How to Reduce Spam in Office 365

By January 28, 2016 June 14th, 2017 Blog

As any IT professional knows, spam isn’t only annoying; it can be extremely expensive and downright dangerous. Consider the fact that an average 1,000 employee company can spend up to $3 million a year to fight and manage spam, and you’ll have a good idea of just how costly this annoyance can become.

Now that your organization has upgraded to Office 365, you’re likely enjoying some of the features of Microsoft’s latest and greatest software. But for many companies, that ever-present problem of spam keeps rearing its ugly head, and you’re likely looking at new methods for how to reduce spam.

Yes, even Exchange Online is susceptible to spam and phishing. But here’s how to reduce spam in your company’s Office 365 network in just a few steps:

1. Use connection filtering

You can increase your spam protection by enabling your users to create safe sender lists, which ensure that every message from a specific IP address or IP address range is delivered. On the flip side, you can also create blocked senders lists.

However, these options have limitations, as many spammers are using newer techniques, such as spoofing, that side-step safe sender lists. In addition, even those truly trusted senders can expose your network to spam and malicious email through phishing schemes, forwards, attachments and other means.

2. Tweak your spam filtering

Minimize the number of spam messages that land in your company’s inboxes by filtering out messages written in specific languages or sent from select regions of the world. You can also opt to quarantine potential spam messages in order to distance them from the intended recipient, while also giving him or her a chance to access the email later.

3. Train each Exchange Online user

Email users in your company can help Microsoft fine-tune its spam filter by submitting spam to Office 365. This enables them to discover new spam campaigns and more readily update their signatures. There are a few ways to submit spam to Microsoft, and they are both relatively quick and easy.

However, implementing this step across your organization would require quite a bit of training—and ongoing reminders. This takes time and effort, and you probably have better things to do with your time. So ideally, it would be better to stop the spam before it gets to your employee inboxes.

4. Apply additional layers of security

Office 365 takes spam protection a bit further than most other cloud-based email platforms by including features such as inbound DKIM verification, outbound DKIM signing and DMARC support. However, there are several new anti-spam techniques that you could layer on at the head-end that would be greatly beneficial to your organization.

Seek out an email security solution that includes SMTP defense to guard against common spamming behaviors, pattern-matching technology to track the reputations of incoming IP addresses, and anti-spoofing technology that guards against today’s phishing schemes. Finally, look for a spam protection that provides flexibility to the end user, with email communities that enable each individual to create a group of permitted email senders. Ideally, find a solution that uses technology that is more intuitive than Microsoft’s basic “approved senders” lists. For example, using a verification message (i.e. a challenge email) for each new sender can go a long way toward ensuring that an incoming message is from a legitimate person.

Your business should be well-protected from spam, without your IT department losing unnecessary time to train employees and tweaking spam filters. To find out how to reduce spam more effectively within your organization, request a demo of Sendio today.