A change due in December will improve how Exchange Online Protection suppresses high confidence phish messages and stop them being delivered to user mailboxes. The old-fashioned allowed sender and allowed domain lists are being taken out of the equation and ignored when EOP is sure that it’s dealing with some high-confidence phish. It’s time to check your anti-spam policies.
Microsoft has updated the Exchange Online outbound spam filter policy to stop automatic forwarding of email from user mailboxes. The change is now effective with the default set to block automatic forwarding. You can create a custom policy and apply it to selected mailboxes and distribution lists if they need to forward email.
Exchange Online Protection (EOP) quarantines suspicious messages to stop spam, malware, and phishing email arriving into Exchange Online inboxes. Administrators can review quarantined messages. Reviewing messages can find some problems, like messages that shouldn’t have been stopped. But reviews take time, and sometimes other stuff gets in the way, which means that quarantined messages expire without anyone ever asking the question “why.”
Exchange Online Protection monitors outbound email to pick up signs of potential compromise in Office 365 tenants. This can lead to EOP restricting a tenant’s ability to send outbound email and force the administrators to check for compromised accounts or connectors and other problems before contacting Microsoft Support to ask them to lift the restriction.
The fight against spam and malware goes on unabated. ZAP, or zero-hour auto purge, is an Exchange Online Protection (EOP) feature that’s getting some extra features to deal better with spam and phish malware. New policy controls are available to control the feature.
The Office 365 E5 plan includes Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), which builds on the anti-malware capabilities of Exchange Online Protection. ATP the includes Safe Attachments and Safe Links features, both of which can delay email delivery. I don’t notice the delay but others do. In any case, the more protection you have against malware, the better.
No one likes getting spam. Although EOP generally does a good job, Office 365 users can help themselves and help others by reporting spam that gets through to their mailboxes using Outlook’s Report Message add-in. And if they’d like someone else to report bad mesages, admins can do so through the Security and Compliance Center.