Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) remains one of the most important elements of a huge number of business systems across the globe. With Microsoft 365, businesses pay an annual or monthly subscription fee to utilize the latest versions of Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. Microsoft 365 ensures you always have access to the latest Microsoft features, security updates, new utilities, and bug fixes.
An increasing number of businesses continue to adopt Microsoft 365 as an all-in-one suite of tools that delivers cost savings, ease of collaboration across multiple locations and offices, and flexibility. Microsoft 365 is ideal for businesses looking for an enterprise-grade suite of tools that doesn’t require extensive training when onboarding new employees, because it provides a solution that almost everyone has at least some experience with.
However, despite its widespread popularity and convenience, one drawback to Microsoft Outlook as an email solution is that it may not provide businesses with the level of email protection and email recovery capabilities they require. As such, it is crucial that managed service providers (MSPs) help their customers account for vulnerabilities in Microsoft 365 email protection by offering a cloud email archiving solution to supplement Outlook.
Microsoft 365 Email Protection
To understand the need for an extra archiving solution, it’s important to consider how Microsoft handles email security, email recovery, and data retention. Microsoft Outlook is known to be a compelling target for hackers because it has such a vast user base, and thus Microsoft 365 has some built-in email protection to try to protect users from cyberattacks.
One of the key ways Microsoft attempts to protect its users is by offering default data retention protocols that archive Outlook emails for a limited period of time. However, this isn’t a foolproof solution. For example, if an important email is either accidentally or maliciously deleted and this deletion goes unnoticed, the default retention period may quickly pass and then leave businesses in a tough place when it comes to an audit.
Emails can get lost in a number of ways—but no matter how email loss occurs, the most effective way of protecting your important emails and data against either malicious or accidental deletion is by establishing a dependable way to archive Outlook emails. In the event your data is deleted, a Microsoft 365 Outlook archiving alternative can use email recovery to prevent lost data from being permanently deleted.
The risks of relying solely on Microsoft 365 email protection
As mentioned above, although Outlook is generally considered to be a secure solution, there are some risks associated with depending on its email protection measures as a sole form of protection, such as:
- In general, relying on a single line of defense puts your email security at risk—a successful cyberattack requires no more than a single click to put your business and its clients at risk
- Cloud services are attractive targets for hackers, and hackers often use spear-phishing tactics to target specific people via Outlook
- Downtime and outages in your solution can lead to a potentially major dip in productivity
- End users can accidentally or maliciously delete important email data, which you may not be able to recover if you do not have an established backup solution in place
The consequences of a data breach, email-borne or otherwise, can be devastating. The financial losses are often much larger than businesses anticipate, with numerous indirect expenditures cropping up as the result of a data breach. This includes, but is not limited to the cost of:
- Auditing services
- Reduced employee productivity and business disruption
- Breach investigations
- Crisis team management
- An increased need for support and help desk activities
- Consultation fees
- Damaged reputation
- Loss of customers
Adding an extra archiving solution
To ensure access to a safe and searchable record of email correspondence and mitigate the risk of losing critical data, MSPs need a long-term email archiving and recovery solution.
SolarWinds® Mail Assure is a cloud-based email protection solution that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365, helping you protect Outlook users from ransomware, viruses, phishing, spam, business email compromise, malware, and all other email-borne attacks. The integration with Microsoft 365 allows users to log in with their Microsoft 365 credentials so they can view their quarantined data and searchable logs. The Microsoft 365 add-on is easy to install and can report on messages from Outlook on macOS, iOS, Windows PC, and Android.
To enhance the built-in protection measures of Microsoft 365, Mail Assure provides long-term email archiving with advanced encryption, backed up by an unlimited retention period. This additional archiving solution helps keep your email available, accessible, and retainable in the event of loss, allowing you to retrieve deleted messages in moments. Mail Assure can also help you ensure compliance with key data security standards, giving you peace of mind your customers’ emails are protected.
In the event Microsoft 365 suffers an outage, the email continuity capabilities of SolarWinds Mail Assure also enable end users to access their email correspondence and data via a user-friendly web interface. This delivers 24/7 email continuity, allowing users to read, write, send, and receive email on a round-the-clock basis.
In short, establishing additional safety measures to enhance Microsoft 365 email protection can be of significant benefit to your MSP, helping you maintain business productivity for customers without compromising security and data protection. A 30-day free trial of Mail Assure is available for MSPs interested in learning more.