A Quick Guide To Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) For Office 365

Cybersecurity Ventures, a computer and network security organization in California has predicted that by the end of 2022, the number of internet users would be around 6 billion. It roughly translates to about 75 percent of the total world population. Everyone is moving towards the digital era and welcoming the latest technology with both hands. But still, some organizations are yet to upgrade their security posture to defend against the latest security threats.

On the other hand, cybercriminals are also welcoming the growing trend of digitalization. More users mean more targets for them, and they take advantage of the development in mainstream IT to hone their craft. As a result, cybercrimes like phishing have evolved into a significant issue for everyone, including small, midsized, and even huge corporate firms, too. Although organizations are deploying sophisticated measures to protect themselves from these threats, success depends on the human resource – the employees who are the end-users in every enterprise. It is estimated that 90 percent of the security breaches that happen in enterprises across the globe is because of a human error. Employees expose their credentials or other sensitive information by clicking on malicious links or downloading harmful attachments.

This is where Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection for Office 365 can play a massive role in protecting its users and their online applications – emails and data – using intelligent solutions.

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Office 365 Phishing Protection

Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection is an advanced email filtering service hosted on the cloud. It provides a complete cover for organizations from malware, virus, and other phishing attacks.

Its unique zero-day protection feature provides enterprises with real-time analysis and protection from malicious links. It also comes equipped with a unique URL tracing feature that allows administrators to monitor all kinds of linked URLs to prevent attacks and penetrations happening inside the organization.

Some of the features provided by Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection are as given below:

Safe Links

One of the significant highlights of Office 365 phishing protection is the safe links feature. It offers the ultimate security against all kinds of malicious links in your emails and other office documents.

The ATP is built similarly to the firewalls used for web-protection. It provides a protection feature called time-of-click verification of URLs. What this means is that when the recipient clicks on a link, the ATP scans and analyzes the URL to which the link leads before allowing the web page to open. It allows safe URLs to open but dynamically blocks phishing websites and suspicious URLs.

Safe Attachments

Newly launched malware and viruses can easily bypass anti-virus software and other scanning engines because the filters and scanners do not have anything in their databases to detect these. The anti-virus software or filter need to classify them and upload their virus signatures into their filter databases first. Only then can they identify and block these viruses and the attachments containing them.

But with the Microsoft Office Advanced Threat Protection, a malicious email does not enter the user’s inbox just because the existing database does not see it as suspicious. The office 365 ATP anti-phishing checks every email for unsafe attachment. It blocks the known threats and quarantines all other emails in a sandboxed virtual environment. There, it uses AI and machine learning to analyze their contents and continuously monitors the emails and their attachments. It releases each email to the user’s inbox only if it detects no suspicious activity and considers the email to be safe.

Spoof Intelligence

Spoof intelligence is another highlight of the Advanced Threat Protection software that helps in detecting spoof emails. The feature continuously monitors all incoming emails and those that are circulating within the organization. With the spoof intelligence feature, the ATP enables the users to quickly detect spoofing of domains that belong to them as well as that of external domains.

The consequences of having your domain spoofed can be severe because the sender can send just about anything in your name. However, businesses may also have genuine requirements of spoofing, such as when an enterprise hires an external firm to manage its marketing campaigns. The ATP caters to both malicious and legitimate spoofing by allowing the user to either block the sender or take no action. Whatever the case may be, the ATP’s spoof intelligence will detect any spoofing and leave it at the user’s hands to deal with it.

Anti-Phishing Policies

Microsoft ATP has default policies that apply to all the Office 365 users. However, the users can customize these based on their requirements and organization environment. The customized policies then take precedence over the default ones. The users can also edit, delete, or add to the policies whenever the need arises. Enterprises can customize or make changes to their policies easily from the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center.

Real-Time Reports

Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection provides an advanced reporting dashboard that allows administrators to view the performance of the ATP in the form of reports. Some of the report formats available in the ATP include:

  • Threat Explorer
  • Threat Protection Status Report
  • ATP File Types Report
  • ATP Message Disposition Report


Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection

Organizations can deploy the Office 365 phishing protection and the Advanced Threat Protection to support their applications across multiple platforms. Users of any SMTP mail transfer agent, like the Microsoft Exchange Server, can use the ATP’s protection. This cross-platform usability means that you can use the ATP as Exchange online advanced threat protection.


The Microsoft Office 365 phishing protection uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning models to study the environment and adapt itself based on how the organization utilizes data. It is not a universal solution to protect against all kind of malicious attacks. But it is undoubtedly a great tool to provide security against unknown viruses and malware.

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Enterprise-class email protection without the enterprise price

For flexible per-user pricing, PhishProtection’s integrated email security solution protects your employees from business email compromise (BEC) and many other email threats. 24×7. On any device. With features you’d expect in more expensive solutions:

All Plans Come With

  • Stops business email compromise (BEC)
  • Stops brand forgery emails
  • Stop threatening emails before they reach the inbox
  • Continuous link checking
  • Real-time website scanning
  • Real time alerts to users and administrators
  • Protection with settings you control
  • Protection against zero day vulnerabilities
  • Complete situational awareness from web-based console

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