Cybersecurity - Prevention Blog

Protecting Your SaaS Environment: Best Practices with Avanan

As technology has evolved, cloud environments (commonly also referred to as SaaS, or Software as a Service) have become the backbone of business operations, offering scalability, flexibility, and remote accessibility. However, this shift has also exposed businesses to a new range of security threats. 

Cybersecurity threats such as phishing attacks, ransomware, account takeovers, and data breaches can jeopardize sensitive information, disrupt operations, and damage a company’s reputation. For small to mid-sized businesses leveraging Office 365 and other cloud platforms, safeguarding their digital assets is critical to keeping your business up and running. 

WorkSmart, partnering with cloud security company Avanan, can help protect your business by providing comprehensive cloud security solutions that protect against these evolving threats.

Common Threats to Cloud Environments

Although there are a myriad of threats that cloud environments can face, some of the most common ones we see in practice are based in a couple of categories.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks usually come in the form of emails, messages, or even phone calls that appear to be from a trusted source, such as a bank, a well-known company, or a social media platform. These messages often create a sense of urgency, fear, or curiosity to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. 

Once you do, you might be taken to a fake website that looks incredibly real, where you’re asked to enter sensitive information like your password, credit card details, or social security number. Cybercriminals use these methods to trick users into revealing their credentials or downloading malware.


Ransomware is a type of malicious software that locks you out of your own computer files or entire system, and demands payment for their return. The attackers encrypt your files, making them inaccessible, and the key to decrypt them (or get them back to normal) is held for ransom, often demanded in digital currency, such as Bitcoin, to make the transaction harder to trace.

Ransomware can infect your computer if you accidentally download it by clicking on a malicious link in an email, visiting an infected website, or running infected software. Once it’s on your computer, it can spread rapidly, locking files not just on your own device but also on connected network drives, potentially affecting entire organizations. Paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee the return of your files and can even make you a target for future attacks, as it shows the attackers that you’re willing to pay.

Account Takeovers

An account takeover happens when someone else gains unauthorized access to your personal online accounts, such as your email, social media, or banking accounts. It’s like giving your house keys to a friend for safekeeping, but then someone else steals those keys without your knowledge. With those keys, or in this case, your account information, the thief can enter your “online house.” 

They can pretend to be you, stealing your personal information, sending messages in your name, or even locking you out of your own account by changing the password. This can lead to a range of problems, from privacy breaches to financial loss. The intruder usually gets in by tricking you into revealing your password through phishing attacks or by guessing weak passwords, highlighting the importance of keeping your account details secure and using strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts.

Data Breaches

A data breach is like someone breaking into a secure vault where companies store valuable information, such as customer names, addresses, credit card numbers, or even sensitive health records. Instead of physical thieves, these are cybercriminals who use sophisticated methods to bypass security measures and access this digital vault. 

Once they have this information, they can use it for various illegal purposes, such as stealing identities, making unauthorized purchases, or selling the information to other criminals. For companies, it can result in significant financial penalties, loss of trust among customers, and damage to their reputation.

Insider Threats

An insider threat is when someone from within an organization, such as an employee, contractor, or business partner, misuses their access to the organization’s systems and data for malicious purposes or personal gain. 

Imagine an employee at a bank who has the keys to the vault and decides to steal money from it. Just like this employee, insiders with harmful intentions can access sensitive information, sabotage systems, or steal data because they are already inside the security perimeter, making them harder to detect. 

This threat is particularly concerning because it comes from individuals who are trusted and have legitimate access, making it a complex issue for organizations to manage.

WorkSmart’s Solutions for Cloud Security

WorkSmart, partnering with Avanan, provides advanced security solutions specifically designed for cloud environments, including Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, two of the most widely used platforms in the business world.

Microsoft 365 Protection

Our Microsoft 365 Protection solution offers a multi-layered approach to protect email, files, and collaboration tools across the entire suite. It employs advanced AI algorithms to detect and block phishing attempts, ransomware, and other malware before they reach the user’s inbox. 

By scanning internal and external emails, we can help prevent account takeovers and safeguard sensitive data from unauthorized access. The seamless integration allows for easy deployment and management, ensuring you can maintain productivity without compromising on security.

Microsoft Teams Protection

As collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams become integral to business operations, securing these platforms is crucial. Our Teams Security solution protects against malicious files and links shared within conversations. It offers real-time scanning of shared content, detecting and blocking threats that could compromise the network. 

Additionally, policy enforcement capabilities ensure that communications comply with regulatory standards and company policies, protecting against data leaks and insider threats.

Why Choose WorkSmart and Avanan?

Avanan stands out in the cloud security space for several reasons:

  • Ease of Use: Avanan’s solutions are designed for rapid deployment and minimal maintenance, allowing small to mid-sized businesses to focus on their core operations.
  • Comprehensive Protection: By securing email, data, and collaboration tools, Avanan provides an all-encompassing security posture that addresses multiple facets of cloud security.
  • Advanced Technology: Leveraging AI and machine learning, Avanan stays ahead of emerging threats, ensuring businesses are protected against the latest cyber-attack strategies.
  • Seamless Integration: Avanan integrates smoothly with existing cloud services, providing robust security without disrupting user experience or business processes.

Are you ready to safeguard your business against the ever-evolving cyber threats that loom in the digital landscape? Protecting your sensitive data, customer information, and internal communications has never been more crucial. 

With WorkSmart by your side, you can protect your business against phishing attacks, ransomware, account takeovers, insider threats, and data breaches, ensuring your peace of mind. Don’t wait for a security breach to disrupt your operations and tarnish your reputation. 

Contact us today to learn how our comprehensive security solutions can be tailored to fit your unique needs, allowing you to focus on growing your business with confidence.