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  • Writer's pictureSara Millis

Worried about harmful phishing scams? Why you need Microsoft 365 Defender!

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Phishing can lose your business a lot of money and expose sensitive information to the dark web. Microsoft 365 Defender can dramatically mitigate this risk with several well-built features.

In this article, we will cover how much of a problem phishing scams are and how 365 Defender’s features are built to help.

Woman touching cyber security padlock logo on screen in front of her

Why are phishing attacks such a problem for businesses?

Phishing attacks can be a severe threat to your business. They can cause your team members to accidentally share financial, customer, and account information with cyber criminals.

Hacker emails appear as credible emails from trusted sources, often posing as a company or a person you know. Without a second glance, team members can be tricked into opening and responding to emails.

Despite the attempts to raise user awareness of this fraud, phishing emails are still widespread. In fact, 1 in 99 emails are thought to carry some form of Malware. The result of this can cause legal action, diminished reputation, reduced customer confidence, and business disruption.

So protecting your employees and your business from phishing scams is vital to daily security.

We believe Microsoft 365 Defender is the best solution on the market.

The 7 most important features of Microsoft 365 Defender

1. Phishing email protection

The most dangerous type of phishing scam involves emails whose sender seems to be a known or trusted entity. The attacker often uses cunning tactics, like referring to the victim by their name or nickname, or by using real accounts to gain personal identifiers.

Microsoft Defender 365 is a clever piece of AI-driven software that lists the contacts you regularly communicate with. It then utilises advanced tools to learn and differentiate between acceptable and suspicious behaviour. The result is more accurate than you think at detecting even the most sophisticated of phishing emails.

2. Malware defence

Different types of malware can spread through phishing emails.

Ransomware is one example to watch out for because the result of an attack can render your files and systems hostage until the attacker receives a monetary ransom.

Spyware or MitM attacks can be even more dangerous. They steal your information by copying clipboards, taking screenshots, or recording keystrokes. Or have you log into malicious sites to gain personal identifiers. Information from this is then sold on the dark web, which could lead to multiple separate attacks.

Microsoft Defender 365 addresses these with some well-thought-through safety mechanisms

  • Layered malware defence – Defender 365 comes with multiple malware scan engines to help diagnose potential threats. They shield your system even in the earliest stages of an outbreak, providing superior protection to using just one anti-malware program.

  • Real-time response – During outbreaks, the platform provides your team with instant access to devices, allowing you to investigate and contain threats in real-time. It also enables your team to collect data and proactively tackle malware.

  • Rapid definition deployment – The 365 Defender team maintains a close relationship with anti-malware engine developers. This means that as a user of the software you get real-time updates, every hour, to help protect you against the latest malware threats.

  • Common attachments filter – Some file types, like executable documents aren’t your usual email attachment. Defender 365 lets you automatically block them without any pre-scanning. These will include advanced filters for file types that include .ace, .exe, .app, .ani, and .scr endings.

3. SPAM block

Another common culprit for phishing campaigns is spam emails. Blocking these will help your business shield itself from harmful and malicious content.

Defender boasts powerful anti-spam technology to address spam emails by examining the source of the message and the contents. If the email comes from untrustworthy sources or contains suspicious information, it automatically goes to your spam folder.

As part of the Defender 365 program, the SPAM blocker also makes sure that users don’t send out emails that could be deemed as malicious (intentional or otherwise), meaning you are protecting what goes out, as well as what comes in. This is crucial, especially if you are under a potentially lethal Insider Threat.

4. Safe Links

Phishing emails don’t only contain attachments. They can also include URLs to lead your team members to a fraudulent website. Whilst these websites might appear legitimate, they are looking for personal identifiers, such as login credentials.

Safe Links shield your system from malware transmissions using URL detonation, notifying you and your team to avoid pressing any suspicious links.

The Safe Links feature also scans internal files and communications, so that before you send anything to anyone the system is highlighting any potential security risks. This is great if you use SharePoint and Microsoft Teams regularly.

5. Sandbox isolation

Some users, especially if they’re reckless, commonly open malicious email attachments without a second thought. They can expose company data to prying eyes as a result, which can ruin your reputation and give your competitors the edge.

The sandbox isolation feature provides a safe environment for opening email attachments, isolating any potential damage a malicious attachment might cause internally. Once the program isolates malware, it’ll warn you not to open it. But if the attachment is safe, you’ll be able to use it normally.

6. Enhanced filtering

The enhanced filtering system is great for business because it helps you quickly establish trusted emails from malicious sources and learns which is which during the process. This means your safety is being automated in the background while you concentrate on what you do best, good business.

7. User submissions

Your security admin team are busy people, to make their life easier and more efficient in isolating potentially harmful attacks, Microsoft has invented user submission email addresses. This filters organisation emails that are highlighted as potential spam quickly, giving your cyber team one central place to work through each issue.

This level of control helps your cyber team spot hazards and further security opportunities.

Let IT Soho help install and maintain your Microsoft 365 Defender program

Your business security is paramount to your bottom line, your reputation and your ability to thrive. With phishing attacks on the increase, you must have a security system in place that can handle a good deal of advanced automation.

Microsoft 365 Defender will identify, isolate and neutralise a lot of what comes at you on auto-pilot and provide a safe space for your cyber admin team to handle the rest effectively.

Contact us today and let It Soho install, customise and maintain your number one defensive system - Microsoft 365 Defender!


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