Microsoft Office 365 Protection: Malware


Emails we all receive daily the most common sources of malware and ransomware, and protecting against these cyber threats is a critical concern for most organisations.

In the past, the easiest and arguably most effective way of protecting email at enterprise level was to use a specialist third-party service. These days, organisations using Microsoft Office 365 have some very powerful alternatives available to them, far closer to home to protect them from malicious attacks – Office 365 Protection (ATP).

Microsoft’s Office 365 protection
Microsoft takes a somewhat layered approach to threat protection, giving organisations the ability to tailor their defences according to their risk profiles. Let’s take a quick look at what those layers are, before we dive into why they’re making third-party equivalents look so much less attractive.

Level 1: Exchange Online Protection (EOP)
EOP is Microsoft’s default, cloud-based spam and virus filter for email. It uses multi-layered, real-time protection to effectively eliminate 100% of known viruses and 99% of spam before any of it reaches your corporate firewall or Office 365 boundary.

EOP is available as a subscription service, but is built into Office 365 E3 and E5 licences, which means most enterprises using Office 365 will have this functionality already. For some of them, EOP is sufficient protection on its own, but those with more sophisticated security requirements might want a little more protection.

Level 2: Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)
While EOP can recognise known threats in transit, it can’t identify zero-day (brand new, never-been-seen) threats, or “explode” emailed links or attachments to find hidden threats lurking inside. This is where ATP comes in.

Office 365 Protection proactively screens for unknown and evolving threats in real time by “detonating” potential carriers (email attachments, embedded URLs, files linked to malicious websites, etc.) in a secure, sandbox environment, before they can penetrate organisational boundaries. This allows new and hidden threats to be neutralised and blacklisted before they affect a single user – a great example of effective zero-day protection.

In addition to its proactive protection, ATP also uses machine learning and heuristic clustering to detect emerging patterns behind threats. These insights are presented via a graphical interface that makes managing organisational health a breeze – particularly when it comes to identifying potential weak spots and risky user activity.

Office 365 ATP is built into the Office 365 E5 licence tier, but is also available as an added extra on lower level licences. This is a popular and cost-effective option for smaller, security-conscious organisations who don’t need the rest of the functionality of an E5 subscription. (source)

UpSafe Office 365 backup gives you even deeper protection: instead of trying to prevent the attack we give you an ideal tool to recover after it, a tool so well developed that no attack is a real threat anymore. UpSafe backup covers your emails, drive, contacts, calendar and even sharepoint, utilizing 256-bit AES encryption

We work for your security

UpSafe Team