Blog
23rd November 2022

Microsoft SharePoint security, and file hierarchy

Businesses work best through collaboration. Being able to share important files and data quickly and securely, increases productivity. SharePoint is a service from Microsoft that allows businesses to create an online space for sharing and storing files, securely. SharePoint is used predominantly in two ways, either cloud-based through Microsoft 365, or SharePoint server that can be onsite. All businesses can subscribe to Microsoft 365, and can give permissions to different users for access. Whereas the SharePoint Server will require your own machine and an Office 365 Enterprise subscription. 

Is SharePoint secure? 

SharePoint security really depends on how it is being used. It can be very secure from outside attacks. All data shared uses the best file encryption. Encryption is where data is converted into a code, before being transmitted to another user. The code is then decrypted at the other end. Making it virtually impossible to intercept the data. SharePoint security relies on folder inheritance, and who has a link to that folder. 

What is folder inheritance? 

On your computer, most data is categorised into folders. Within those folders, there are files and more folders. This creates a system of inheritance, known as parent/child. When sharing a folder, this folder is classed as the parent, and every folder within inherits permissions. You need to be careful when sharing folders, as you may share sensitive information. 

Is SharePoint secure for business?  

Yes, as you need explicit permission to access the information, such as a shared link. Providing you make sure that the folders you are sharing do not contain subfolders with information they aren’t allowed to see. There are options in SharePoint, to remove inherited permissions, which can add more security. This can become tedious long term, if you add child folders into the parent folder, you have to give permission each time. 

What other measures can you implement to keep SharePoint secure? 

You can add additional security to all your Microsoft products; SharePoint two factor authentication can be enabled, and uses either a text message, or the Microsoft authenticator. The Microsoft Authenticator app is a smartphone application you download to your phone. When you, or someone else attempts to sign into your account, it will send you an authentication message to approve the sign in. This means that even if someone knows your password, they still can't gain unauthorised access. 

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