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Microsoft 365 for secure work, anywhere


In today’s modern workplace, employees require a variety of work schedules and tools to achieve a sense of fulfillment in their role. For many, a return to the office brings a feeling of normalcy or community, while for others, it feels like a sacrifice of the flexibility to which they’ve grown accustomed. Either way, the days of pure brick-and-mortar operations are behind us — hybrid work is here to stay, and savvy business leaders know the path forward is digitalization.

Whether it’s optimizing office operations, enabling remote collaboration or integrating applications and data to build more efficient processes, the IT department is squarely at the forefront of this transformation — and the pressure is intense. They’re tasked with building and maintaining a more flexible, scalable infrastructure, all while protecting the company, its employees, partners and customers from growing cybersecurity risks.


Distributed IT, centralized management

Implementing an IT architecture that integrates all applications into a cohesive system that can be centrally monitored and managed is critical in the hybrid workplace, driving better outcomes and affording IT professionals the same fulfilment in work they provide to their end users. A happy, healthy IT department is critical for maintaining secure processes and preventing alert fatigue.

In this article, we’ll explore how Microsoft 365’s security features, add-ons and integrations enable a multi-layered, yet centrally managed security approach.


M365’s agile product model

Microsoft is a master of the whole product concept, delivering core products designed to be augmented and enhanced through its own add-ons and third-party integrations.

A standard M365 license comes with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) which can be integrated to manage user identities, synchronize accounts or set up single sign-on. M365 also comes with several built-in security features, available at different subscription levels:

M365 Business Basic M365 Business Standard M365 Business Premium M365 E3 M365 E5
Email Security
MS Defender Add-on Add-on
Advanced threat protection
Mobile device management Intune Intune, Autopilot Intune, Autopilot
Microsoft Security & Compliance Center
Identity and access management

As of February 2023. Subject to change. Confirm information and pricing with Microsoft or your vendor.

  • Email security – For basic and standard subscriptions, M365 offers Exchange Online protection with signature-based malware detection, anti-spam filtering and basic phishing alerts.
  • MS Defender – This delivers integrated, cross-domain threat detection, giving you the full threat picture. It automatically blocks threats across all services, providing context and analyses in an easy-to-read dashboard.
  • Advanced threat protection – ATP offers zero-day malware protection through “safe attachment” sandboxing, using behavior-based machine learning to detect abnormalities and feed them to an Azure service for analyses.
  • Mobile device management – Intune MDM capabilities enable you to set up policies that protect data on Windows 10 and 11 devices, with the ability to control the device by wiping data or resetting it to factory settings.
  • Security and compliance center – Security administrators benefit from this central monitoring hub, giving them visibility, control and guidance to detect and respond to threats on the network.
  • Identity and access management – Protect against identity compromise with strong authentication and risk-based adaptive access policies. Control access while delivering a seamless user experience with contextual factors such as user, device, location, and real-time risk information.

Microsoft security add-ons

On top of these, Microsoft offers numerous security products than can be layered in to increase resilience, managed through the security center. Here are just a few:

  • Windows 365 Cloud PC – Enable users to securely access their work desktop from any device within the 365 network. Cloud PC securely streams their Windows experience from the Microsoft cloud, centralizing data and keeping it off local devices.
  • eDiscovery – To maintain compliance and ensure litigation preparedness, Advanced eDiscovery and Audit enables you to identify users and associated data sources, and apply legal holds to that data.
  • Microsoft Priva Privacy Risk Management – Ensure privacy compliance by identifying and mitigating risks and preventing incidents with automated policies and suggested actions.

Extending security with third-party integrations

M365 does not claim to deliver comprehensive security out of the box; it encourages users to take advantage of Azure’s mature integration services. Harden your security posture further by integrating with a security solution or service offered by a trusted Microsoft Partner such as Ricoh:

  • Data backup and restoration - M365 offers data retention of up to 30 days for file deletion and recovery, however it does not offer full backup and restoration capabilities, so a third-party backup solution is essential. Consider a cloud solution such as Carbonite Backup for Microsoft 365, which offers comprehensive backup for the entire Microsoft 365 suite of productivity apps. Carbonite also protects data from everyday data loss scenarios that aren’t covered in M365, easily deployed through Azure Active Directory integration.
  • Web Filtering – While providing email protection is important, it’s only half of a protective filtering solution. The other half is protective filtering to block malicious domains which may include harmful content such as ransomware, malware, viruses, and data phishing. It also provides the option to block specified content types based on individual business needs to prevent access to domains that may contain adult, gambling, crypto mining, dating, or other prohibited content.
  • BitLocker drive encryption – Data stored on a lost or stolen device is vulnerable to unauthorized access. BitLocker Drive Encryption is a data protection feature that integrates with the operating system and addresses the threats of data theft or exposure.
  • Cybersecurity awareness training – When you’re looking to enable secure hybrid work, educating your employees on threat awareness and empowering them to make smart decisions is crucial to protecting your company from cyber threats.
  • Expert management – True partners are connectors, not dead ends, leveraging their relationships with leading technology suppliers to improve how you work. Choosing a partner that brings other diverse partnerships to the table levels the playing field, giving businesses of all sizes access to enterprise-quality solutions.

The right solution for secure hybrid work

There’s a reason why Microsoft 365 is one of the world’s leading platforms for hybrid work: its core capabilities enable seamless and secure work in any location. Its built-in security features deliver essential protections that can be extended and optimized with the right strategy, tools and partners.

Understanding the security capabilities of your M365 investment enables you to fully leverage its many hybrid work benefits and grow your business with confidence.

Ricoh’s team of security experts can help you assess your current security posture, build data-driven strategies and optimize your M365 subscription to future-proof your business with secure, seamless hybrid work. Ricoh is a Microsoft Gold Partner.


Ricoh, a trusted partner

At Ricoh, we’re empowering our customers to respond to our changing world with actionable insights. We believe having access to the right information translates to better business agility, more human experiences, and the ability to thrive in today’s age of hybrid and borderless work. Through our people, experience, and solutions, we create competitive advantage every day for over 1.4 million businesses around the globe. To us, there’s no such thing as too much information.

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