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  • Writer's pictureAngela Sanna

5 Ways to improve SharePoint security

Microsoft SharePoint is one of the most popular platforms for collaboration and content sharing within internal teams and even with external users. Therefore, ensuring SharePoint security is vital to helping your company avoid costly data breaches and business disruptions.

Here are five useful tips to help you improve the overall security of your SharePoint environment.

1. Protect content shared with external users

Due to the nature of SharePoint as a collaborative platform, users will sometimes need to share important information to external users. In these cases, the security of that information should be the top priority.

In most cases, you should try to block external sharing where possible. Only allow external sharing when there is a legitimate business requirement for it. Isolate all external sharing sites into a single site collection, to help give you more visibility and control over what is being shared externally.

Doing this will help you ensure that you don’t fall victim to privilege abuse or allow unknown third-parties to get their hands-on sensitive data. By sharing externally using separate site collections and educating your employees about the best practices of sharing content externally, you’ll be able to mitigate most of the associated risks.

2.Disable Anonymous Sharing

Often there may be times when your users want to share content quickly and anonymously. There are many ways for them to do this. Many organizations restrict attachments on email, so users will look to Dropbox, Google Drive and other methods of anonymous sharing. SharePoint also has this functionality.

Thankfully, you can disable the ability to share and edit files anonymously through SharePoint. This is recommended for a number of reasons, including limiting what your users can share without you seeing and being able to gather all required data sharing information in the event of a data breach investigation.

3. Monitor SharePoint for changes and access events.

SharePoint is a highly dynamic environment, so you can’t simply set it up and then forget about it. Instead, it’s critical to audit activity in SharePoint, including changes to services, server hardware, virtual hardware and security settings, so you can quickly spot issues that could lead to breaches and business disruption.

4. Stop using item-level permissions

SharePoint does not provide an easy method to identify unique permissions and address them in the same way that File Server does. Whilst assigning permissions at item level may seem like a good way to speedily get permissions to that item, it will create an unsecured environment in the long run. For this reason, it’s better to use it sparingly.

Instead of using item-level permissions, try instead to use libraries or folders to assign permissions. This will help you control access rights and also reduce the chances of broken inheritance and an increased attack surface.

5. Conduct security training

Educate users on best security practices and conduct regular security training sessions. This can help prevent accidental data leaks and phishing attacks.

In order to protect your organisation from data breaches and other security risks, you must carefully consider your SharePoint security strategy. The most important principle is to only give access to sensitive data to the people who really need it. Carefully control SharePoint permissions and take the time to monitor the activities of users and admins to protect your organisation from malicious behavior.

These SharePoint security tips can improve SharePoint security in your organisation, helping to protect you from potentially devastating security breaches.

To learn more about the best practices in managing and implementing a SharePoint Intranet get in touch with the team today.

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