Defend your business with Microsoft 365 Defender

Network Services

Defend your Business with Microsoft 365 Defender

Phishing attacks are a severe threat to your business. These fraudulent actions can cause your team members to accidentally share financial, customer, and account information with cybercriminals. How does this happen? The main issue is that these malicious emails seem credible since they’re impersonating trusted sources, other people in your business, or high-level executives. As a result, your team members may not even give it a second thought when distributing sensitive personnel or corporate data. Links impersonating Microsoft OneDrive, or SharePoint can also trick users into signing in with their credentials (along with providing any MFA code), which in turn gives the attacker those details for them to go on to commit further exploits.

Despite the attempts to raise user awareness of this fraud, phishing emails are still widespread. They’re the starting point of most hacking activities and can make organisations lose out financially. In addition, the victim may face legal action, diminished reputation, reduced customer confidence, and business disruption leading to the company potentially being closed down. That’s why protecting your business from phishing attacks is paramount. Numerous safety mechanisms are available (and we have many tools at our disposal), but Microsoft 365 Defender might just be one of our best options. It comes with various security layers to safeguard against successful phishing attempts, and if you’re already paying for Microsoft Premium licensing, then its already included in your subscription.

This article will list the seven key features of Microsoft 365 Defender that can help protect your business from phishing.


1 - Phishing Email Protection

The most dangerous type of phishing scam involves emails whose sender seems to be an actual entity. The attacker often uses cunning tactics, like referring to the victim by their name or nickname. Sometimes, they can even use real accounts and use them to trick businesses. Using machine learning, Microsoft Defender 365 lists the contacts you regularly communicate with. Then, it uses advanced tools to differentiate suspicious from acceptable behavior. The result is more accurate detection of phishing emails.

2 - Malware Defence

Different types of malware can spread through phishing emails.

For example, ransomware locks your files and systems until the attacker receives a ransom. Spyware can be even more dangerous as it steals your information by copying clipboards, taking screenshots, or recording keystrokes.

Microsoft Defender 365 addresses such malware with robust safety mechanisms, namely:

  • Layered malware defence – The platform comes with multiple malware scan engines to help diagnose potential threats. They provide a robust heuristic inspection to shield your system even in the earliest stages of an outbreak. This type of protection is superior to using just one anti-malware program.
  • Real-time response – During outbreaks, the platform provides your team with instant access to devices, allowing you to investigate and contain threats in real-time. It also enables your team to collect data and proactively tackle malware.
  • Rapid definition deployment – The Microsoft 365 Defender team maintains a close relationship with anti-malware engine developers. Consequently, users of the platform receive malware definitions on time. Plus, the company checks for definition updates every hour to help protect you against the latest malware.
  • Common attachments filter – Some file types aren’t meant for emails, such as executable documents. With that in mind, the common attachment filter lets you automatically block them without any scanning. Some of the file types it can remove include .ace, .exe, .app, .ani, and .scr.

3 - Spam Filtering

Another common culprit for phishing campaigns is spam emails. Blocking them is an excellent way to shield your organisation from attacks. Defender boasts powerful anti-spam technology to address spam emails by examining the source of the message and the contents. If the email comes from untrustworthy sources or contains suspicious information, it automatically goes into your spam folder. On top of that, this feature examines your team members’ activity to help make sure they don’t send spam emails to other users.

4 - Safe Links

Sometimes, Phishing emails don’t just contain malicious attachments. They can also include URLs to lead your team members to a fraudulent website. These web pages often look legitimate, but they generally require the end user to provide some information, namely their login credentials to Email/Teams/OneDrive, or the Microsoft 365 portal. Furthermore, they can lead to websites that install or download malware on your computers. Safe Links shield your system from malware transmissions using URL detonation. It scans email links and checks for suspicious behavior.

Microsoft Defender 365 warns you not to visit links that open malicious websites. Otherwise, you can open your destination URLs normally. It’ll also rescan the service sometime later and look for any security problems. Another great thing about this feature is that it scans email links from all personnel within your organization. Moreover, it works great on documents uploaded to SharePoint and also to Microsoft Teams.

5 - Sandbox Isolation

Some users, especially if they’re a little reckless, commonly open malicious email attachments without giving it a second thought. They can expose company data to prying eyes as a result, which can ruin your reputation and give your competitors the edge.

Defender can reduce this risk by opening all email attachments in a sandbox. It serves as isolation, meaning that malicious files can only affect the sandbox rather than your system. Once the program isolates malware, it’ll warn you not to open it. But if the attachment is safe, you’ll be able to use it normally.

6 - Enhanced Filtering

Enhanced Filtering is perfect for enterprises that route emails to on-premises environments with third-party services before sending them to Microsoft 365. The platform comes with inbound connectors that verify whether your email sources are trustworthy.

The higher the complexity of the routing scenario, the higher the chances are that email connectors don’t reflect their real source. What’s more, this feature preserves the authentication signals that may have disappeared while routing emails. It enhances the filtering capabilities of Microsoft 365, allowing it to detect phishing and spam emails more effectively.

7 - User Submission and Reporting

Microsoft Defender lets you set specific mailboxes where you can send any threatening emails. This feature allows you to determine the criteria for safe and malicious email while identifying the mailboxes that will store these messages. Thus, your administrators have more control over flagging emails and reporting them to Microsoft.


Phishing attacks can spell disaster for companies of all shapes and sizes. To help combat this threat, integrate your office’s computers with Microsoft 365 Defender. This platform can keep your system intact with dependable security measures. It can also detect malicious activity on time, enabling you to address it before it spreads and compromises your privacy, and your critical business data. 

If you’d like a no-obligation chat to help determine other potential risks in your network, or for help with ensuring your Microsoft environment is configured inline with best practices, reach out to us today.

IT security Sheffield, Cyber Security Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, IT Support