No one wants to be at the receiving end of a cyber security breach. As businesses and organisations migrate their operations and data to the cloud, the need for robust security measures has become paramount.
One of the recent measures that has gained traction is geo-blocking with Microsoft 365. Here we examine geo-blocking in Microsoft 365, its efficacy and limitations, and valuable tips to ramp up your data protection.
Geo-blocking in Microsoft 365 is a security feature designed to allow organisations to control or restrict access to their Microsoft services based on location. In simple terms, this feature restricts which countries can access Microsoft services like Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, OneDrive, etc. On the surface, this blocks out a percentage of threat actors like Script Kiddies and ‘risky’ regions and countries.
While geo-blocking sounds like an effective security measure to eliminate cyber threats, it also poses serious challenges to organisational operations. Remote workers in regions with geo-blocked access cannot seamlessly conduct their duties on Teams, OneDrive, and other cloud-based services. This means that IT teams would have to make an exception for that country for a short time, thereby exposing their Microsoft 365 services to threat actors.
Geo-blocking also heavily relies on IP addresses to track locations. If cybercriminals use VPN to generate IP addresses from approved regions, your digital architecture will be crippled within minutes. A noticeable challenge with geo-blocking is that it may also negatively impact businesses with international partners, as it can create friction when trying to collaborate.
Implementing conditional access policies in Microsoft 365 is one of the effective ways to enhance security. This reduces the attack surface and ensures that only authorised and compliant devices and users can access your resources.
Other strategic tips include the following:
Combining geo-blocking with these control measures will reduce your Microsoft 365 tenancy's attack surface from entry-level hackers and more sophisticated threat actors.
Improving cyber security isn’t just a prudent decision but an imperative one – especially when protecting Microsoft 365. Cyber threats are constantly evolving. You need a comprehensive approach to spotting and addressing loopholes early.
With our Microsoft 365 Security Review or Security Controls Review you can trust our team of industry experts to determine your IT strengths and weaknesses, including providing you with personalised recommendations to fit your business needs.
Contact our team today for an independent, third-party security review to ensure comprehensive protection tailored to your organisation.
IT Support Manager