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Secure email servers on Exchange, Office 365 or both

Email is a critical business service, so Exchange administrators have a duty to secure email servers against attacks and outages on-premises or in the cloud.

Introduction

No matter where your organization's email system resides, you need to secure email servers, the network those servers use and -- as much as possible -- the end users. You must take on a number of tasks on a regular basis, sometimes daily, to make sure your servers are secure.

If your organization has on-premises Exchange Server, you know that servers aren't immune to attacks that can lead to data breaches or worse. If your organization moved its email messaging service to Office 365, you aren't entirely absolved of security administration duties. Microsoft has been pushing IT shops to move to the cloud since it introduced its "cloud-first" approach for delivering future updates and features. But even with this cloud focus, many organizations still use on-premises Exchange for their email needs. With a mix of email services on-premises and in the cloud, you have to stay on top of securing two different platforms with two different architectures.

Each Exchange setup requires a different method of keeping a secure email server. Use this guide to learn about the features and tools in each deployment mode that can help you keep your organization safe from attacks.

1Securing on-premises Exchange-

Tools to keep on-premises Exchange secure

Exchange Server is not immune from security attacks that can compromise sensitive data and bring down an entire environment. These tools and practices help boost Exchange email security.

Tip

Comprehensive Exchange security tools

A combination of network- and Exchange-based controls will enforce messaging security. Log audits, intrusion prevention and other methods keep breaches at bay. Continue Reading

Tip

Survey says: Exchange at risk for security attacks

Exchange is vulnerable to attacks. A recent survey found four main areas to address for secure, available and resilient Exchange environments, so it's important for admins to know the basics to protect their organization's data. Continue Reading

Feature

Protect Exchange 2013 with security updates

When you forget to install updates on Exchange 2013, you leave the environment open to data leaks and other security issues. Stay apprised of updates, patches and hot fixes that address security vulnerabilities and exploits. Continue Reading

Tip

Six ways Exchange admins can ensure resiliency

A test environment can help Exchange admins examine their infrastructure's response to simulated attacks, while tools such as Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer improve admins' security skills. Continue Reading

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Use SMTP and IMAP to secure Exchange Server communications

SMTP and IMAP have several built-in security features to protect Exchange Server's external communications, adding an extra layer of protection to mail transmissions. Continue Reading

2Glossary-

Expand your Exchange vocabulary

Get to know these terms as you familiarize yourself with the different ways you can secure your Exchange setup.

3Lock down cloud email-

Security for Office 365

Office 365 features offer heightened security against attacks for enterprises that have moved their messaging systems into the cloud. Methods to control email access range from login security to client policies.

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Office 365 features offer heightened security against attacks for enterprises that have moved their

Office 365 offers a number of security features and configuration options to keep end users and email messages safe, such as threat intelligence and malware analysis capabilities -- albeit with some gaps. Continue Reading

Tip

Boost Office 365 security with the AD FS extranet lockout feature

The AD FS extranet lockout feature, a security feature of the Web Application Proxy server role, can help protect organizations from denial-of-service and brute-force password attacks by locking out end user accounts after a number of unsuccessful login attempts. Continue Reading

Tip

Control access with the Client Access Policy Builder

A Client Access Policy restricts access in several ways, including blocking all external connections to Office 365 services, or blocking all external access except from ActiveSync devices. Continue Reading

News

Outlook app worth a second look

Microsoft is closing up the security holes in its Outlook app for mobile devices. The app now enforces company email policies and features built-in encryption. Continue Reading

Tip

Better Exchange Online access controls available

It's time to start using conditional access for Exchange Online -- via Microsoft Intune and Office 365 Mobile Device Management -- to supplement the access control features of ActiveSync policies. Continue Reading

4Stay safe in any setting-

Security for hybrid Exchange

Hybrid Exchange and Office 365 messaging setups reduce your on-premises workload, in terms of management and capital expense. At the same time, hybrid means securing two email platforms, monitoring users and attack potential on two architectures -- and can be twice the headaches if you're not properly prepared.

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Cracks in the security armor

While there's a lot of technical assistance for deploying hybrid Exchange and Office 365, there's less direction for how to secure it. Pay attention to these six areas, including cross-platform tools and incident response changes. Continue Reading

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Neglected servers introduce vulnerabilities

You don't get out of server management when you move to Office 365 in a hybrid deployment -- you may even add servers. That means patches and monitoring deserve rapt attention. Continue Reading

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Choose between native and third-party email security tools

Are you spending too much time managing Exchange servers? Is legal discovery bumpy? What's the mobile situation? Use these questions to determine the right email security strategy for your organization. Continue Reading

Tip

Push users out of encryption

With many end users working across email platforms, and uninformed about encryption policies, the best way to keep their messages safe is to keep them out of the encryption process. Continue Reading

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IT seeks security-minded hosting provider

Don't assume that hosted Exchange providers have the same security priorities and safeguards in place as your team for its on-premises Exchange deployment. The right Exchange hosting company is a partner against crime. Continue Reading

Tip

One click away from disaster

What can the phishing attack on the U.S. State Department tell us about our own Exchange security levels? Stop attackers from catching you in a phishing hack. Continue Reading

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