Discover how Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) empowers small businesses to enhance their cybersecurity defences. Explore the core components of EMS, and how they boost security, and gain insights into implementing this powerful solution to safeguard your small business from cyber threats.
Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for all businesses, but especially for small businesses. Owing to their smaller stature and budget constraints, small businesses are becoming more common targets for hackers and other cyber criminals. With this in mind, it is important for these smaller organisations to take measures to boost their security.
Enter Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), a suite of security tools associated with Microsoft 365. For this article, we spoke with TechQuarters, a Microsoft Partner who, like many London IT support companies, has helped countless small businesses improve their security. According to them, Microsoft EMS is a valuable way to improve one’s security posture.
From secure identity and access management to advanced threat detection and response, EMS calls upon a number of capabilities to empower small businesses to navigate the digital realm with confidence.
Understanding Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS)
Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) is a comprehensive suite of cloud-based tools and services offered by Microsoft to enhance and strengthen the security and management capabilities of organizations. The key components of EMS include:
- Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)
- Microsoft Intune
- Azure Information Protection
- Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA)
Altogether, these components provide a solid foundation of security for businesses that rely on the Microsoft 365 productivity suite. EMS is suitable for businesses of all size, but especially useful for small businesses, who often lack a robust cybersecurity framework.
Addressing Security Challenges for Small Businesses
The security challenges for small businesses have become more pressing than ever. Ironically, the long-held belief that small businesses are less of a target for cyber-attacks has resulted in them becoming more attractive targets, because hackers believe their security will be more lax. The specific challenges small businesses face include:
- Budget Constraints
- Lack of IT Expertise
- Remote Workforce
Microsoft EMS can play a valuable role in helping small businesses overcome their security challenges. TechQuarters confirmed that, as an integrated and scalable solution, EMS can address the specific needs of small businesses with limited resources.
How EMS Boosts Security for Small Businesses
- Secure Identity and Access Management
Ensuring secure identity and access management is vital for small businesses. EMS offers two powerful tools to fortify this aspect of cybersecurity: Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), and Single Sign-On (SSO).
MFA is a security measure that requires users to provide multiple forms of verification before accessing applications. By combining something the user knows (e.g., a password), something the user has (e.g., a mobile device), and sometimes something the user is (e.g., biometrics), Multi-Factor Authentication significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access, even if passwords are compromised.
SSO simplifies the login process for users by allowing them to access multiple applications and services with just one set of credentials.
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Application Management (MAM)
With the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace, small businesses face the challenge of securing and managing these devices effectively. EMS offers mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM).
MDM functionality empowers small businesses to enforce security policies on employees’ mobile devices, such as requiring device encryption, setting passcodes, and remotely wiping data in case of loss or theft.
MAM features allow businesses to securely distribute, manage, and update mobile applications. This ensures that only authorized users have access to specific applications, and company data within these apps is protected through containerization, preventing data leakage to unauthorized apps.
- Information Protection and Data Security
Small businesses often handle sensitive data, making information protection and data security paramount. As a Microsoft 365 consultant, TechQuarters confirmed that EMS offers robust tools to safeguard data across the whole of an organisation’s M365 environment:
Data Classification and Encryption – Azure Information Protection allows small businesses to classify and label sensitive data based on its importance and confidentiality level. It enables automatic encryption of classified data, restricting access to authorized users and preventing unauthorized disclosure.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) – DLP enables small businesses to proactively identify and prevent the accidental or intentional leakage of sensitive information.