OneDrive or SharePoint, they don’t stop. They enter the system and then proceed laterally through it. Understanding the importance of an initial compromise is crucial in the broader context of a cyber-attack chain.  

        Business Email Compromising: Business email compromise (BEC). Financial gain is the primary motive for the majority of cyber criminals. However, even without relying on advanced malware, social engineering can be a highly effective tool for achieving their goals. Even those new to the field can carry out simple payroll redirect attacks with minimal effort, only requiring the ability to fake an email address. 

        Telephone-Oriented Attack Delivery: Telephone-Oriented Attack Delivery (TOAD) is designed to be accessible and easy to understand for those who are new to the subject. TOAD attacks are complex and multifaceted. They can be quite challenging to deal with since they are text-based and lack any payloads for analysis.  

        There are two different types of TOAD attacks, but they typically start in a similar manner. An email is sent to a person, instructing them to contact a customer service representative. Next, based on the attacker’s goal, the attack path takes a different direction. TOAD attacks take advantage of humans’ vulnerability. Unfortunately, there is no fix or software solution from Microsoft to address this issue. 

        Hidden Threats: Malware that goes undetected can easily slip past standard filters, leaving your system exposed and vulnerable. It’s important to be aware of these threats and take appropriate measures to protect your information. It usually takes about 49 days to detect and control ransomware, and Microsoft’s 365 native email security is often criticised for its difficulty in keeping up with new tactics. This can be problematic for businesses. 

        Therefore, the following critical areas require further improvement in Microsoft native security: 

        Security Awareness: Employees are the weakest link in businesses. Effective training and easy-to-use reporting tools can significantly improve their response to attacks. 

        Automated Remediation: Quick and automated investigation of threats is vital. Automation helps manage reports promptly, removing the burden of manual tasks. 

        Vendor Account Compromise: Security teams often lack insight into third-party interactions. Proactive detection of compromised supplier accounts is necessary for maintaining security. 

        Advanced Tools: Advanced cybersecurity tools make it easier to detect, avoid, and respond to a wide spectrum of cyber attacks. These systems use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse massive volumes of data in real time, detecting patterns and anomalies that could indicate a security breach.  

        What Do We Offer to Tackle Threats Against M365 Security? 

        360 Cybersecurity Packages: 

        Our cybersecurity packages, tailored specifically for SMBs, provide comprehensive protection across five key areas, aligning with Cyber Essentials Certification to help you achieve a strong security posture with ease. 

        • Endpoint Protection: Shield your devices and users from sophisticated cyber threats with advanced antivirus, threat detection, vulnerability management, and mobile security. 
        • Access Control & Authentication: Control who can access your sensitive data and applications with conditional access policies, multi-factor authentication, and password management. 
        • Data Protection & Backup: Safeguard your data with advanced encryption, automated classification, and reliable backup solutions to prevent loss, theft, or corruption. 
        • Security Awareness & Training: Train your employees to be your first line of defense against cyber threats through engaging courses, phishing simulations, and customizable modules. 
        • Monitoring & Compliance: Monitor your systems for vulnerabilities and breaches while achieving Cyber Essentials certification and GDPR compliance. 
        See the full features of our Security Packages.

        Download our detailed brochure to discover our comprehensive Business Cybersecurity Packages, showcasing our services and how we can protect your business.