Security roadmap - Top priorities for the first 30 days, 90 days, and beyond


The improved Microsoft 365 security center is now available in public preview. This new experience brings Defender for Endpoint, Defender for Office 365, Microsoft 365 Defender, and more into the Microsoft 365 security center. Learn what's new. This topic might apply to both Microsoft Defender for Office 365 and Microsoft 365 Defender. Refer to the Applies To section and look for specific call-outs in this article where there might be differences.

This article includes top recommendations from Microsoft's cybersecurity team for implementing security capabilities to protect your Microsoft 365 environment. This article is adapted from a Microsoft Ignite session — Secure Microsoft 365 like a cybersecurity pro: Top priorities for the first 30 days, 90 days, and beyond. This session was developed and presented by Mark Simos and Matt Kemelhar, Enterprise Cybersecurity Architects.

In this article:

Roadmap outcomes

These roadmap recommendations are staged across three phases in a logical order with the following goals.

Time frame Outcomes
30 days Rapid configuration:
  • Basic admin protections.
  • Logging and analytics.
  • Basic identity protections.

Tenant configuration.

Prepare stakeholders.

90 days Advanced protections:
  • Admin accounts.
  • Data and user accounts.

Visibility into compliance, threat, and user needs.

Adapt and implement default policies and protections.

Beyond Adjust and refine key policies and controls.

Extend protections to on-premises dependencies.

Integrate with business and security processes (legal, insider threat, etc.).

30 days — powerful quick wins

These tasks can be accomplished quickly and have low impact to users.

Area Tasks
Security management
Threat protection Connect Microsoft 365 to Microsoft Cloud App Security to start monitoring using the default threat detection policies for anomalous behaviors. It takes seven days to build a baseline for anomaly detection.

Implement protection for admin accounts:

  • Use dedicated admin accounts for admin activity.
  • Enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA) for admin accounts.
  • Use a highly secure Windows 10 device for admin activity.
Identity and access management
Information protection Review example information protection recommendations. Information protection requires coordination across your organization. Get started with these resources:

90 days — enhanced protections

These tasks take a bit more time to plan and implement but greatly increase your security posture.

Area Task
Security management
  • Check Secure Score for recommended actions for your environment (
  • Continue to regularly review dashboards and reports in the Microsoft 365 security center, Cloud App Security, and SIEM tools.
  • Look for and implement software updates.
  • Conduct attack simulations for spear-phishing, password-spray, and brute-force password attacks using Attack Simulator (included with Office 365 Threat Intelligence).
  • Look for sharing risk by reviewing the built-in reports in Cloud App Security (on the Investigate tab).
  • Check Compliance Manager to review status for regulations that apply to your organization (such as GDPR, NIST 800-171).
Threat protection Implement enhanced protections for admin accounts:
  • Configure Privileged Access Workstations (PAWs) for admin activity.
  • Configure Azure AD Privileged Identity Management.
  • Configure a security information and event management (SIEM) tool to collect logging data from Office 365, Cloud App Security, and other services, including AD FS. The audit log stores data for only 90 days. Capturing this data in SIEM tool allows you to store data for a longer period.
Identity and access management
Information protection Adapt and implement information protection policies. These resources include examples:

Use data loss prevention policies and monitoring tools in Microsoft 365 for data stored in Microsoft 365 (instead of Cloud App Security).

Use Cloud App Security with Microsoft 365 for advanced alerting features (other than data loss prevention).


These are important security measures that build on previous work.

Area Task
Security management
  • Continue planning next actions by using Secure Score (
  • Continue to regularly review dashboards and reports in the Microsoft 365 security center, Cloud App Security, and SIEM tools.
  • Continue to look for and implement software updates.
  • Integrate eDiscovery into your legal and threat response processes.
Threat protection
  • Implement Secure Privileged Access (SPA) for identity components on premises (AD, AD FS).
  • Use Cloud App Security to monitor for insider threats.
  • Discover shadow IT SaaS usage by using Cloud App Security.
Identity and access management
  • Refine policies and operational processes.
  • Use Azure AD Identity Protection to identify insider threats.
Information protection Refine information protection policies:
  • Microsoft 365 and Office 365 sensitivity labels and data loss prevention (DLP), or Azure Information Protection.
  • Cloud App Security policies and alerts.

Also see: How to mitigate rapid cyberattacks such as Petya and WannaCrypt.