What is Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance?

Red haired woman in sweater working from home on a microsoft surface in natural lighting


A recent Upwork study found around a quarter of the professional workforce will work outside of the office by 2025. This shift to remote and hybrid work, away from the traditional ‘inside our four walls’ business model means the reliance on cloud and SaaS platforms, such as Microsoft 365, has drastically increased.


And if you’re reading this, that probably means someone at your office – or more likely a team – works remotely and you’ve got questions. Microsoft 365 is an excellent tool with plentiful security features that will keep your business compliant and working.


We’re asked all the time to talk about how Microsoft 365 can benefit businesses, so rather than blab on about it anymore, we’ve got some information for you that should clear things up, starting with the most important.


If you are ready to start protecting your business from cyber threats, click here


What is Microsoft 365?


Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service for businesses, families, or really, anyone with a computer. It’s a cloud-based service, offering the high-processing capabilities you need no matter what you do. You can subscribe to different versions like Microsoft 365 Personal, or Microsoft 365 Family, Microsoft 365 Business, and Microsoft 365 Enterprise, all of which are tailor-made for users in those categories and offer specific security and compliance features for each respective group.


How does M365 work with your role specifically? Discover Microsoft 365's Top Features for Your Role


Remember “Office 365”? That was the name for a cloud-based suite made up of productivity applications you may have heard of, like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and more. Essentially, Microsoft 365 is the current name of a bundle of services that includes the aforementioned Office 365, plus other new services.


Microsoft adds a little extra spice to the mix by also offering something called Office 2021. If that seems a little confusing, don't worry- you're not alone.


Let's clear things up: Microsoft 365 vs. Office 2021: What’s The Difference?


What Security and Compliance Features Does Microsoft 365 Offer?


Like we said before, if you’re here it’s for a reason. We’re certain that if you’ve made it this far reading this blog, you’re in the need of some answers when it comes to Microsoft 365 and cyber security. The good news is: There are more than plenty of reasons to trust Microsoft 365 when it comes to security and compliance.


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1. Identity and Access Management (IAM)

  1. According to Gartner, identity and access management is the discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons. Microsoft IAM solutions then allow your IT team to manage digital identities within your digital office, allowing secure access to your company’s resources such as applications, networks, and databases from anywhere.
    1. Seamless User Experience: The built-in IAM reduces the problems that arise from managing passwords, allowing your users to sign into applications quickly. This process helps keep your users secure while boosting productivity.
    2. Unified Identity Management: Workers working from anywhere can mean identifying who is doing what can be a major problem. Effectively manage all your identities and access to apps, regardless of whether they are in the cloud or on-premises — all from a central location.

2. Threat Protection

  1. Microsoft threat protection is robust. It includes integrated, automated security solutions that help keep your email, data, applications, devices, and identities secure against emerging cyber threats.
    1. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): Azure Sentinel allows you to detect and prevent potential threats to your system before they cause any damage internally. SIEM gives you a complete and total view across your organization.
    2. Extended Detection and Response (XDR): XDR capabilities of Microsoft 365 Defender and Azure Defender enable you to prevent and detect attacks across your identities, endpoints, email, data and cloud apps while protecting your Azure and hybrid cloud workloads.

3. Information Protection

  1. Information is money. Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) solutions aid you in knowing your data, protecting your sensitive information, and preventing data loss. It does this by locating, organizing, and protecting your organization’s sensitive information across clouds, apps, and endpoints.
    1. Data Classification: Enables you to find important info in the cloud and on-premises systems and add appropriate labels to control where that data travels to in its lifetime.
    2. Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Allows you to protect your organization’s most sensitive information like financial data, credit card numbers, health records, social security numbers, and more by allowing you to create and manage DLP policies in the Microsoft 365 Compliance Manager, which we’ll talk about shortly.

4. Security & Risk Management

  1. Microsoft 365 security and risk management offerings allow you to quickly find and limit risks from both malicious external and unintentional internal actors to protect your organization’s important information.
    1. Insider Risk Management: Exactly what it sounds like – this enables you to identify, detect, analyze and take appropriate actions against risks from within your organization through measures such as insider risk policies.
    2. Communication Compliance: One of the easier tools, this helps mitigate both internal and external communication risks by allowing you to quickly find and fix dangerous messages that violate your company’s code-of-conduct policy.
    3. Customer Lockbox: This tool allows your team to better control over your company’s data in general. This feature allows you to manage how Microsoft support engineers themselves access your content by allowing you the ability to grant or deny access to your data.
    4. Privileged Access Management (PAM): Privileged access points are specially designated permissions that are above and beyond the standard user’s abilities on any given program.

5. Compliance Manager

  1. No matter what line of work you’re in, compliance is key. Keeping your files, documents, images, and safer from prying eyes – and away from potentially hazardous situations – should be a top priority regardless of the steps you need to take. Here are some Offered by Microsoft 365’s compliance manager:
    1. Multifactor Authentication: Microsoft says enabling Multifactor Authentication (MFA) can block up to 99.9% of all attacks on your account. No wonder it’s a built-in feature.
    2. Message Encryption: There are several encryption options within Microsoft 365, such as the titular Office Message Encryption, that ensures the email messages shared and received within and outside your organization are encrypted.
    3. Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Inside of the Compliance Manager you’re able to create and manage DLP policies in the Microsoft 365 Compliance center to stay compliant with your specific industry regulations.


This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it does represent a huge portion of what we’re most commonly asked about. In fact, this is such a common topic for us we’d love to set up a time to talk with you about the questions you’ve come up with while reading this. Whether you’re working on adding Microsoft 365 to your business or have questions about its abilities. give us a call at (864) 552-1291 and we'll help you evaluate capabilities and options. Also, sign up for PTG Tech Talk for bi-monthly tech news, and consider following us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter!


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