Office 365 Phishing Protection

If like most businesses, you use Microsoft Office 365, you will no doubt be getting huge benefits from using the applications, but if you haven’t paid for Office 365 phishing protection, your business will likely be vulnerable to deceptive phishing scams and other email threats. 

Does Office 365 Have Phishing Protection Included?

Standard Office 365 phishing protection, which is included with the product, does a reasonable job at blocking spam emails and will block a decent amount of phishing threats, and that is fine for personal use, but it is not sufficient for business use. The types of phishing threats encountered through personal email use tend to be fairly easy to identify; however, businesses are extensively targeted by cybercriminals and the number of phishing threats they receive is substantially higher. Businesses are also likely to receive more sophisticated, targeted phishing emails, which are much harder for to detect and requires more advanced features than the basic Exchange Online Protection (EOP) provided by Microsoft, which means a considerable amount of phishing emails are likely to be delivered to end users’ inboxes.

What are the Options for Improving Office 365 Phishing Protection?

There are two options available to businesses that want to improve Office 365 phishing protection – opt for the more advanced protection package from Microsoft or pay for a third-party anti-phishing solution. Microsoft offers a more advanced anti-phishing service Microsoft Defender for Office 365, which is included in with Office 365 Enterprise E5 and Microsoft 365 Business Premium plans, but most small- and medium-sized businesses will not have those plans and will need to pay for this service as an add-on. 

The add-on service provides link scanning and attachment scanning through the Safe Links and Safe Attachment features, and businesses should strongly consider implementing this solution for Office 365 to block more threats or choose a third-party anti-phishing solution. There are many options for improving Office 365 phishing protection, with most cybersecurity firms providing email security solutions that block more threats than EOP and are comparable or better than Microsoft Defender at Office 365 phishing protection.

Alternatives to Microsoft Defender for Office 365

There are several independent business software review sites and across those sites, Microsoft scores well for its advanced anti-phishing solution, receiving between 4 and 4.6 stars out of 5; however, there are some very good alternatives that should be considered, four of which are detailed below.

SpamTitan Email Security

SpamTitan from TitanHQ is a highly accomplished email security solution that works seamlessly with Office 365. The product is the top-rated solution on the independent software review site G2, with reviews from verified users of the solution very positive, giving it an overall star rating of 4.6 out of 5 – the same as Microsoft. However, SpamTitan beat Microsoft’s offering on quality of support and meeting requirements, and the product was rated highly for ease of setup and ease of use. The solution is also very competitively priced and offers a good cost-saving over Microsoft. The solution includes anti-spoofing features, a Bitdefender-powered sandbox, link scanning, and machine learning for detecting novel phishing threats. 

Proofpoint Essentials and Email Security and Protection

Proofpoint is a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions and a popular choice with enterprises, with the Proofpoint Email Security and Protection solution also getting 4.6 stars on G2. This solution beats Microsoft’s offering on support and meeting requirements, but this is an enterprise-grade solution and is considerably more expensive than Microsoft and some of the leading alternatives. The small business solution, Proofpoint Essentials is a reasonable alternative, but only got 3.7 stars on G2 and was not rated better than Microsoft in any area. 

Mimecast Email Security with Targeted Threat Protection

Mimecast Email Security with Targeted Threat Protection is a solid email security solution providing multiple layers of protection against email threats such as phishing and was given 4.4 stars on G2 from users. While the solution was rated very highly for its features, one common criticism was the steep learning curve as the solution is not particularly intuitive. Mimecast outperformed Microsoft on support, but not on price, as the solution is more expensive. 


Fortimail was rated highly by G2 users, getting an overall score of 4.4 out of 4. The solution was also rated better than Microsoft for support and was rated highly for Office 365 phishing protection, although the interface is not as good as many competitors. The setup process can be a little difficult and learning how to get the most out of the solution can take time, but overall, the product performed well; however, the solution is more expensive than Microsoft Defender for Office 365 and several other leading providers of Office 365 phishing protection solutions. 


Businesses should invest in phishing protection for Office 365, as the basic level of phishing protection provided with Office 365 will see many threats land in inboxes. The advanced threat protection offering from Microsoft is a solid choice, but there are many good alternatives, with SpamTitan Email Security one of the best in terms of the level of protection, ease of setup and use, support, and cost. 

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