Microsoft365 security gaps are rampant
A recent study by CoreView, a software vendor, analyzed 1.6 million MS365 user accounts and found that 90% of organizations had gaps in security protections. The analysis concentrated on four key areas: password policies, multi-factor authentication (MFA), email security and failed logins.
As for password policies, the study identified 95% of companies had at least some users with password expiration date set to ‘never expire’ and strong password requirements disabled.
Although one could argue against password expiration, strong password enforcement should be mandatory across all employees, especially if no MFA is used.
Apparently, 10% of companies have thousands of users without strong password requirements.
MFA is key to secure identities and thwart phishing attempts ultimately resulting in ransomware and other destructive attacks.
Even if Microsoft is now enforcing new organizations to have MFA turned on, fully 28.3% of the admins studied had MFA still disabled, as well as 6.5% of all users. IT administrators, the most critical accounts to protect, are more than four times more likely to have MFA disabled.
Another notable finding is 87% of companies have at least some users auto-forwarding emails to external addresses (gmail or others). Auto-forwarding practices can indicate data exfiltration and should be regularly evaluated to ensure that nothing suspicious is occurring.
These security gaps show that IT admins are either unaware of these issues or overburdened with daily manual work pushing security governance to the bottom of the priority list. Automation and managed security services should help.
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