Published By - Brian Curtis

Best Practices for Office 365 Security Monitoring

Best Practices for Office 365 Security Monitoring

Microsoft Office 365 security has largely defined how teams collaborate in the cloud. Today, it’s the most widely used cloud application suite by organizations, with over 100 million monthly active users worldwide.

For many organizations, Office 365 marks an entry point into cloud computing—and with it, cloud security. As organizations migrate sensitive and business-critical data to the Microsoft cloud, many security concerns arise: Is our data secure?

According to the 2017 Cloud Security Spotlight Report conducted by the Information Security Community on LinkedIn, the top three cloud security concerns are protecting against data loss (57%), threats to data privacy (49%), and breaches of confidentiality (47%).

With these cloud security concerns in mind, organizations must take steps to secure and monitor their Office 365 environments. Fortunately, organizations can leverage security monitoring capabilities provided by Microsoft and other security management vendors like AlienVault to ease Office 365 security monitoring.

What Activities Should You Monitor in Office 365?

  • User Access: Know who is accessing your Office 365 subscription, when, and from where.
  • Administrator Actions: Once attackers gain access inside your environment, they often try to escalate their privileges to gain more control and access to your sensitive data, as do malicious insiders.
  • File Access & Sharing: Monitoring for changes to file sharing permissions and policies in OneDrive and SharePoint can alert you to the early signs of a potential data breach.
  • Changes to Office 365 Policies: Your Office 365 policies define the expected behaviors and parameters of operations of your users and of the solutions within Office 365, and so you should continuously monitor for changes to policies that may expose you to potential risks.

Best Practices for Office 365 Security Monitoring

  • Monitor All User Access to Office 365. Know Who Logs In, When and from Where.
  • Audit Administrative Actions in Your Office 365 Account.
  • Monitor the Integrity of Your SharePoint and OneDrive Data
  • Protect Your Users’ Mailboxes from Spam and Phishing Attacks in exchange online.

What Tools Should You Use to Monitor Office 365?

  • Microsoft Security & Compliance Center
  • Office 365 Advanced Security Management
  • Office 365 Management API & Unified Security Management

Why You Should Consider a Third-Party Security Monitoring Tool for Office 365

  • An Additional Layer of Security Monitoring
  • Centralized Visibility of your Entire Security Posture
  • Integrated Threat Intelligence
  • Retain Audit Logs Beyond 90-Days


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