Office 365 Email Hacked? Don't Panic! Follow These 5 Steps

Email, calendar management and cloud storage are fundamental business tools. Microsoft's Office 365 is a popular platform for managing business emails, but it's not immune to cyber threats. Having your Office 365 email hacked can be a very stressful situation and potentially damaging to your business. However, panicking won't solve the problem! Instead, follow these five essential steps to regain control and secure your business.

Step 1: Recognise the Signs

The first step in addressing an Office 365 email hacked scenario is recognising the signs. Some common indicators include:

  • Suspicious Email Activity: Unexplained emails in your sent items or your contacts receiving messages you didn't send.
  • Password Change Alerts: Notifications of password changes you didn't initiate.
  • Login Anomalies: Strange login locations or devices accessing your account.
  • Spam or Phishing Emails: An increase in spam or phishing emails sent from your account.
  • Unusual Rules: New email rules are set up without your knowledge.

If you notice any of these signs, it's crucial to act swiftly.

Step 2: Secure Your Account

The next step is to secure your compromised Office 365 email account. Here's what you should do:

  • Change Your Password: Immediately change your account password to something strong and unique. Ensure it's not related to previous passwords.
  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring more than just a password for access. It's a must for preventing future hacks.
  • Review Email Settings: Check for any unauthorised forwarding rules, email signatures, or out-of-office messages. Remove or adjust them as needed.
  • Scan for Malware: Use a reliable antivirus program to scan your device for malware or malicious software.
  • Log Out Remotely: If you can, log out of your account from all devices, including those not recognised by you.
  • Change Security Information: Update your security questions and recovery email addresses to ensure hackers can't regain access quickly.

Step 3: Inform Your IT Department

Communication is vital when dealing with a hacked Office 365 email. If your business has an IT department or a managed service provider, inform them of the breach. They can assist in assessing the extent of the hack and guide additional security measures. If you don't have an IT department, consider seeking help from a professional IT service.

Step 4: Investigate and Contain the Breach

Understanding how the breach occurred is essential to prevent future incidents. Investigate to determine the entry point. It could be due to a weak password, a phishing attack, or compromised credentials from another data breach. Identify the source and take necessary steps to contain the breach. This might involve removing malware, closing security gaps, or conducting a thorough security audit.

Step 5: Educate Your Team

Hacking attempts often exploit human vulnerabilities. Educating your team is a proactive approach to prevent future breaches. Conduct cyber security training sessions to raise awareness of phishing scams, password security, and the importance of MFA. Ensure your employees know what to do if they suspect a security threat.

It's important to note that an Office 365 email hacked situation can have legal and compliance implications for your business. Depending on your industry and location, you might need to report the breach to authorities or affected parties. Consult legal counsel to understand your responsibilities and obligations in the event of a data breach.

In conclusion, while an Office 365 email hacked scenario can be distressing, it's not the end of the world. By following these five steps, you can recover your account, enhance security, and reduce the risk of future breaches. Cyber security is an ongoing process, and vigilance is key to protecting your business and sensitive data.

Don't let an Office 365 email hack paralyse your business. Act swiftly, decisively, and proactively to regain control and fortify your defences against future threats. Your business email hacked experience can be a turning point towards a more secure digital environment.

Disclaimer: This is general information only. Please contact us for further guidance or seek independent legal advice that considers your unique personal situation before making any decisions based on the information in this communication.