You may think it’s your fault or felt you should have known better but at the time, you were up to your eyes with work and you opened that email attachment or clicked on that link, of course it’s all too late now because whatever the perpetrator wanted you to do you have done.

The criminals behind these email-based scams put a lot of time and energy into creating the perfect email so that it looks legitimate and ultimately convinces you to click on the link or open the attachment.  It is a common misconception that people think having anti-virus software installed on your devices is all you need, sadly this is just one part of the jigsaw.

Office 365 already has some of the best SPAM protection filters in place to try and remove these malicious emails however with an estimated 1 million new viruses being created each day not even Microsoft can stop everyone.

To help business protect against this ongoing threat Microsoft have recently released their Advanced Threat Protection bolt-on for Office 365 users that opens the links and clicks on the attachments for you, sounds pretty crazy but it is done in a secure and safe way.

Safe Attachment Policy

ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) is a cloud-based email filtering service that helps protect your organisation against unknown malware, its features include opening attachments and links embedded in the email to see if they contain a virus or try to execute some sort of programme.

Once configured Office 365 holds any email with an attachment and opens the attachment on one of their “Virtual PC’s”, if the attachment contains anything malicious it will remove it from the email and forward the email (minus attachment) to your inbox.

The way ATP handles links that are in the body of the email is slightly different in that it checks the link at the point when you click on it and not when it first enters Office 365.  It will then show you if the link is malicious or confirm it is safe to move forward and open.  If the hyperlink turns out to be un-safe an error page will be shown and you will be blocked from accessing the link.  Furthermore a note of the bad link or bad attachment is recorded in Office 365 for system administrators to view at a later date, this also allows you to see patterns and work out who is targeted the most within your organisation.

Microsoft have also built in Anti Phishing policies within ATP for added protection.  Phishing emails are the most common form of emails where the sender is trying to impersonate someone you know to convince you to share sensitive data or make a payment to someone.  The sender will use  domains that look like the correct domain name and in some cases even copy the email signature associated with that user.  In addition to detecting fraudulent domains ATP also uses mailbox intelligence to determine whether the email is in fact a phishing email and checks if you have had any prior communication with this address.

The Advanced Threat Protection features can be added into your existing Office 365 Subscription at just £1.50 Per Month and can go a long way to help protect your business, if you’d like any further information or help on rolling out these changes across your business feel free to get in touch at [email protected] or alternatively why not give us a call on 0121 296 5545.


For over 17 years, Leap IT has been working with more than 200 businesses throughout the West Midlands and across the UK. We work closely with you to really understand what your business needs so that we can make sure you always receive the best advice, and achieve the best value. With a breadth of solutions spanning IT SupportCommunicationsCloud Computing, and Print, we see that your IT is completely covered from end to end. We ensure that your IT works exactly as it should, all of the time.  This way, you can be free to focus on your business and use technology to help you progress rather than worrying about it holding you back. Nor should you settle for less.  It’s what drives us on to be more responsive, more innovative, and more switched-on than your typical IT partner.  We’re here to take your business’ IT to where it needs to be.