Issue No. 43February 2016

New Additions Coming to Email through Microsoft Office 365

At Kazmarek, we try to keep our clients and friends in the loop on new happenings at Microsoft. Last month Microsoft announced some key new additions that they will soon be adding to Microsoft Exchange email through Microsoft Office 365.  These are featured below:

Dynamic Delivery of Safe Attachments– Last June, Microsoft introduced Advanced Threat Protection Safe Attachments to protect against unknown threats by detecting viruses in email attachments. After going through the standard Office 365 protection process of three anti-virus engines and multiple spam filters, an email with a suspicious attachment enters the Safe Attachment sandbox environment, which has a detonation chamber to analyze the attachment and determine whether or not it’s safe-a process that typically takes 5-7 minutes.

With Dynamic Delivery of Safe Attachments, Microsoft eliminated that delay by sending the body of the email with a placeholder attachment, while the actual suspicious attachment undergoes a Safe Attachment scan. Recipients can read and respond to the message, which includes notification that the original attachment is being analyzed. If the real attachment is cleared, it replaces the placeholder; if not, the admin can filter out the unwanted and potentially malicious attachment. Dynamic Delivery of Safe Attachments is now in private preview for Advanced Threat Protection customers and is scheduled for general availability this quarter.

Zero-hour Auto Purge-In the event of incorrectly categorizing an unread email as spam, malicious or safe, Zero-hour Auto Purge provides the ability to change that verdict. For example, if a message is delivered to your inbox and later found to be spam, Zero-hour Auto Purge moves that message from the inbox to the spam folder; the reverse is true for messages misclassified as spam. Now in preview with approximately 50 customers and available on demand, Zero-hour Auto Purge will be rolled out for all Exchange Online Protection global tenants in the first quarter of 2016. Admins will have total control over using this feature or not since Zero-hour Auto Purge can be disabled in the admin center.

Safety Tips in Outlook on the web-This Exchange Online Protection feature proactively gives user-friendly safety tips that help you decide whether or not to open an email. For example:

  • If an email is from a trusted sender, you are notified that it’s a safe message.
  • If you receive a suspicious or phishing email, the message states that it’s from an untrusted source.

The idea behind Safety Tips in Outlook on the web is to educate users by augmenting written notification of the message status by adding a red bar at the top of suspicious or phishing emails. This added visual cue provides an alert to protect you from a potentially fraudulent request or other suspicious action. Safety Tips in Outlook on the web will be generally available to Exchange Online Protection customers in the first quarter of 2016.

Protection against insider spoofing– Yet another growth area for “spoofers” is what’s called “insider spoofing” or “peer phishing,” when a phisher impersonates high-ranking company executives by spoofing the company’s email domain. The email looks like an internal email, making it hard for existing filters to identify as malicious. Fortunately, by built-in intelligence that leverages big data, strong authentication checks and reputation filters, Exchange Online Protection has strengthened its counterfeit detection by over 500 percent.

Source: Microsoft

For more information on new additions coming to email through Microsoft Office 365, and how this can help your business, please Contact Us!