Microsoft 365 for Enterprise has become the foundation for digital transformation. It gives entire organizations access to powerful productivity tools and unhindered collaboration features that make in-office, remote, and hybrid working more secure than ever.

These licenses not only provide enterprise-grade security and threat protection with Microsoft Defender, but also include features such as identity and access management with Azure Active Directory Premium. In this blog, we’ll explore the key advantages of Microsoft 365 licensing and why you need Microsoft 365 E5 for enhanced security.

Before we delve deeper into how Microsoft 365 E5 benefits your business, let’s take a closer look at what E3 and E5 are.

And if you’d like a side-by-side view, download this handy comparison table.

The difference between Microsoft 365 Enterprise licenses

Whether you’re thinking of investing in Microsoft 365 for the first time, or you’re scaling up due to outgrowing the Business license, an Enterprise license is always going to be the best option for modern businesses.

Typically, organizations make the move from a Business to an Enterprise licenses for greater security and compliance as they grow. But before you take the plunge with E5, consider the other options:

E3 license 

The E3 license is the Enterprise benchmark, providing your organization with:

  • An Office desktop client
  • More Mailbox and OneDrive storage
  • Azure information protection (AIP) – allowing you to classify protected documents and emails
  • Data loss prevention (DLP) features
  • eDiscovery – a tool that aids data compliance across your network.

This license works perfectly for many organizations. However, if your company faces advanced cyber-security threats, or handles large amounts of sensitive data, you will likely need the enhanced power of the E5 license.

E5 license

The jewel in the crown of Enterprise licensing is the E5 license. It features the most advanced security features Microsoft offers, such as:

  • Everything covered in the E3 license
  • A more advanced version of eDiscovery
  • Office 365 cloud app security
  • Advanced threat protection
  • Customer lockbox
  • Customer key for 365
  • Threat intelligence tools

The above features should give you more of an idea why you need Microsoft 365 E5. However, without it you’ll also be missing out on benefits from one of the most secure and compliance-driven productivity platforms available. And if none of the above sounds familiar, keep reading—we’re going to explore what these features do, and why you should care.

One other notable difference between E3 and E5 is cloud PBX, which will enable you to use Teams as a corporate phone system. This is currently available in the E5 license.

Need help with Microsoft security? Request a free consultation with a MessageOps security specialist.

Why you need Microsoft 365 E5’s security measures

E5 showcases Microsoft’s most innovative and powerful security features, here are some of the best:

Insider risk management

Insider risk management helps you with security and compliance in data management. Striking a balance between privacy and security, this feature allows you to identify internal data-usage trends so you can prevent data breaches before they happen.

This keeps customer data safe and compliant within industry standards, as the data itself won’t need to be accessed. The software instead identifies trends in problematic data control and alerts you to potential breaches.

Insider risk management began its life as Microsoft’s own internal solution for tracking and reducing cyber-security risks. Now, as part of its premium E5 license, you can experience the same level of security as Microsoft with insider risk management.

Azure Active Directory (AAD) and information protection plan

AAD helps protect your employees from 99.9% of Azure cyber security breaches through secure access. It uses secure single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication to give your admins and developers secure access to your company’s Microsoft 365 account services.

AAD helps ensure admins can access and control app permissions securely, to reduce the threat of cyber-attacks on your Azure network. It also allows developers to use these security features when building Azure-based apps.

Microsoft Defender for specific features 

Building on the base level Microsoft Defender that comes with E3, E5 features specialized Defender functions for Office apps, cloud apps, Identity, and Endpoint. This adds another layer of security specifically for each app you run.

    • Defender for Cloud apps – if you use cloud apps, from the Microsoft 365 suite and others like Slack, Dropbox, etc., you’ll be able to track suspicious behavior via Insights and govern app permissions.
    • Defender for Endpoint – When you’re managing devices on Endpoint, Defender for Endpoint collects telemetry data. This way, when there’s an attack you can see all the behavioral trends leading up to it and make changes based on the data.
    • Defender for Identity – You want to keep the identities of your users safe, but you also want to stay on top of possible malicious actors. Defender for Identity protects user identities while monitoring overall behavior—this allows you to detect and inspect suspicious activity when it begins to happen.

Related post: Everything you need to know about Microsoft Defender with new, interactive security guides

Customer Lockbox

If you need support from Microsoft or a third-party trusted partner that might need access to your files, you can use Customer Lockbox to keep all your customer’s data secure and compliant while engineers work on your network.

It helps ensure Microsoft, and other engineers, only have access to your information for a set period. It also logs all the information they access so you can review it once the work is done.

Make the most of Microsoft 365 E5 benefits

How do you make the most of all the added benefits that come with an E5 license? Though we’ve been through some of the main features, there’s still so much more you can do.

At MessageOps, our team of Microsoft experts are always ready to help you understand, plan, and implement a new license, whether it’s for a few key members or your whole organization. We’ll help you decide if and why you need Microsoft 365 E5, or if another license might suit your organization better.

To see how you can make the most of Microsoft 365 E5 benefits, get in touch with our team.

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