Secure Exchange Online and provide reliable connectivity for remote workers

Microsoft Exchange Online is a powerful email and collaboration solution that helps organizations manage their email, calendar, and contacts in the cloud. With the increasing number of remote workers, ensuring the security of Exchange Online and maintaining connectivity for users has become more critical than ever before. If you’re using Exchange Online for communication in your organization, you know how important it is to keep it secure and available. Microsoft provides a variety of tools and features to help you do just that, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this article, we will take you through some key steps on how to secure Exchange Online and ensure connectivity for remote workers.

How to secure Exchange Online in 2023

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA provides an additional layer of security that protects against unauthorized access to your Exchange Online account. With MFA, users are required to provide two or more forms of identification, such as a password and a fingerprint, to access their email accounts.

Use Conditional Access Policies 

Conditional Access allows you to control access to Exchange Online based on specific conditions, such as location, device type, or user group. This helps ensure that only authorized users can access Exchange Online and reduces the risk of data breaches.

Implement Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

DLP helps prevent sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and social security numbers, from being sent via email. You can create DLP policies to monitor and block messages that contain sensitive information.

Monitor Exchange Online with Microsoft Defender for Office 365

Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is a security solution that helps protect your organization’s data and users from advanced threats, such as phishing and malware attacks.

Use Exchange Online Protection (EOP)

Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is a cloud-based email filtering service that helps protect your organization against spam, malware, and other email-borne threats. EOP is included with all Exchange Online subscriptions, and it can be configured to provide additional layers of protection beyond what’s included by default. EOP uses machine learning and other advanced techniques to detect and block malicious email, and it can be integrated with other Microsoft security services to provide a comprehensive defense against cyber-attacks.

What happened to the former Basic Authentication on Exchange Online?

Basic authentication is an outdated way of authenticating users on Exchange. Since 2015, Microsoft has been working to enable modern authentication for client connectivity in Exchange Online, in June 2022, they started to turn off the use of Basic authentication for customers in Microsoft 365 Exchange Online. Microsoft is doing this to secure their customers by turning off the door that may have been left open as Basic authentication is enabled in those organizations. They key points regarding Basic Authentication are:

  • Microsoft started a process for disabling Basic authentication and ensuring customers upgrade to modern authentication
  • In case customers realize they still need to use Basic Authentication; Microsoft has developed a new tool that provides self-service re-enablement
  • Customers can access the Basic authentication self-help diagnostic tool in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Once they click on the Run Tests button, the automated diagnostic will check their tenant settings to see if Microsoft has disabled Basic authentication for any protocols and display the results

In addition to these steps, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest security threats and best practices. Team Venti can help you stay up to date and provide guidance on how to secure Exchange Online. As a Microsoft Gold Partner we understand the importance of taking advantage of these resources to keep your environment secure. If you’re thinking on adapting, upgrading, or migrating to Exchange Online, feel free to contact us. We operate world-class Exchange environments without data loss or business interruption.