Defender for O365: cybercrime protection for ALL Microsoft apps banner

Defender for O365: cybercrime protection for ALL Microsoft apps

Feb 7, 2024 Tech blog

Microsoft's built-in antivirus and anti-malware software for the Windows operating system is called Windows Defender. Separately, Microsoft offers Defender for Office 365, which is an additional cloud-powered email protection service designed for businesses.

Teams, databases, contacts and calendars protected from phishing and malware

MS Defender for O365 protects all Office 365 applications (Team sites, shared databases, document libraries, contacts, and calendar data) against advanced threats like phishing, business email compromise (BEC) and malware attacks. It works by scanning emails and endpoints (the entry points into the network from end-user devices such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices) to identify threats and monitor for suspicious network activity.

Importantly, Defender for Office 365 also includes remediation capabilities that enable security teams to efficiently investigate, prioritise and respond to threats. While Defender for Office 365 is not the only tool on the market to provide these services, its significant advantage is its native integration with O365.

Cybercrime still on the rise

According to the 2023 Annual Cyber Threat Report recently released by the Australian Signals Directorate, during the 2022-23 financial year there were nearly 94,000 reported cybercrime incidents. That’s an increase of 23% over the previous financial year - on average an incident reported every 6 minutes!

The cost of cybercrime to the businesses impacted also increased - small businesses now experience an average financial loss of $46,000 as a result of a cyber attack, medium-sized businesses $97,200, and large businesses $71,600.

AI boosting company defences

According to Microsoft Security, over 90% of cyber attacks still start with email, but with hybrid working arrangements on the rise, attackers are beginning to target other collaboration tools. Sixty-five trillion security signals are analysed by Microsoft daily for training its AI models to protect against digital threats, leading to 37 billion suspicious emails being blocked in 2023. Microsoft also claims that its AI and automation capabilities result in the average investigation time required by IT teams to investigate an attack being reduced from 12 hours to 1 hour.

Message protection for on-prem, cloud and hybrid

Defender for Office 365 can be configured in three ways for message protection to cover on-prem, cloud-hosted, and also hybrid network environments:

  • On-prem: cloud-based email protection for your on-premises Exchange Server environment or any other on-premises SMTP email solution.

  • Cloud-hosted: protect Exchange Online cloud-hosted mailboxes.

  • Hybrid networks: protects your email and controls mail routing in a mixed on-premises/cloud mailbox environment using Exchange Online Protection for inbound email.

Need support with O365 or cybercrime protection?

Our skillset includes hosting, backups and security, email management, cloud services, networking and connectivity. Get in touch for support with your business’s O365 network environment and for a wealth of information and support on protecting yourself and your business from cybercrime, check out our subsidiary Cyber Heroes.

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