Safe MS 365 Use of Outlook?

By Chris Bonatti, President of IECA, Casper Wyoming Made Safe in Wyoming Program Member

Our regular readers will be chuckling to themselves, wondering how, with the “stellar” security record of Microsoft Office, things could be made worse by moving it to the cloud? A lot of users have flocked to Microsoft 365, making it a big target when it comes to phishing, Business Email Compromise (BEC), and
other threats. This has made it the subject of recent advisories from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Researchers at Varonis also recently warned that Microsoft Azure applications could be weaponized to break into Microsoft 365 accounts. This requires that the user grant the app permission to access cloud resources, but attackers have been exploiting Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to do this for decades.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued guidance on locking down MS-365 email (see ‘’). These guidelines deal with overriding unfortunate defaults, so that Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is used. While good advice, MFA doesn’t address Varonis’ research, and doesn’t do anything to diminish the big target that MS 365 paints on your back.

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