Microsoft 365 Hacking: What You Should Know

Key Points

  • As more and more businesses use cloud-based software like Microsoft’s Microsoft 365, data breaches are becoming more common.
  • Protecting data stored in cloud systems is the responsibility of the user.
  • You can’t predict cyberattacks, but there are ways to protect your business.

With its ability to optimize productivity and collaboration, Microsoft 365 has become one of the most widely used cloud-based software solutions. While it has helped to streamline operations for many businesses, cyberattacks have also increased alongside it.

The number of Microsoft 365 security breaches has grown steadily over the last few years as hackers continue to develop new ways to break in. The movement of data to cloud storage shows no signs of slowing down, making cloud security more important than ever.

Why Are Hackers Targeting Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365’s features have become more comprehensive over the years, and many businesses have opted to use it to simplify their communication and service processes. Hackers are taking advantage as it grows and businesses begin to store their data in one central location.

With so much data being stored in Microsoft 365, security measures are often put to the test. When it comes to cloud-based software, it’s generally up to users to take care of administering their own network security. This means that even though Microsoft protects its own infrastructure, users are responsible for protecting the data they store in it.

Network administrators tend to focus on the company’s internal systems and software. They don’t always devote as much time to maintaining and supporting all of the third-party applications that are part of their networks. Because of this, it’s much easier for there to be security gaps and, in turn, for hackers to exploit those gaps.

How Can You Protect Your Microsoft 365 System From Hackers?

Unfortunately, hackers can at any time intrude on your system. You can, however, take precautions to protect your business.

Protect your password

A simple and reliable method to protect your account information is to set up multi-factor authentication. Don’t share your passwords with anyone and don’t use the same password on different accounts.

Have a backup and recovery plan

We recommend backing up your Microsoft files regularly and ideally several times a day. Protect your network by using a third-party recovery solution such as Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud. Make sure that your data can be recovered and backed up easily and quickly so that your business is better able to recover from an attack.

Keep an eye out for phishing emails

An email about your account’s security could be a phishing scam. Virus-infected websites are often linked in these emails. Never click on them.

Don’t reply to email requests for passwords

Microsoft doesn’t ask for passwords over email. On that note, you should never respond to an email that asks for your personal details, regardless of the sender’s identity.

Make sure your apps are safe and reliable

You should only download apps from the app store on any device you use. Be sure to update your apps and operating system when necessary, as security patches are often included in updates.

What To Do If Your Microsoft 365 Account Has Been Hacked

We often receive requests from Microsoft 365 clients for help resolving their compromised accounts. What usually happens is that a member of their team gets tricked by a phishing scam, allowing the hacker to access their account information.

Some noticeable signs that your account has been hacked are: emails in your outbox not sent by you, a change in mail forwarding rules, and multiple failed login attempts.

When you notice you’ve been hacked, you should take action right away to prevent the hacker from further accessing your account and to ensure that they’re completely locked out of your system.

If you discover that your Microsoft 365 account has been hacked, here are 3 things you should do as soon as possible:

Make a new password immediately

Be sure to choose a complex password and don’t use any variation of your last five passwords. Your new one should include a mix of capital and lowercase letters, a number, and a special character or two. Once you’ve done that, update all the passwords for your apps as well.

Check your outbox for any suspicious sent messages

Take a look at your outbox and ask your contacts if they received any emails while your account was compromised. Let them know that your account was hacked and ask them to not click on any links in those emails.

Check your email signature and auto-replies 

In many cases, hackers will embed virus-infected links into your signature or auto-replies. It might seem like a small detail, but it’s important to make sure that these links haven’t been changed. It’s also a good idea to go through your contacts and check for any unusual links in their profiles.

4it Tech Insights

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