Does Office 365 Deliver the Email Security and Resilience Enterprises Need

Published on 19 Mar 2021

White paper - Does Office 365 Deliver the Email Security and Resilience Enterprises Need

With 60% of corporate knowledge workers reporting that email remains their most commonly used mode of communication, email continues to be the backbone of enterprise communications and could be considered the most critical infrastructure for daily operations. Cloud-delivered email services are rapidly becoming the preferred implementation approach by IT organizations. With over 155 million users already running on Office 365, organizations are realizing significant benefits over on-prem solutions, including reduced management costs, regulatory compliance, and the accounting shift from CapEx to OpEx.

Benefits of moving to cloud-delivered Email

Moving email infrastructure to cloud-based delivery replaces the acquisition and management of hardware resources, software updates, and overall system management, but may not provide the security and resilience levels that are common with on-prem implementations. With phishing at epidemic levels, representing 95% of successful attacks, email security needs to be a top priority for security teams.

While most email system providers offer some level of security and resilience, they fall short of what many security and IT teams would consider adequate. In part because they’re widely used, homogenous security systems are typically easier for an attacker to bypass compared with heterogenous, or multi-layered defenses. Third-party email security and resilience solutions exist to fill this void.

Organizations that are planning to move to cloud-based email systems, including Microsoft Office 365, should strongly consider the use of third-party solutions to ensure critical email infrastructure and data are adequately secured, backed up, and kept 100% available.

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Planning the Move to Cloud-delivered Email Solutions

As organizations move core operating infrastructure to the cloud, enterprise email is ripe for transformation. Significant numbers of organizations have already migrated their inboxes to popular cloud email solutions, with Microsoft Office 365 leading the pack. Benefits for transitioning email to the cloud align to the same, well-known benefits of the cloud, including the reduction of operating infrastructure management cost and the move from CapEx to OpEx. Email infrastructure is pure overhead to most organizations and provides no differentiation, so outsourcing makes sense, just like in many other areas of IT.

New risks emerge with the use of a new approach to email infrastructure. Moving on-prem solutions to the cloud replaces the operational infrastructure but doesn’t necessarily replace security controls or guarantee resiliency. While moving to Office 365 basically lifts the on-prem Exchange infrastructure and moves it to the Microsoft cloud, existing/additional security controls or other complimentary services don’t move with it. organizations need to plan for how to ensure the security and resilience of their email. Moving to the cloud does not inherently address this issue.

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