Microsoft has several packages for small to medium businesses, and sometimes it can take time to figure out which one will suit you best. Microsoft 365 Business Standard is a popular choice among many small to medium businesses as it provides access to apps their employees need, such as email, Teams, SharePoint, and Office.
However, one of the main challenges you'll face with Microsoft licensing is that they offer so many different packages. Plus, they keep adding more! This can make it challenging to decide which licensing package is best for your needs and budget.
Additionally, you may discover other packages can help with more than just improving your productivity, but also protecting your business's sensitive information and preventing data loss. Packages such as Microsoft 365 Business Premium. In addition to all the features in Office 365 Business, Microsoft 365 Business Premium offers enhanced security and compliance capabilities that help your business stay protected.
Here is an in-depth look at the additional benefits of Microsoft 365 Business Premium, that may help you decide if it is the right choice for your organisation. If you want to read our full breakdown of every feature of check out our Microsoft 365 Business Premium Ultimate Guide here.
What is Microsoft 365 Business Standard?
Microsoft 365 Business Standard (previously known as Office 365 Business Premium) includes Microsoft Office applications across multiple devices, cloud file storage and online meetings and chat for users. The service is aimed at small businesses with less than 300 employees and includes standard Office 365 applications such as Teams, Email, Yammer and SharePoint storage.
With Microsoft 365 Business Standard, organisations can protect their email against malware and audit their email operations with features like Exchange Online Protection. As far as additional security goes, that's about it. It does not have any tools or features to help prevent data leaks. It's an excellent stepping stone for organisations that want to move to the cloud, but use third-party threat protection systems and want to migrate them to Microsoft in the future. If moving entirely to the cloud, however, it is a good idea to consider moving to a more feature-rich package.
What is Microsoft 365 Business Premium?
Microsoft 365 Business Premium is a set of software that includes features from Office 365, Windows 11, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Business Premium is incredible value for money, considering how feature-rich the package is and is a no-brainer for organisations under 300 employees.
It has everything that Microsoft 365 Business Standard does, but with some significant additions.
The service's security features are top-notch and will protect your business from all kinds of threats, including malware, ransomware and phishing attacks. It also helps you manage compliance requirements like GDPR, HIPAA, SOX and PCI DSS.
Device management is another area where Microsoft 365 Business Premium has an advantage over the standard. It lets you monitor devices remotely, allowing you to wipe devices if they're lost or stolen and keep them updated with the latest software patches and security updates.
Here are some of the security, compliance, and devices management features that Microsoft 365 Business Premium provides.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium Security Features
While Microsoft 365 Business Premium does not include the full Enterprise Mobility and Security suite, it does include some key features from it, including threat protection and identity and access management.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium offers a suite of powerful tools to help prevent your business from being hacked. The Threat Protection tools let you monitor, detect, and respond to threats with centralised security management across multiple devices. This means you can quickly identify what's happening with your network and take action if necessary.
Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 1 lets IT admins monitor for suspicious activity across their networks—allowing them to keep track of threats as they arise so they can more quickly respond when necessary (and save precious time). Plus, it prevents malicious emails from reaching end users' inboxes—so even if an employee gets a malicious link or attachment and clicks to open it, it will be blocked.
Microsoft Defender for Business is a new comprehensive endpoint security solution that helps businesses protect their data and devices against malware, viruses, and other threats. It protects your information no matter where it exists: in the cloud or on your devices. It also protects your devices by detecting and removing malicious software while keeping you aware of what's happening with your apps running in the background. The tool offers real-time protection from new threats, which means less downtime for you and fewer interruptions during business hours.
Identity and access management
Azure AD Premium has two features that help protect you from malicious activity: multi-factor authentication (MFA) and conditional access rules. Multi-factor authentication makes it harder for hackers to get into your account by requiring them to have more than just a username and password; they have access to something physical like your phone or tablet and their login information. In order for employees to log in to their apps, you can enforce multifactor authentication (MFA), which means they must input a code they receive either on their mobile device or in another email account to gain access.
Conditional access helps you manage how people can access your data from different devices, locations and apps. You can set up policies so that employees only have access to certain information at work, on the go, or only from specific devices. Conditional access allows you to specify employees' devices when accessing company data. For example, you can create rules based on OS version, browser, location and more. Using conditional access with Intune, you can restrict certain apps or features on mobile devices until those devices meet specific criteria.
Self-service password reset is just another one of many features included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium. It allows you to reset passwords for your users without having to contact support or IT. Once enabled, any user who needs help changing their password can go into their settings and follow the steps listed there. They'll need their new password and the current one to verify ownership over their account before changing it. Once verified, they can change their password using whatever method they prefer: email or SMS text message (if enabled).
