#009: What is your Office 365 Secure Score (and why you should care)

In this episode of The Power Up Project, we cover:

〉What is Office365 Secure Score?

〉How does Office365 Secure Score work?

〉How to increase your Office 365 Secure Score?



In this episode of The Power Up Project, we talk about the Office 365 Secure Score.

Welcome back to The Power Up Project. I’m your host, Ben Dampney, and today we’re going to power up your business by increasing your Office 365 Secure Score. So this episode is for the Office 365 users out there. Specifically, we’re talking about Microsoft and it’s Secure Score which they give you on your Office 365 service. This score is based on a number of best practise factors. The idea is that you set a score that you’d like to achieve, up to 470 points, and Secure Score can give you an action list to help you achieve this. So to get there you go up in Office 365 and go to the Security and Compliance Admin Centre. Alternatively, you can actually go directly via the securescore.microsoft.com website.

Now, at the Security and Compliance Admin Centre you can view lots of different reports and dashboards about your Office 365 tenant. But more specifically, we’re looking at the Secure Score on that home page, there. Now, there are two components to Secure Score – the dashboard and the Score Analyzer. The dashboard gives you your account score. It allows you to set the target score that you’d like, whether it’s basic, balanced, or aggressive. And then you can view the recommended actions in the queue and compare your score.

So the target score can be set to your specifications but it’s starting at balance will be a reasonably achievable setting for many businesses. Aggressive would take a rather in-depth configuration and basic, I think, probably doesn’t cover many of the things that I would consider to be critical for your Office 365 security. Now, the actions in the queue that you have there are basically open activities for you to complete to progress your score. So some examples might be, multifactor authentication, which is the subject of another Power Up Project podcast. There’s mailbox auditing, reviewing malware detections, or reviewing mailbox access, to give you an example.

Now, you can compare your score, which shows how you compare to other 365 users of a similar size to your business and also against others in your industry. Now, this could be important, for instance, if you’re in the medical industry and you’d like to know how you compare against other medical practices, how secure you are in comparison to them. The Score Analyzer shows your score over different time periods and also your completed and incomplete actions. Now, by selecting an incomplete action, you can apply that setting. So, for example, one might be Enable Client Rules Forward Block. A bit of a mouthful but if a user has a client-created email forward, so, therefore, a rule in Outlook that automatically forwards an email to an external email account, to a Hotmail account as an example, you can disable this at a system level. So you’re able to apply exceptions to this rule, also by clicking Learn More, it tells you what you’re about to change and how it will affect users so you can say, “Okay, do I actually want to do this? Is this relevant to my business?”

And then once you apply the change it tells you the points increase, but more importantly, what was potentially affected by the change. So in my example, when we enabled Client Forward Rules Block, it told me that there were potentially three rules that it affected and in this instance it didn’t actually have an effect on those. So we didn’t have an adverse effect to what was already in place. So, look, that’s a really simple explanation of how that works. There is a More option on each of those actions or activities that gives you the Microsoft website link where you can go into greater detail. But I’d like to encourage you to check out Microsoft Office Secure Score. If you have any questions around it, please contact us to discuss how we can implement some of these strategies for your business and how we can improve your overall Microsoft Office 365 Secure Score.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Power Up Project, brought to you by Grassroots IT and Digit IT. Please leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts. And until next time, keep powering up.

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