IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Improving the Security of Microsoft Environments

The right mix of reporting, analytics, and alerts are essential to maintaining your company’s security. By Michael Arabitg

Keeping Microsoft environments secure means constant vigilance. But vigilance comes in different forms. When security alerts pop up, we swing into action. The absence of alerts doesn’t mean everything is secure, however. As IT professionals, we cannot wait until a problem emerges to act, as challenging as this may be.

To keep our Microsoft environments secure, we must continually assess the security landscape.

Solutions to Common Challenges

When building out a cloud environment, we must intentionally address common attack vectors. This includes targeted and comprehensive security training—not just for security personnel but for everyone—to understand the environment’s vulnerabilities.

But there’s a challenge that’s often overlooked—alert fatigue.

So much of cybersecurity software is predicated on alerts. These could be triggered by legitimate threats … or false positives. Given the numbers of alerts, security administrators can lose focus and urgency in responding to them.

Alert fatigue hinders our ability to pay close attention to the real issues. If we see 16 alerts in 10 minutes, we tend to dismiss them as business as usual. Maybe it’s a user who forgot their password. Maybe it’s some other nonthreat. But within the maelstrom of alerts, actual threats can slip through. Alert fatigue creates holes in our security and opportunities for the bad guys to exploit them.

All’s Quiet on the Digital Front

Threats don’t stop with alert fatigue.

Imagine a bad actor gains access to your environment by guessing an overly simplistic password on the first try. No security alerts sound. No red lights flash. But you can’t overstate the damage this actor can do. They might change email-forwarding policies, set up directory roles, or even hold data hostage. They might spread these threats to your customers.

This is why it’s important to maintain vigilance and have tools to identity these threats. With the right reports, you can see changes and abnormalities to uncover potential threats, even when the system is silent. Being able to view a host of areas—such as login heat maps, login details, new devices that have logged on, directory roles, and email policy changes—gives you the overview you need to understand the threat your organization faces and how to quickly counter it.

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