New anti-phishing features in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

Ross MacKenzie
Tags: Email Security Office 365
New Anti Phishing Features

The increase in malware and ransomware attacks are forcing businesses to take extra precautions when it comes to securing their data.

This is forcing criminals to adopt other, low-cost attack methods where it is comparatively easier to access a company’s systems, such as phishing.

Often carried out via email, phishing sees a criminal attempt to trick victims into clicking on what looks like a legitimate link, enabling them to capture sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), banking and credit card details, or passwords.

The method is now so common, Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) reports phishing was the number one threat for Office 365 users in the second half of 2017, with the Microsoft Office 365 security research team detecting around 180-200 million phishing emails every month.Anti Phishing Features in O365

Internal Safe Links

One of the most common ways in which criminals access a company’s systems is by gaining access to an internal account, with users far more likely to click on links in an email sent from a fellow employee in their organisation than from an external source.

From there they can launch a phishing campaign on other internal users, gaining a foothold within the organisation and harvesting more user credentials, PII, and even intellectual property.

The good news is that Microsoft has recently added to its already extensive anti-phishing technology stack in Office 365 with the launch of Internal Safe Links’ for Office 365 ATP.

With Safe Links protecting internal emails, Office 365 ATP can greatly reduce, and even eliminate, this phishing technique.

Office 365 ATP is the only threat protection service that provides internal email scanning without routing emails outside the compliance boundary of Office 365. This means users’ emails will always remain within the Office 365 Compliance Boundary, which is important for compliance with regulations such as next month’s introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Other solutions must route emails outside the Office 365 Compliance Boundary, adding unnecessary complexity and potentially causing email delivery delays, incorrect setup of mail flow, and even undelivered email.

“Microsoft and Cobweb are committed to helping secure our customers against the increasing frequency of phishing attacks. With criminals gaining access to an organisation’s critical business systems through attacks on internal accounts, Internal Safe Links is a valuable addition to Office 365 ATP and helps ensure users are protected at all times,” said Michael Frisby, Managing Director of Cobweb.

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