If you are like many companies in the Alpharetta, Cumming, Duluth, Johns Creek, Milton, Norcross, Peachtree Corners, Roswell, Suwanee and the surrounding Metro Atlanta areas, you have probably contemplated the idea of moving to Office 365 for your email, skype and productivity software needs. Office 365 is the most widely used enterprise cloud service in the world with more than 100 million users as of April 2017. According to a national survey in November of last year, 53% of organizations are using Office 365 in some capacity and another 17% plan to adapt it within the next two years.
What does Office 365 Offer Today?
Most people associate Office 365 with email and the Office suite of applications and many equate these two components of Office 365 as having the most recognized value today. However, Office 365 offers a growing collection of applications such as SharePoint and their personal cloud storage service called OneDrive. All Office 365 applications can be accessed through a web portal through your web browser today, making it easy to access your email and applications regardless of your device. You can also download the Office 365 suite of applications and install them on your primary computer.
The Benefits of Office 365
For many businesses, Office 365 is their first venture in the cloud and serves as a first initial step into cloud services and computing. There are a number of key advantages to an Office 365 subscription for your business:
- Your users can access their Office applications from anywhere at any time.
- Collaboration amongst employees is easy as they can share direct file access rather than sending email attachments, allowing users to work and edit files in real time.
- Your users always have access to the latest features and upgrades to Office 365 automatically without waiting for the next released version that must be installed on every machine.
- Eliminates software licensing issues amongst different users.
- Multifactor authentication that requires a second method of user identification such as a text message, phone call or app notification is free. This second method of identification is critical today as passwords are continually compromised due to credential stuffing attacks.
- Access to email security features such as encryption and Data Loss Prevention, which prevents users from emailing sensitive information such as social security numbers.
Security Concerns over Office 365
Despite the growing acceptance of Office 365 as an email solution, 70% percent of active Office 365 users report significant concerns about advanced threats. It is also a leading reason as to why many companies have not considered migrating to the Office 365 platform. These trepidations are amply justified. Because Office 365 is the #1 email platform, they are also the #1 target for hackers and phishing masterminds. With millions of users using the same email cloud service, hackers can simply devote their resources and time to circumvent the defenses of Office 365 through discovered weaknesses and exploits. You may have never thought about it, but phishing creators and hackers use Office 365 as well. They then use these accounts to test and research just how Microsoft security functions. Just as users get more bang for the buck by migrating their email services to Office 365, hackers get more bang for the buck by having so many enterprise users concentrated into one platform. Many Office 365 customers may assume that they are getting Microsoft’s full blanket of protection concerning their accounts but this is not the case. There is a default security policy for all accounts but often it does not match the type of email security offered by a Managed Services Provider. Microsoft does offer an additional security package called Advanced Threat Protection for a more expensive enterprise subscription cost. You can also purchase these tools à la carte but each tool requires a separate fee. Also, keep in mind that Hackers are probing these additional tools as well.
Compounding Office 365 Default Security with an Add On Solution.
So, if you have to pay extra money to get the blanket security coverage that every organization needs today to stop ransomware laced email, BEC attacks and other nasty threats, why not spend the extra money on a comprehensive solution built from the ground up by a vendor that specializes in email security? This is why so many enterprises are indeed turning to third party solutions to enhance the security of their Office 365 hosted email accounts. In fact, according to a recent Gartner report, 40% of Office 365 deployments will rely on third-party tools by 2018 in order to fill gaps and meet expected security requirements and compliances. They expect that number to rise to 50% by 2020. This is where your Managed Services Provider can complement your Office 365 subscription with proven security solutions and highly trained specialists. Teaming up the flexibility and convenience of Office 365 with the technology solutions and cybersecurity specialists that JDK Professional Services offers is a powerful combination for your business, giving you a competitive edge over your competition.