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April 09, 2020
Office 365

An Office 365 Admin Checklist

As an Office 365 admin, you are the gatekeeper of your company’s information and responsible for keeping it available and secure. You have other priorities and strategic initiatives to work on, so having a quick health-check list by your side helps you to attend to potential risks fast and avoid disaster. Here are five of the most important quarterly Office 365 updates you should be doing:

    1. Check your Permissions List

Access is power in the age of digital storage. Accidental deletions and intentional IP harvesting can cost your organization millions of dollars, making Office 365 permissions one of your top priorities. You should be updating permissions on a quarterly basis at the very least in order to safeguard data and make it accessible to those who need it. Make sure you:

      • Make content available to authorized users only to prevent accidental changes to customer-facing content
      • Protect your data from internal threats from employees who could benefit from your IP
    1. Review Admin Roles

      Office 365 admins are experts in their environments and wear many different hats throughout the organization. Team members with admin roles are the power brokers of data and need to be skilled in each area they oversee. To facilitate better data availability, make sure to articulate which roles do what in your organization, even if you are the one doing it all. Here’s a brief overview of some key Office 365 admin roles and how they affect your data:

      • Global admin: This admin can designate other users as admins–a power that is to be wielded with caution, i.e. only let those who absolutely need global admin privileges have them
      • Exchange admin: This role touches on data integrity and availability with anti-spam policies that protect users from phishing emails
      • Sharepoint and OneDrive admin: Even as a global admin you may not have visibility into all Sharepoint sites if you aren’t the owner, so be sure that you’re added to all sites and review activity reports
      • Password admin and user management admin: Access rights, password resets, and service health are all important aspects of Office 365 data management, so be sure that whoever manages this role is meticulous in their processes
      • Security and compliance admins: This role may be executed by a SecOps team member. Either way, the tasks should be performed in compliance with Office 365 DLP policies and SecOps best practices
    2. Know Your Office 365 Service Health Stats

Pay attention to service health advisories to prevent data loss or corruption to your organization’s files. If something goes wrong in your Office 365 environment, here are the critical points to investigate:

      • Is it an isolated incident? These are smaller, localized issues affecting only some of your organization’s users
      • Is it an advisory notification? These incidents are major issues with far-reaching organizational impact–act quickly and intelligently to remedy these
      • What is the status? You can see status updates from Microsoft like “Investigating,” “Service Interruption,” “Extended Recovery,” and “Service Restored”

The final question is one of the most important of these: has there been a history of similar issues? If your data is under attack, you’ll spend time putting out fires instead of iterating toward a better Office 365 environment for users.

    1. Safeguard Data From Attacks

Office 365 admins are a crucial part of the data security team. Data loss in Office 365 could devastate your business. Even a minor annoyance like accidental file deletion can mean hours of time spent recovering the document through an Office 365 content restore.

      • Install updates: As late as a month after the 2017 Petya attacks, Honda fell victim to the malware–for which Microsoft had already released a patch
      • Configure retention settings: You are responsible for configuring data retention settings for every mailbox user
      • Collaborate with SecOps: Monitoring data access and roles within the Office 365 environment should be done in partnership with the security team on the front lines
      • Raise user awareness: Your DLP plan likely includes user adherence to data security best practices. Be proactive in monitoring and enforcing Office 365 data security policies to protect your environment and critical organizational data
    1. Implement Security Failsafe Measures

Keeping your mission-critical data available to all relevant users is a chief aspect of your company’s sustainability, growth, and success. After you’ve checked permissions, understood the health of your environment, confirmed admin roles, and fortified your data from malware, Office 365 data loss can still hold your success hostage.

      • Make data available fast after accidental deletion: Microsoft can’t always guarantee recovery of data in the core environment–and this takes precious time away from revenue-producing activities
      • Give your data added layers of protection: Using a ZFS file storage system gives data corruption healing powers. Backupify’s data storage and protection platform gives users the peace of mind that self-restoring files are available and safe from corruption.

Follow the Office 365 admin checklist to make your Office 365 environment agile enough to beat competitors.

Sign up for Backupify today to protect your organization’s Office 365 data from loss and corruption.


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