What Is Microsoft Secure Score?

Security is a priority no matter the size of your business. Recognizing this, Microsoft has a Secure Score measurement in its 365 Defender dashboard. But what is Secure Score, and how does it help your business? This article explains the basics.

Secure Score measures your security posture. It reviews your activity and security settings against Microsoft’s best practices. The idea is to identify areas to enhance protection and provide suggestions.

In the dashboard, administrators can view the current state of their security score. It considers all Microsoft identities, apps, and devices. There is also a target score. The higher your target score, the more recommended actions you’ll get, although Microsoft cautions that you should balance increased security against user experience.


Secure Score Recommendations

Secure Score shows you possible improvements considering security best practices. Secure Store currently offers recommendations for:

  • Microsoft 365 (including Exchange Online);
  • Azure Active Directory;
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Identity, and Cloud Apps;
  • Microsoft Teams.

The score does not measure the likelihood of a system or data breach. Instead, it looks at system configurations, user behavior, and other security-related measurements. Then, it scores what you’ve done to offset security risk in real-time.

Microsoft not only lists security recommendations but also tracks your action plan. The implementation section shares prerequisites and provides step-by-step advice to complete improvement actions. You can report on status (e.g. planned, risk accepted, resolved through third party, and complete). Rankings also help you gauge implementation difficulty, user impact, and complexity.


Scoring Security with Microsoft

The more improvement action you take, the higher your score. For example, you’re given points for:

  • configuring recommended security features;
  • doing security-related tasks;
  • addressing suggested improvements with a third-party application or software, or alternate mitigation.

Microsoft Secure Score also compares your metrics with scores for similar organizations. The data is anonymous, but in the Metrics & Trends tab, you can view how your score compares to others over time.


Raising Your Secure Score

How can you have an immediate impact on your Secure Score? These three steps can boost your organization’s security:

  1. Enable multi-factor authentication on administrator accounts in case account credentials are compromised.
  2. Enforce password expiration policies to prevent the usage of leaked credentials.
  3. Set up Azure Active Directory to track, log, alert, and remediate and better protect sensitive data and information.

Our IT experts are here to help you understand Secure Score. We can help enact action plans to apply the recommendations. Contact us today at 317-497-5500.