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Improve data security in Microsoft 365 with this online learning course

In this free online course, learn how to improve your Microsoft 365 data security with helpful measures such multi-factor authentication, conditional access policies, data encryption, backups, and more best practices to avoid all the scary stuff.

Mastered Security
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Course details

100% online

For IT admins, IT managers

35 minutes to complete

Shareable certificate

Offered in English

Do at your own pace

Not having a robust security plan can leave your organization’s data vulnerable to cyber threats like malware, ransomware, and data breaches. These data risks can lead to financial losses, damages to your organizational reputation, and legal liabilities.


What you’ll learn in our course for enhancing Microsoft 365 security

  • The importance of a data security strategy in Microsoft 365 
  • The consequences of poor data security
  • Innovative best practices for Microsoft 365 security
  • The relationship between self-serve and security issues
  • MVP-level policies and processes to secure your environment
  • How automation can help with Microsoft 365 security
  • How to set achievable, measurable goals for your Microsoft 365 strategy
  • Understand the value between self-service and adoption

What are the challenges of Microsoft 365 security?

Securing your Microsoft Office environment isn’t as simple as locking everything down and throwing away the key. If you restrict end users too much, they’ll resort to unauthorized apps. Find out how to balance security and end user productivity, without it taking over your entire IT team’s workload.

The main security threats in Microsoft 365 include:

  • Unauthorized access: If your Microsoft Office user accounts are not properly secured, unauthorized user accounts can gain access to sensitive data and systems, resulting in data theft or loss.
  • Data breaches: Data breaches can occur if your organization’s data is not adequately protected, leading to potential legal and regulatory fines, loss of customer trust, and damage to your reputation.
  • Ransomware attacks: Ransomware attacks can encrypt your data and demand payment for its release, resulting in a loss of access to critical data and system downtime.
  • Phishing attacks: Phishing attacks can trick your employees into providing sensitive information or downloading malware, compromising your organization’s security.
  • Compliance violations: Not having a robust security plan can result in compliance violations, leading to legal and regulatory consequences.

Improving data security in Microsoft 365 course overview:

This course is part of our Microsoft 365 Maturity Program, and it’s aim is to help IT admins and leaders improve their data security. By helping you learn about the impact a poor Microsoft 365 security plan can have on your organization, explaining how to implement best practices, and providing you with resources to make securing your environment more straightforward. Chalk full of tips from Microsoft MVPs, each lesson is designed to help you increase your office 365 security and expertise.

Concise and informative. Very good.

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— David

ShareGate Academy Student

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Based on 17 reviews

Summary of the course

This course is divided into 5 modules and 9 lessons:

Module 1: Welcome to the Microsoft 365 Maturity Program course on security (2 mins)
Module 2: What are the consequences of a poor security strategy? (11 mins)
Module 3: Does enabling self-service cause security issues? (7 mins)
Module 4: Resources to help you secure your Microsoft 365 environment (9 mins)
Module 5: Overview: How to improve security in Microsoft 365 (3 mins)
34 minutes to complete
M365 Maturity Program Cta

Free Assessment

Not sure where to start?

Assess how your unique Microsoft 365 environment is performing for free with our online tool. It only takes 10 minutes, and you’ll get personalized results and tips for improvement.

About ShareGate Academy

ShareGate Academy is ShareGate’s learning platform. We offer free, online courses on all kinds of Microsoft 365 topics, from adoption to sprawl, from Microsoft Teams, to SharePoint. ShareGate Academy is here to help IT pros expand their knowledge so they can work smarter, not harder.

We also aim to help you in a way that in turn helps your end users to be more productive. With the rise of hybrid work, IT is increasingly crucial to the employee experience and your organization’s success. The better managed your Microsoft 365 environment, the more likely your end users are to use the tools you provide them, which in turn will maximize the value of your investment in Microsoft 365.

Course contributors

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Elle Crosby is the Senior Content Producer at ShareGate. For more than 3 years, Elle has been sharing IT knowledge through ShareGate blogs, eBooks, webinars, and more by demystifying Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams operations. 

