Cybersecurity is a major concern for companies of all sizes. In 2021, hackers caused $6 trillion worth of damage worldwide. This figure is expected to rise by 15% per year over the next decade.

Companies and organizations can address security concerns in a number of ways. If you use Microsoft products, you can rely on Microsoft 365 Secure Score to assess your cybersecurity posture and make improvements if needed.

Here is a closer look at this useful tool.

What Is Microsoft 365 Secure Score?

Microsoft Secure Score is a Threat and Vulnerability Management tool. It automatically analyzes your company’s security practices and assigns a score based on how effective your current setup is.

In general, a lower score indicates more vulnerabilities, while a higher one shows a more effective security posture. While the score is a good indicator of the quality of your cybersecurity practices, the Microsoft Secure Score also offers essential details that can help you make improvements in weak areas.

What Does the Report Show You?

Microsoft Secure Score offers a rating, in the form of a percentage, to show your company’s overall cybersecurity performance. The usefulness goes far beyond this basic insight. Here are additional benefits you can enjoy by using Microsoft Secure Score.

  • Microsoft breaks down the score, so you can see the performance in different areas. For example, you may get a separate score for device security, applications, and passwords and access.
  • The Secure Score report lists security flaws that need to be addressed. You can use these listings to make necessary improvements, which will increase your score.
  • This information can also help you establish key performance indicators (KPIs), which you can use to measure cybersecurity improvements.
  • The report can also help you ensure that you comply with all information security regulations and policies, such as protecting customers’ personal information or ensuring the privacy of health-related data.
  • The report automatically lists scores and creates visual representations, so you can report the findings to company stakeholders and decision-makers. You can automatically create .pdf and .csv files containing the score and related data.

The report also shows the average scores for similar companies so that you can see how your cybersecurity stance compares to your competitors.

How Can You Use the Score Reports?

Your security score report can offer insights into your company’s cybersecurity practices. Once your managed IT service providers have the report in hand, they can use it to take action to enhance your Microsoft products and network.

The report contains a list of issues to address. You need an IT administrator who is familiar with Microsoft 365 infrastructure and has the correct permissions to access settings to perform these actions.

Examples could include updating settings so that employees need to use two-factor authentication (2FA) to log in. This would require every user to have a code, received by text or smartphone app, in addition to their regular password.

Administrators can also activate or change the sensitivity of existing M365 security systems, and ensure that all apps and security tools are updated to the latest version.

How Does Microsoft Calculate a Secure Score?

Microsoft adds points for each security requirement you meet. Most requirements offer full points only if you complete the action fully. If it is not fully activated or deployed, the score is 0.

The Microsoft Secure Score report lists the points, overall and for each category. However, the official score is written as a percentage.

What is a good score? A good score is relative. Your company should make improvements based on past reports, so a “good” score could be one that is higher than your historical scores.

At the same time, a very high score could be negative if you need to sacrifice ease of use or accessibility to get it.

If you enable all standard security features and use common best practices, such as 2FA, your score will likely be in the 67% range. Another way to measure your Secure Score is to compare it with other companies.

Comparing Your Microsoft Secure Score

Microsoft Secure Score report includes the average scores for companies that are a similar size to yours. These comparisons give you a benchmark. They are important because different industries and businesses of different sizes have different cybersecurity needs and challenges.

You also get a standard security score for Microsoft Office products, which provides another benchmark that you can try to reach.

Which Products Does Microsoft Secure Score Cover?

Microsoft Secure Score audits the most widely used Microsoft products. These include:

As you can see, Secure Score covers access and permissions (Active Directory), devices (Endpoint), and applications (Office 365, M365, Teams).

Why Should You Use Microsoft Secure Score?

First of all, Microsoft Secure Score creates an easy-to-use framework for improving security. The score itself is good for setting benchmarks and measuring improvements, but you also get specific recommendations for actions that can improve your score and enhance cybersecurity.

Also, recommendations are tailored specifically to the products, so you are not getting generic security, but specific protections that are meant to work with Microsoft.

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, you will want to make sure you are not leaving any gaps in your security or vulnerabilities that they can exploit. The in-depth data and specific action recommendations of Secure Score will provide peace of mind from knowing that you are not leaving any back doors open for hackers to enter.

Get Help with Microsoft Security

Microsoft Secure Score offers an excellent starting point for cybersecurity. If you need help implementing recommendations or adding additional layers of security to your system, you can contact Softlanding’s IT security consultants. We work exclusively with Microsoft products, so we can help you select, deploy, and manage security tools and systems that will provide enhanced protection without interfering with the access, productivity, and collaboration features that make programs like Office 365 so powerful for companies.

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Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

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