Small Business Phishing Defense

What can we do to stop all these phishing emails?!

A question we hear all too often. The unfortunate reality is that small businesses are plagued with email attacks daily. On average, each one of your employees receives ~5 phishing emails a week. One of the best ways to defend against this threat is to teach your staff how to spot these attacks with cybersecurity awareness training. But phishing and social engineering attacks continue to become more sophisticated and you can’t rely solely on your staff to stop an attack.

If you want to bolster your company’s email security, we encourage you to consider Microsoft’s Defender service. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is a cloud-based email filtering tool that protects your organization against advanced threats like phishing and business email compromise. Defender can significantly reduce spam emails, prevent your employees from interacting with malicious email attachments or links, and flags incoming emails trying to impersonate members of your staff.

How Can My Business Get Microsoft Defender for Office 365?

Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is included in some Microsoft plans like Microsoft 365 Business Premium. If you have a Microsoft 365 plan that does not included Defender for Office 365, you can add the tool for as low as a few dollars per user. This low cost translates to a significant increase in your organization’s email security.

How Does Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Work?

Safe Attachments

When an email attachment is sent into your environment and opened, that attachment is tested in a virtual sandbox. This sandbox acts as a safe location to inspect the attachment without putting your devices at risk. If the attachment is safe, it will open as normal. But if it is deemed malicious, the attachment will be removed, preventing user interaction.


By leveraging machine learning and impersonation detection algorithms, Defender’s Anti-Phishing tool evaluates all incoming emails for red flags typical of phishing attacks and automatically blocks them from entering the target’s inbox. Reducing the risk of an employee being tricked by a convincing phishing email.

Spoof Intelligence

Cybercriminals know that if they can make an email appear that it is coming from a trusted domain, a target is more likely to interact. Spoof intelligence can verify that senders are who they say they are and alert you if that email from the CEO requesting a wire transfer is a scam.

Safe Links

Are your employees clicking every link in every email they receive? They shouldn’t. But with Safe Links, at least they are protected. Safe Links uses the same approach as Safe Attachments and opens the link in a separate environment to verify the destination. If the URL is found to be malicious, the recipient automatically receives an alert like the one below, warning them that the site might not be safe

Warning Message When Safe Links Detects a Malicious URL

Email security is more critical to your small business’ security posture than ever before. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 can significantly reduce the risks of a successful cyberattack against your organization.  If you are interested in implementing these tools into your cybersecurity plan or want to learn more about what Microsoft Defender can do for your business, you can reach out to us here or give us a call at 816-222-1115.

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