How to Perform a Microsoft 365 Security Assessment as an MSP

One of the best ways a managed services provider (MSP) can keep a client’s Office 365 environment secure is by performing a Microsoft 365 security assessment.

The assessment is often used to spot the security vulnerabilities in a client’s Microsoft 365 setup that could be exploited by attackers. By proactively identifying and addressing these vulnerabilities, you can help enhance your client’s overall security posture.

Additionally, many industries have regulatory requirements that dictate how data should be handled and protected. An M365 security assessment can help ensure that your client’s use of Microsoft 365 complies with legal and regulatory standards.

So, today, we’re going to give you a simple step-by-step guide on how you can conduct an Office 365 security assessment for your clients. This simple 5 step guide should work in most cases, however, always adjust based on your client to ensure a strong security posture.

5-Step Office 365 Security Assessment For MSPs

1. Initial Assessment

Conduct an in-depth analysis of your client’s current Microsoft 365 usage and security posture. Gather information about their infrastructure, employee usage patterns, and their existing security features and policies. This step will help you identify areas that require attention and sets the baseline for the rest of your assessment.

Some questions you may want to ask during this initial assessment include:

  • Is your client set up with multi-factor authentication (MFA)? If so, how?
  • Are their security settings higher than the default?
  • Is the number of administrators in the M365 environment appropriate for your client’s needs?
  • Is auto-forwarding enabled in Outlook?
  • Are there any third-party security solutions integrated with Microsoft 365? If so, which ones?
  • Have they installed all of Microsoft’s recommended updates?
  • How many applications are they using? How many do they actually need?

2. Configuration Review

Review the security configurations of your client’s Microsoft 365 services against CIS benchmarks. This step involves checking settings in services such as Teams, Exchange Online, and SharePoint to ensure they comply with the best security practices. This review helps identify misconfigurations that could expose your client to security risks.

By performing a detailed configuration review, you also gain a better understanding of how your client may want their environment set up. That allows you to perform more precise adjustments where necessary that enhance their security maturity without compromising their preferred setup.

3. Compliance Verification

Evaluate your client’s Microsoft 365 digital environment against relevant compliance standards based on their industry, location, or any regulations they tell you they must follow. Document compliance gaps and perform a risk assessment to help prioritize compliance needs.

After the assessment, focus on the compliance issues that pose the highest risk to security and/or business operations and go from there. Other factors that may affect prioritization include:

  • Legal requirements
  • Resource availability
  • Business impact
  • User impact

Make sure you consult your client and any supplementary compliance documentation as well.

4. Apply Recommendations

Suggest security enhancements based on your findings from the initial assessment, configuration review, and compliance verification combined. Recommendations could include tightening security policies, adjusting security controls, and deploying additional security tools.

Consider your client’s security capabilities and assess what you will have to do compared to what their in-house employees can do. From there, you can implement your recommendations appropriately. If you offer IT procurement services, you can also use these recommendations to guide your team as they find the right new tools for your client.

5. Training and Continuous Monitoring

If needed and/or offered by your business, provide training sessions for your client’s staff to educate them on best practices for using Microsoft 365 securely. Additionally, whether or not training is part of your services, you should still set up ongoing monitoring of their Microsoft 365 environment to help yourself detect and respond to cybersecurity risks promptly.

Both of these measures help ensure that your newly implemented recommendations yield the intended results. Continuous monitoring can also pinpoint areas where additional analysis may be necessary.

Simplify Your Next Security Assessment With Augmentt

Planning and following a tailor-fit security assessment checklist based on our 5 key steps will help you protect your clients from most cybersecurity threats. However, you can make the assessment process much simpler by using the right technology.

Augmentt offers assessment tools that follow CIS and can detect compliance gaps for HIPPA, SOX, and more. We also provide simple, at-a-glance roadmaps that allow you to quickly plan effective recommendations for each client. Instantly apply security baselines using pre-set templates or your custom designs to secure more clients faster than ever before.

Start today with your free M365 security report.

Brendan

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