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February 27, 2024
By: Jason Middaugh

Leveraging the Microsoft Stack for Security

As one of the most used platforms on the planet, Microsoft 365 is the default choice for nearly 1.4 million companies in the United States as a primary method for communication and collaboration when it comes to work. But too many organizations are not leveraging the Microsoft stack completely when it comes to securing their digital environments and improving cybersecurity resiliency. 

In early 2024, Microsoft’s do-everything platform accounted for more than 400 million paid seats. This not only represents an impressive market share, but also an extremely visible and sizable vulnerability surface for hackers to potentially exploit. 

The entirety of the Microsoft stack presents a challenge to organizations seeking to better secure their environments while taking advantage of the benefits it offers. It’s here where a complete Microsoft 365 and Azure Security Assessment adds tremendous value. You’ll discover what has been configured correctly, what hasn’t, and what steps you need to take to ensure your productivity tools don’t become security liabilities.  

Make Sure Your Business is Protected: Connect with our cybersecurity experts to get started on your tailored security solution today.   

How an Assessment Primes the Microsoft Stack for Better Security 

Moving operations and productivity tooling to the cloud offers many benefits for businesses, but it also presents a stubborn myth: Many companies wrongly assume it is Microsoft’s responsibility for properly securing the Microsoft 365 environment. It remains the company’s responsibility. 

It should be noted that Microsoft 365 has built-in tools that address security, but many of them are not turned on by default. Additionally, new security tools become available as part of your subscription — your organization may not know about them or take advantage of everything they have to offer.  

With an assessment, you gain insight into the native security tools included in the platform and entire Microsoft stack. Working with a proven managed security partner, your organization can better implement these tools and properly configure your environment for better resiliency. You won’t necessarily need to invest in new solutions, but you will uncover how to use what’s included more efficiently for your business and tenant. 

Why New and Ongoing Assessments are Essential 

So far, we’ve discussed the benefits of using an assessment to leverage the Microsoft stack for security from the perspective of starting out. But what if you’ve already had an initial assessment? Or maybe you assessed your tenant a couple of years ago? It’s critical to remember that ongoing or regular assessments are essential to maintaining a secure Microsoft 365 environment. Here are just three of the many reasons why: 

Ongoing Changes & New Features 

Over time, changes will be made to the environment. Perhaps an allowance was made for people who lost their phone — and a second form of authentication — so a temporary fix was instituted to allow them access. But the change was never reversed. Six months later, that account becomes compromised. Like any lived in, or used space, things will change. If not regularly updated or addressed, they can become major problems.  

Microsoft is also continually rolling out new features, integrating new components, and expanding the scope of the platform. Each tweak or addition can alter your configuration or unearth a new security vulnerability. Regular assessments uncover both changes instituted from the users and the providers, and give your organization a chance to remediate or close off any new loopholes. 

Emergence of AI 

Speaking of new features, Microsoft — like many other software and platform providers — is pushing and developing its own AI tool; in this case Copilot AI. This is another of those new features that needs to be properly organized and accounted for.  

More importantly, AI has become a weapon for hackers and malicious actors as well. All the efficiency benefits businesses glean from AI are also being capitalized on to find security gaps and exploit them. Hackers can work more quickly than ever before, using AI to automate many tasks. Regularly assessing your environment is vital to find and address potential gaps before the bad guys do.  

Cybersecurity is Never Finished 

Every organization needs to realize that improving cybersecurity is a journey, not a destination. There is no single endpoint or test you can complete and declare the job finished.  

Given the scope of the Microsoft stack, the sheer number of users, and the plethora of threats and bad actors on the Internet, NO ONE is able to have a perfect setup 100% of the time. There are always ways to improve, gaps to tighten, new features to orient, and new threats to be aware of. Given these parameters, regular assessments and expert guidance is always advised to improve your threat mitigation. 

Free Tools at the Ready: Learn about five free tools you may have access to already with Microsoft 365

Improve Security Through Your Microsoft Stack with Inversion6 

Inversion6 has spent more than three decades crafting holistic, pragmatic, and easy-to-implement cybersecurity solutions for clients. Our offerings, which comprise a Security Operations Center (SOC), managed detection & response (MDR) services, autonomous penetration testing tools, and additional products, empower companies to take control of cyber risk and thwart threats. By serving as an extension of clients’ security teams, Inversion6 helps organizations overcome the complex security and threat prevention obstacles present in the modern digital landscape. 

With our Microsoft 365 and Azure Security Assessment we provide an accessible, less resource-intensive solution to strengthen the tools your team uses every day. Developed from recommended CIS guidelines, but honed with our experts’ real-world experience, our assessments provide a collaborative approach for creating a secure environment, discovering unnoticed vulnerabilities from day-to-day use or new features, and instilling peace of mind.  

Need to get more out of your Microsoft stack on the security front? We’re here to help. Schedule a consultation today to discover how our expertise enhances your cybersecurity resiliency. 

Post Written By: Jason Middaugh
Jason Middaugh has been involved with information security and management systems for more than 20 years. As an experienced Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and technology executive, Jason has been heavily involved in leading the transformation and management of information security, cloud services and more by advancing technology strategies. Jason is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and has been with Inversion6 as a CISO since 2019.

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