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Five steps to a more secure Exchange 2013

Combine these five Exchange 2013 features to secure your enterprise messaging without adding management tasks to your workload.

Enterprise security is one of the most important tasks Exchange admins take on, though it's difficult to find a balance between functionality and security. That balancing act gets a little easier with Exchange Server 2013, which includes a number of new capabilities to help admins secure messaging without annoying end users.

In our Exchange 2013 security series, Senior Technology Editor Stephen Bigelow highlighted five capabilities admins can use to protect their deployments. When combined, these capabilities give organizations a better chance of maintaining a functional and secure Exchange 2013 setup.

Feature #1: Role groups

Applying role groups is a critical part of protecting sensitive email content. Organizations can choose between two role groups, depending on their needs. One effective way to use role groups is a "least privilege" approach -- assigning the fewest number of employees to the fewest number of role groups.

Feature #2: Data loss prevention policies

Keeping attackers out of your enterprise isn't your only goal anymore. You have to keep an eye on email so it doesn't become a source for data leaks. Organizations with Exchange 2013 can implement DLP features to filter email and prevent leaks with the option of built-in, custom or third-party templates.

Feature #3: Antimalware and antispam protection

It can be difficult to keep up with the latest options to protect Exchange as spam and malware threats constantly evolve. Several built-in features and tools make it possible to create effective layers of protection against threats to secure Exchange 2013.

Feature #4: Enterprise rights management

What do you do if a breach occurs and unprotected information is leaked from the organization? Rights management, which uses encryption, policies and end-user identification to extend security to an organization's data, is a possible option. If leaks occur in the cloud or via email, rights management can keep unauthorized users out.

Feature #5: Security updates

Missing just one security update or patch can spell disaster for Exchange. Stay informed about available updates for Exchange 2013, and test available patches in a lab setting to make sure they won't cause problems once they're implemented. Consider management tools with capabilities for tracking system inventory.

This was first published in July 2014

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