How M365 Uses Threat Intelligence to Bring You Superior Cybersecurity Controls

female cybersecurity specialist gathering threat intelligence

During World War II, thousands of codebreakers packed into government buildings and spent 24 hours a day trying to break Japanese and German messages. Without the information—or threat intelligence—they collected, vital battles of the war, like the Battle of Midway, could have been lost.

These codebreakers are seen as the forerunners of modern-day cybersecurity because the information they discovered helped decision-makers know their points of weakness and how to protect against them.

Knowledge drives decisions. When you’re trying to decide between the luxury sports car or the family-friendly van, you do your research (and probably end up with the van).  It’s the same with cybersecurity. You need to arm yourself with the right information to make informed decisions when protecting your business data and assets.

Microsoft 365 (M365) makes this easier by providing users with threat intelligence. It gathers data from multiple sources, including the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, security products, and more, to provide a comprehensive view of threats that might impact your business.

To make better security-based decisions, your company should be taking full advantage of Microsoft’s threat intelligence. But how do you access it and understand the data? Here’s a guide to threat intelligence and implementing the information into your cybersecurity strategy.

What Is Threat Intelligence? 

Threat intelligence is information about threats derived from external sources, such as the dark web, malicious online activity, threat reports, and industry research. The goal of threat intelligence is to give organizations the power to detect, respond to, and protect against potential risks that could put their business at risk.

Microsoft collects this data because it has billions of data points around the world that help them gather information. Why are they collecting this information? Security breaches cost businesses billions of dollars a year. Here are some specifics:

  • The average cost of a breach in 2022 was $4.35 million
  • 43% of attacks are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses
  • In 2022, 47% of all businesses suffered from a cyberattack in some way

If cybercriminals aren’t slowing down, we can’t either! Threat intelligence gives you the knowledge you need to make better decisions. Without this information, you won’t know whether you need better protection against phishing attacks or SQL injections, a more intensive disaster recovery plan, or better infrastructure.

How Does M365’s Threat Intelligence Work?

As of 2018, Microsoft had access to the following data points every month:

  • More than 450 billion authentications
  • 400 billion emails
  • One billion Windows devices
  • More than 200 cloud and commercial services worldwide

This was before the major shift to remote work and the explosion of cloud services in the last few years, so it’s safe to say that Microsoft has even more data now.

According to the 2022 Microsoft Digital Defense Report, Microsoft successfully:

  • Blocked 70 billion threats 
  • Removed 10,000 domains utilized by cybercriminals 
  • Worked with more than 8,500 cybersecurity experts for threat intelligence  

Using data from billions of sources and AI-driven machine learning, M365’s threat intelligence builds an understanding of your users and devices to provide specific security insights. It provides you with alerts about potential threats in real-time, so you can act fast and protect your business from attack.

Which M365 Services Have Threat Intelligence Built Into Them?

Microsoft 365 has threat intelligence built into many of its services. This includes:

  • Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP): ATP provides real-time protection against zero-day threats, malicious software, and other attacks.
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS): MCAS helps detect unusual activity in cloud applications like Office 365, SaaS, and IaaS services.
  • Microsoft 365 Defender: This service is designed to detect malicious behavior that could threaten the security of your organization.
  • Azure Security Center: Azure Security Center monitors all your resources and provides recommendations on how to improve your security posture.

When you use these services, the threat intelligence that is built into the platform will help you quickly detect and respond to potential threats.

Benefits of Threat Intelligence for Your Business

Using Microsoft 365’s integrated threat intelligence can be a huge advantage for your business. You’ll have access to real-time insights and data so you can make better security decisions and keep your business safe from cyberattacks. Take advantage of Microsoft’s threat intelligence and see the following benefits:

Better security posture

Your parents will be so proud of your improved posture, even if it isn’t the one they nagged you about your whole childhood. The more you know about potential threats, the better prepared you’ll be to protect your business.

Improved visibility into malicious activity

Being able to detect suspicious activity in real time will allow you to respond faster and minimize damage. IBM’s 2020 Data Security Report claims that the average time from infiltration to fixing the data breach was around 9 months. Can you imagine letting a wild animal into your house and letting it wreak havoc for 9 months before finally kicking it out? Not ideal!

Reduced costs

By detecting and responding quickly to threats, you will minimize the cost of any security breaches or data loss. The average cost of a data breach to an SMB can range from $120,000 to 1.24 million. Do you have the budget to cover that?

How Working With an M365 Expert Helps You Take Full Advantage of These Features

Microsoft 365’s threat intelligence features are extremely powerful, but it can be difficult for an organization to take full advantage of these features without help. Working with a Microsoft 365 expert can ensure that you get the most out of your platform and keep your business safe from attacks.

An M365 expert will help you set up the necessary services and configure them to your advantage. They can also provide advice on how to improve your security posture and protect yourself against potential threats. So if you want to get the most out of your Microsoft 365 platform, the best thing to do is find an experienced M365 expert and let them help you understand the data.

Make Better IT Decisions With Stability Networks

Let Stability Networks be your team of expert codebreakers. We’ll help you decipher the data and make better IT decisions quickly. To take full advantage of threat intelligence features, our team will help you set up and configure your Microsoft 365 services. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have the knowledge and experience to keep your business safe from cyberattacks.

Schedule a consultation to see how M365’s threat intelligence can help you do business better.

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