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Is Office 365 More Secure Than On-Premise E-mail

​With the cloud and Microsoft 365 (M365) continuing to grow in popularity with businesses, people are raising the question of security​. Can the cloud and Microsoft 365 really be more secure than my privately controlled on-premise servers? Short answer, yes. There are many security features that can be utilized in the Microsoft 365 cloud environment and, if applied properly, they can be much more secure than an on-premise server. Let's dive a little deeper into why and how M365 can be more secure to understand how it can benefit your business.

  1. Secure Authentication Across All Services - All we really have to say here is multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA gives a more secure login experience and greatly prevents bad actors from gaining access to accounts by requiring a code be inputted upon login. This would be required regardless of what service or application a user is trying to access in M365 and can be partnered with the Authenticator app. With an on-premise server, MFA is not possible and it is hard to find a second line of defense feature available to apply. 
  2. Threat Intelligence - In M365, a threat in one organization can help prevent that in all other organizations. Intelligence is gathered from that threat and steps taken to reverse and prevent it in the future can be applied to ALL organizations using M365. With on-premise servers, there is a more reactive approach that needs to be taken. If a bad actor gains access, it can be reversed, but the damage is done, and the amount of intelligence that can be gathered from the breach is very limited.
  3. Less Human Intervention - With on-premise email, your systems are only as secure as your IT team has set it up to be. Manual security set-ups on servers are harder to apply and it's easier to miss something which can create gaps in your security. In M365, Microsoft addresses this at scale through automation and software is operating the service instead of humans, which can cause less risk of falling for phishing and closes said gaps.
  4. Cloud Security is Easily Scalable - Security in M365 and Azure can be boosted at the click of a button or addition of a license, essentially. There are a lot of security features that are inherently included in M365 for e-mail and they simply need to be boosted or turned on. Security licenses can also be added for the tenant/users to ensure proper protection and they are affordable. Adding these types of security features for on-premise servers can get very expensive and can be a hassle to apply.
  5. Consistent Innovation - Microsoft is continually innovating the security model for M365 based on the everchanging cloud environment, culture and breach intelligence. Operating in the cloud makes this constant innovation possible and updates/additions are easily applied. They base this innovation off of breaks that inevitably happen at some scale, customer feedback and concerns and regular penetration testing to look for holes in security. With on-premise servers, this is very hard to do and sometimes is not possible at all without having to upgrade an already expensive server.

Security is important to every business, especially when there is so much sensitive data involved, so it is crucial to understand how you can be as secure as possible regardless of what your environment looks like. In the cloud, there are considerably more options available to you with less management, so if you are looking to move into the cloud to boost security, reach out to us! We can assess your current environment and customize a solution that is best for you, including custom tools like Cloud Protect that work perfectly in Microsoft cloud!

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