Microsoft 365 Business Premium Compliance Features
There are several compliance features that are included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium. The platform includes features such as Data Loss Prevention and Azure Information Protection to protect sensitive information. Additionally, auditing and governance tools are available to help you keep track of the data within your organization.
Information Protection is an essential aspect of Microsoft 365 Business Premium. They help you keep your data safe and secure and reduce the risk of data leakage.
One of those features is Data Loss Prevention (Now part of Microsoft Purview) for Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. Data Loss Prevention is a feature that can help prevent confidential data from being lost or exposed. It works by scanning the content of emails and documents to determine whether they contain sensitive information and then blocking them if they do.
The goal is to protect your business from accidental disclosure of personal and financial information; this includes things like credit card numbers or social security numbers and emails containing personal information about your employees, such as their salaries and medical records.
Organisations can also use DLP to ensure employees only share sensitive documents outside the company with authorisation. This can help reduce the risk of legal action against your business due to a breach in security.
Sensitivity labels are a feature in Microsoft 365 Business Premium that help you protect your sensitive data. Once you've assigned a label to a file, it will automatically be protected if someone tries to share it through email or OneDrive.
For example, if you have a document that contains private information about an employee—like their name and address—you can assign the sensitivity label "Private" to that file and make sure employees never share it without your permission. If they share the file, recipients must acknowledge that they understand its contents before accessing it.
Sensitivity labels also come in handy when working with clients or vendors who may have access to sensitive information about your company. You can set up rules for what kinds of files they can access based on their sensitivity level. For example, suppose you have a client who needs access to sensitive financial documents but not other types of sensitive data like customer information or employee data. In that case, you can create rules, so they only get access to those financial documents without having access to any other files on your network.
Retention is keeping records that are no longer relevant or needed by an organisation. It's important because it helps organisations keep track of what they're doing and why, and it also helps them save money on storage space. With Microsoft 365 Business Premium, you can set up custom retention policies for your email messages, so you can automatically delete emails after a certain amount of time if they're no longer relevant. This can help you reduce storage costs and also keep your inbox clean. And if you're using Microsoft Teams, there are built-in retention policies for chat messages and files.
eDiscovery and auditing
eDiscovery, refers to the process of identifying and delivering electronic information to be considered evidence in a legal proceeding. The eDiscovery tool in Business Premium lets you search your company's documents and emails and find the relevant ones for a case or investigation. It lets you pull out all the relevant information so you can use it in court or during an investigation without manually going through all your data. This saves time and effort on both sides of an investigation, which can be especially important if you need to respond quickly because there is an impending deadline for submitting evidence (like within 24 hours).
Another helpful feature for compliance purposes is auditing tools, which let you keep track of who has accessed certain documents and emails. This will prevent unauthorised access by unauthorised personnel such as hackers or other intruders who may want access for malicious reasons such as stealing trade secrets or confidential information about clients or customers.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium Device Management Features
To help organisations manage employee data on their devices, Business Premium also provides Windows 11 features and Intune for managing corporate and personal devices.
Windows Pro Upgrade
If you’re looking to upgrade your devices to the latest version of Windows, Microsoft Business Premium comes with an upgrade right to Windows 11 Pro. It's designed to help you get the most out of your devices and apps, whether a laptop or a tablet. It has features like Cortana, which can remind you of necessary appointments and help you search for information or use voice commands to open apps or search for files. You can also set up Windows Hello to log in with just your face or fingerprint.
If you're unfamiliar with Microsoft Intune, it's a cloud-based management tool that helps organisations manage apps on personal devices and roll out corporate devices. It lets you manage the configuration, security and lifecycle of devices connecting to your network.
With Microsoft Intune, you can create a simple app catalogue that allows users to browse, select and install apps from the public store directly onto their device, removing the need for them to go through IT for approval and installation. You can also configure policies based on device type or operating system version to ensure employees use devices that comply with security standards. For example, you can block access to social media sites or enforce strong passwords so that only your staff can access the company's internal network.
You can use Microsoft Intune to keep track of all your devices' configurations and ensure they're up-to-date with the latest security patches and software updates. You can also use Intune to remotely lock or wipe company data from lost or stolen devices.
Overall, Microsoft 365 Business Premium is an excellent value for the average owner of a small to medium-sized business. For a monthly price of £16.60 per user, you get access to a highly robust set of productivity apps and services, including Office 365, SharePoint Online, and Yammer. Plus, it has advanced security features like Intune for mobile device management and Azure Active Directory for identity management that keep your employees safe from viruses and hackers.
And if you've been waiting to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 11 Professional, now's your chance! Microsoft 365 Business Premium includes Windows 11 Professional, so you can get the latest features without paying extra.
If you're a business owner and still using Microsoft 365 Business Standard, it's time to upgrade and take advantage of the value Microsoft 365 Business Premium has to offer.