What is ATP and why should you care?

If you haven’t heard a horror story relating to identity theft or similar, I’m not sure which era you’ve been living in.

More and more people are trusting their data to cloud service providers of various flavors – and why wouldn’t you? They provide amazing value and extremely high levels of up-time. The only issue is that should someone gain access to your email / passwords / banking / etc. – then they have relatively free reign over whatever data is in there.

I had a brilliant example just this week from my brother. He received an unsolicited email with a PDF attachment, as per below.

Due to the prevalence of PDF for distribution of invoices, marketing material, etc. it has become a somewhat trusted file format. It does allow links to be embedded into documents though, which is the attempted strategy in this email below.

When a user opens the PDF file, the user is redirected to an imitated Office 365 login portal. If the user enters their credentials – then their details can be passed on to whoever is trying to gain access. From here the possibilities are endless and the horror stories begin.

We have done work for a conveyancing lawyer who had this exact scenario occur, resulting in an intercepted settlement payment for a property, and over $300,000 being transferred into the wrong account. 

Implementation of Microsoft ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) is a cheap and easy way to protect you and your organisation against many of these sorts of attempts. It is a bolt-on product to Microsoft 365 email plans, and allows protection against phishing, email attachments, and links embedded within emails. It can also scan the documents contained within your OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams.

Each subsection of the ATP areas is configured with it’s own policy to allow complete customization of the levels of protection. We continue to modify and update these policies as we learn tips and tricks to improve functionality.


Once implemented – the beauty of ATP is that it works very transparently to the user. The email will be delivered immediately, while the attachment is scanning in the background. The attachment is replaced with a notice alerting the user that the attachment is being scanned, and is replaced with the real attachment later if it is deemed safe.

Give us a yell today to chat about your 365 environment. We can suggest improvements to your security, increase your Microsoft Secure Score and implement security enhancements like ATP and 2-Factor Authentication for all your users and devices.

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