Microsoft 365 Business Premium includes additional features and services compared to Microsoft 365 Business Standard. These unique features primarily revolve around advanced security and device management.
In this blog post, we will explore why upgrading to Microsoft 365 Business Premium can be a game-changer for your organisation. From enhanced security measures to advanced device management, we will uncover how investing in Business Premium can streamline your IT operations, foster growth, and protect your valuable digital assets.
We are going to look at the four main features of Microsoft 365 Business Premium:
- Office 365 Defender
- Intune – Device management
- Azure Information Protection
- Conditional Access
Office 365 Defender
Business Premium offers enhanced security features like Safe Links and Safe Attachments, which help protect against phishing attacks and malicious email attachments.
Safe Links is a powerful Microsoft 365 Business Premium feature that protects against phishing and other malicious web-based threats. When users click on a link within an email or document, Safe Links checks the URL in real time, ensuring it doesn’t lead to a harmful website. If the link is malicious, the user is redirected to a warning page, preventing them from inadvertently exposing sensitive information or compromising their device. Safe Links works with e-mails, Microsoft Teams and Office Applications.
Safe Attachments, another advanced security feature in Microsoft 365 Business Premium, is designed to protect your organisation from malware and ransomware delivered through email attachments. Before a user can open an email attachment, Safe Attachments scans the file in a secure, isolated environment. If the attachment is found malicious, it is removed, and the user is alerted. This proactive approach helps to reduce the risk of malware infections, keeping your organisation’s data and devices secure.
Phishing Statistics: According to the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, phishing was the top threat action in data breaches, with 36% of data breaches involving phishing. Safe Links, as a feature of Microsoft 365 Business Premium, helps protect organisations against such threats by verifying the safety of URLs in real-time. (Source: Verizon, “2021 Data Breach Investigations Report”)
Intune – Device Management
With Business Premium, you can access Microsoft Intune, a mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) service. It enables you to manage and secure company data on employee devices.
- Device Management: Enroll, configure, and remotely wipe or lock devices to maintain security and compliance.
- Application Management: Control which apps can access company data and deploy custom applications to users.
- Data Protection: Configure app-level policies and restrict data sharing between apps.
- Compliance Monitoring: Continuously monitor device compliance and automatically enforce security policies.
Why use Intune?
- Remote Workforce: With an increasing number of employees working remotely, Intune helps ensure that company data remains secure on personal devices while enabling access to necessary tools and resources.
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy: Intune simplifies the management of personal devices used for work, allowing employees to securely access company resources without compromising their privacy.
- App Deployment: Intune streamlines the deployment and updating of company-approved apps on employee devices, making it easier for IT teams to maintain software consistency across the organisation.
- Compliance and Security: Intune helps organisations adhere to regulatory requirements and maintain security standards by monitoring device compliance, enforcing security policies, and providing remediation options for non-compliant devices.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Intune’s app-level data protection policies help prevent data leakage by restricting company data sharing between apps and ensuring that sensitive information is only accessible through authorized applications.
Azure Information Protection (AIP)
Exclusive to Business Premium, Azure Information Protection (AIP) allows you to classify, label, and protect sensitive information in documents and emails, helping to prevent unauthorized access and data leaks. AIP can assist with your compliance requirements by assisting with data retention and classification policies.
For example, Microsoft Teams messages and e-mails received by your organisation can be assigned a retention of 1-year. E-mails received by your finance team can be assigned a 5-year retention policy. Policies can be applied to mailboxes, users or individual folders.
- Data Classification: Automatically or manually classify documents and emails based on content and context.
- Labelling: Apply customizable labels to documents and emails to indicate their sensitivity level.
- Encryption: Protect sensitive data with encryption, ensuring that only authorized users can access it.
- Access Control: Set permissions and restrict access to sensitive documents, preventing unauthorized sharing.
- Monitoring & Reporting: Gain insights into how your sensitive data is accessed, used, and shared across your organisation.
Conditional Access is a robust security feature in Microsoft 365 Business Premium that enables organisations to enforce granular access controls based on specific conditions. With Conditional Access, administrators can create policies determining who can access company resources, under what circumstances, and from which devices or locations.
How conditional access can be used
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Require MFA for users attempting to access sensitive resources, adding an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized access even if a user’s password is compromised.
- Location-Based Access: Restrict access to specific applications or resources to users within a designated geographical location, such as the company’s headquarters or a secure VPN connection.
- Device Compliance: Allow access to company resources only from devices that meet specific security requirements, such as updated operating systems, antivirus software, or encryption settings.
- Risk-Based Access: Detect and block access attempts from users exhibiting risky behaviour or signs of a potential breach, such as logging in from an unfamiliar location or multiple failed login attempts.
- App-Based Access: Control access to sensitive data by only allowing specific, approved applications to access company resources, ensuring that data remains secure and compliant with company policies.
How difficult is it to upgrade to Business Premium?
The upgrade to Microsoft 365 Business Premium is seamless. MTG would need to work with you to implement the necessary policies – particularly Intune and Conditional Access, as these require some liaison with the business.
Upgrade to Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Upgrading to Microsoft 365 Business Premium is a strategic investment that provides significant benefits for small to medium-sized businesses. The enhanced security features, such as Safe Links, Safe Attachments, and Conditional Access, help protect your business from ever-evolving cyber threats.
With Microsoft Intune and Azure Information Protection, you gain powerful tools to manage and secure devices, apps, and sensitive data, ensuring compliance with corporate policies and industry regulations.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium empowers your business with a comprehensive suite of tools and services designed to elevate productivity, collaboration, and security. By investing in this advanced plan, you can future-proof your business, providing your team with the necessary resources to thrive in an increasingly digital world.
Speak to MTG about upgrading to Business Premium and enhancing security and compliance within your organisation.