SMBs are feeling increasingly exposed to threat. While they know that security is important, many find it hard to keep up and ending up juggling different security products for different areas of the business.

Tim O'Neill Tim O'Neill Modern Workplace Practice Lead at Dicker Data
Tim O'Neill

3 security features in Microsoft 365 every SMB needs now

Even before the pandemic saw a mass migration of workloads to cloud, a survey conducted by the Australian Cyber Security Centre found the sector is highly vulnerable to malicious cyber activity1 . With more workloads moving to cloud during the pandemic – and with malicious attacks by hackers on the rise – this vulnerability has increased.

SMBs are feeling increasingly exposed to threat. While they know that security is important, many find it hard to keep up with the changing threat landscape – experiencing overwhelm in terms of trying to fix the problem and ending up juggling different security products for different areas of the business.

Here, we explore our top three simple, powerful security concerns, which are all readily available in Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Get these three things right, and your SMB clients will stand up strong to the cyber attackers.

1. Multifactor authentication (MFA)

With so many employees working remotely– often on their own devices and accessing business data via home Wi-Fi networks – the potential for data to fall into the wrong hands is high. What’s more, we live in a world where people’s usernames and passwords are freely traded on the dark web, with no outward signs of exposure.

MFA (also called 2-step verification) tackles these risks head-on. It’s one of the easiest and most effective ways an SMB can improve their security posture and prevent hackers from stealing data and files.

And the good news? In M365, MFA is very simple to set up. It uses the free Microsoft Authenticator app as an additional check to make sure the user is who they say they are – simply by virtue of the fact that users (and not hackers) will have their phone on them at all times.

2. Modern, zero-touch deployment

Modern device management is the way forward for any business seeking to set devices up securely from the get-go. And it’s something that Dicker Data partners can easily take care of for SMB clients by leveraging Windows Autopilot and Microsoft Intune, two key features of M365 Business Premium.

With Windows Autopilot, you can set up and pre-configure new devices hands-free – minimising the risk of human error and accelerating the deployment process. And, using Microsoft Intune, businesses can control how their devices – including mobile phones, tablets and laptops – are used. Specific policies can be set up to control specific applications, whether it’s controlling who can send what types of emails, to configuring what types of business data can be accessed via a BYOD mobile phone.

With both these tools in play, partners can purchase devices on a client’s behalf, enroll them in Autopilot, and add in Intune protection policies before deployment. It means they deliver fully customised and preconfigured devices to clients, ready for instant use – with the peace of mind that each device has the right programs, applications and security features built-in.

3. Mobile device management

With employees working remotely and no longer protected by on-premises active directories, businesses needed to act fast last year to shore up protection of users, devices and data. As regulations like the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme become more stringent, SMBs must take greater care to ensure that personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

M365, in particular Microsoft Intune, provides a proven path forward here. Partners have a great opportunity to help SMBs make the most of this powerful tool to:

  • Support and securely manage a diverse mobile environment
  • Ensure devices and apps comply with their security requirements
  • Create policies to keep data safe on both business-owned and personal devices
  • Use a single, unified mobile solution to enforce these policies

Every SMB should upgrade today

By upgrading from Office 365/ Microsoft 365 Standard to Microsoft 365 Business Premium, businesses gain access to some of the most robust security tools in market today – all under the one roof. It’s one of the simplest and most strategic steps your clients can take to protect themselves.

Get in touch with a Dicker Data security specialist to learn how you can help your SMB clients protect their businesses from attack.


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