Office 365 Spam Filtering

Businesses using Office 365 are being targeted by hackers and all too often they succeed in bypassing Office 365 spam filtering controls and gain access to email accounts and sensitive data.

Figures from Microsoft show that in 2020 there were more than 200 million active monthly Office 365 users and the number is growing at a rate of around 4 million a month. That makes Office 365 a huge target for hackers. Any hacker familiar with how Office 365 works can easily launch an attack, and successful attacks can be extremely profitable.

Office 365 Spam Filtering Defenses are Being Bypassed

Microsoft has been improving its spam and phishing defenses, but phishing emails are still being delivered to inboxes. One recent study showed 25% of phishing emails bypass Microsoft’s Exchange Online Protection (EOP) defenses, the basic Office 365 spam filtering solution provided with all Office 365 accounts.

Email is also used to deliver malware and ransomware. Emotet has long been one of the most prevalent malware threats and was primarily delivered via email until its infrastructure was shut down in January 2021. This former banking Trojan was used to steal credentials, but one of its main purposes was to a downloader of other malware payloads such as TrickBot and several ransomware strains. New malware variants are constantly being developed and distributed to Office 365 users via phishing emails

Ransomware attacks have also increased. Figures from IBM Security show a 6,000% in ransomware attacks between 2016 and 2017, and attacks have continued at a high level ever since with 2021 shaping up to be the worst ever year for ransomware attacks. Some ransomware threats such as ShurL0ckr were not detected by Office 365 spam filtering controls and were delivered to inboxes.

If these threats arrive in inboxes, businesses will be reliant on their employees being able to identify the threats. The number of data breaches related to email-based malware and phishing show that employees are not good at recognizing malicious emails. IT professionals must therefore be proactive and take steps to improve their Office 365 spam filtering defenses.

Office 365 Email Spam Filtering Protection

Many SMBs that have adopted Office 365 will only be protected by EOP. EOP provides a reasonable level of protection and can block most spam emails, phishing and malware threats. Testing by Osterman Research showed EOP to be effective at blocking 100% of known viruses; however, EOP was not nearly so good at blocking zero-day malware threats. Many businesses also report that EOP is not good enough at blocking phishing emails. Many emails bypass EOP controls and are delivered to inboxes.

Microsoft does offer a more advanced cybersecurity solution, called Advanced Threat Protection (APT), which does provide better protection, but at a cost that many SMBs feel is too high. Further, research by SE Labs suggests that even with these two layers, SMBs will only get a low to middle of the market level of protection. To greatly improve protection against phishing, spear phishing, and zero-day malware threats, additional layers of security are necessary.

Advanced Office 365 Spam Filtering Need Not Cost a Small Fortune

Adding extra layers to your cybersecurity defenses will eat into your IT and security budget, but it is not necessary to spend a small fortune to improve your defenses. For the past 20 years, TitanHQ has been protecting SMBs from email threats and has developed an advanced cloud-based email security solution that gives businesses the level of protection they need to block the full range of email-based threats. SpamTitan has been developed to complement Microsoft’s EOP protection and enhance SMB defenses against phishing, spear phishing, ransomware, and zero-day malware threats. The solution is also very competitively priced to ensure it is very affordable for SMBs.

How SpamTitan Protects Office 365 Environments

SpamTitan is quick and easy to implement for Office 365 environments. You just need to specify SpamTitan as your email gateway through which all emails will pass. That means making a simple change to your domain and destination server and directing your MX records to SpamTitan. The process takes just a few minutes.

SpamTitan will then check all inbound and outbound emails in real-time. SpamTitan checks the email header, domain information, and message content using advanced methods to detect spam, phishing attempts, and malware attacks. These measures include a Bayesian analysis, heuristics, and machine learning techniques. With the machine learning capabilities, SpamTitan is largely a set and forget solution.

SpamTitan performs a reputation analysis of all links contained in emails to protect businesses from phishing, spear phishing, and whaling attacks. SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are used to detect and block email impersonation attacks and SpamTitan also includes a sandbox where suspicious file attachments are analyzed for malicious actions. Rules can also be set to prevent internal data loss, such as tagging keywords and other sensitive data such as Social Security numbers.

With SpamTitan you can take Microsoft Office 365 spam filtering to the next level and keep your inboxes free from phishing threats, email impersonation attacks, malware, botnet, and ransomware threats.

If you are concerned about your email security defenses, call the TitanHQ team today and book a free personalized product demonstration and discover how SpamTitan can better secure your Office 365 environment.