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Accompanied by Samuel Martineau, Solutions Architect at ShareGate, Samuel is presenting and spreading the importance of having a clear Microsoft 365 management strategy at conferences and in ShareGate’s Microsoft 365 Maturity Program.

Benjamin Niaulin, Microsoft MVP

The Microsoft Maturity Program is approved by Microsoft MVP and VP of Product at ShareGate, Benjamin Niaulin. Benjamin crafts products to help organizations adopt new ways of working with the tools the Microsoft cloud provides. Benjamin has been a Microsoft Certified Trainer since 2008, and is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Servers and Services MVP.

Improving data security and access management in Microsoft 365 course FAQ

What topics are covered in this course?

This course is all about Microsoft 365 security. In it, we cover:

Is this course self-paced, or instructor-led?

It’s self-paced. We know you’re busy, so you can work your way through this course in whatever timeframe works best for you. Plus, you’ll have unlimited access! So, if after completing the course you want to revisit a particular section for a refresher, you’ll always have that option.

What are the prerequisites for the course, and who is the intended audience?

There are no prerequisites for this course! This course was created for anyone who works in IT, but especially those who are responsible for managing their organization’s Microsoft 365 environment.

Will the course cover specific Microsoft 365 applications, such as SharePoint or Teams?

Throughout the course, examples of security features and policies for Microsoft Office tools are given, including for both SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

What are the common security risks associated with using Microsoft 365, and how can I mitigate them?

The common security risks of using any cloud platform include:

  • Cyber attacks
  • Data breaches
  • Non-compliance with regulations

All of which can lead to losses in revenue, productivity, and trust. In this free, online course, we provide dozens of concrete steps you can take to mitigate these risks, and go beyond security defaults. A few of these include:

  • Enable multi factor authentication
  • Implement conditional access policies
  • Use role based access control
  • Automate external sharing settings
  • Implement data loss prevention
  • Enable unified audit logging in the Security and Compliance Center
  • Use anti phishing protection

How can I monitor and audit user activity in Microsoft 365 to identify potential security threats?

Monitoring and analyzing user and admin activity is crucial to security. By using activity logs and reporting solutions with actionable custom and pre-built reports, you can stay on top of security threats.
We dive more into detail about how to do this in the course.

What tools and features are available in Microsoft 365 to enhance data security and access management?

Microsoft has several security features that can help you stay in control of your tenant, including conditional access policies, multi factor authentication methods, and a robust security and compliance center.
In this course, we review some of Microsoft’s preset security policies and security settings, as well as additional resources you can use to enhance your data security.

How can I ensure that my organization’s data is compliant with relevant regulations and standards, such as GDPR or HIPAA?

Microsoft Purview has a Compliance score calculation feature that allows organizations to assess their compliance against industry regulations. When you use it, you’ll get a detailed report on your organization’s compliance status and recommended actions for improvement.

How can I educate my end users on best practices for data security and access management in Microsoft 365?

Educating end users on security best practices and how to identify and report security incidents can help prevent security breaches and minimize the impact of security incidents.

Additionally, making sure end users know how to use Microsoft 365’s collaboration tools properly is essential. Data breaches can happen by accident when end users don’t understand the tools provided to them. For more information on how to increase end-user adoption of Microsoft 365, check out our free, online course Increase adoption in Microsoft 365.

How can I create and implement a comprehensive security plan for Microsoft 365 that addresses both internal and external threats?

 The first step is to increase your knowledge of Microsoft 365 security settings, best practices, and risks. All of which we cover in this course.

From there, you need to assemble a team of key stakeholders, identify your security goals and timeline, outline the possible roadblocks, and then get into the nitty gritty of determining who will be responsible for each step needed to achieve those goals.

Assess your Microsoft 365 maturity for free

ShareGate’s Microsoft 365 maturity assessment tool is a free, online tool consisting of a series of questions to help you identify areas of improvement in how your Microsoft 365 environment is being managed.