Office 365 Security: Is On-Premises AD Your Weakest Link?

Office 365 has more than 60 million active monthly users, and adoption of the platform is increasing—for good reason. It allows organizations to reduce infrastructure and costs related to licensing and maintenance, while expanding storage efficiencies. Additionally, Office 365 empowers workforces to operate from anywhere and from any device, while increasing scalability and business continuity.

However, moving from an on-premises Active Directory (AD) to a cloud-based directory, like Office 365’s Azure AD, still gives some decision-makers pause for a common reason—security. As we know, cloud security breaches can negatively impact a company’s bottom line (and damage a company’s reputation). In 2016, research by the Ponemon Institute, found that the average cost of a data breach was $4 million per incident.

Planning to sync your on-premises AD with Azure AD? Download the Quest e-book: Surviving Common Office 365 Security Pitfalls, for your free IT survival guide.

This is why attention to your on-premises AD is so important if you’re migrating to a hybrid or cloud environment. Duplicate accounts, old user IDs, weak passwords and out-of-date user groups that are synched to Azure AD will only broaden your potential surface area for exposure. Any weaknesses you have in your on-premises AD will only increase your risk of data loss in a hybrid AD environment. And with 75% of Office 365 customers with more than 500 users synching their on-premises AD with Azure AD, many organizations could find themselves at risk.

Securing the data you store in a hybrid environment means taking the necessary steps to secure your on-premises AD—from pre- to post-migration. This includes—but is not limited to:

  • Shrinking your data target
  • Scrutinizing user accounts
  • Real-time migration auditing, reporting and alerting
  • Post migration remediation, investigation and recovery strategies

By not making sure that your on-premises AD is as buttoned up as possible, you’re setting yourself up for dangerous gaps and crippling inefficiencies. Download the complimentary Quest e-book, Surviving Common Office 365 Security Pitfalls to learn more about:

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About the Author
Daniel Gauntner
Dan Gauntner is a Senior Product Marketing Manager where he oversees the positioning and go-to-market strategy for Office 365, Active Directory, Exchange, Lotus Notes, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business...