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Microsoft to Extend Office 365 ATP Safe Links to Office Online

Microsoft to Extend Office 365 ATP Safe Links to Office Online

Microsoft is currently working on extending the Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Safe Links protection to Office Online apps, with the new feature to be released in October.

ATP Safe Links protection provides “time-of-click verification of web addresses” for URLs found in both Office documents and email messages.

Microsoft rebranded Office Online to Microsoft Office in July as part of a larger strategy with the end goal of stopping the use of platform-specific sub-brands for cross-platform products.

Also, the “Online” branding has been discontinued for all the apps included in the Office on the web suite, with Word Online now being known as Word, Excel Online being renamed to Excel, and so on.

ATP Safe Links in Threat Management dashboard
ATP Safe Links in Threat Management dashboard

Warning pages used to alert users of malicious links

“Safe Links in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection has been protecting your links in Office clients on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Now, we are extending this protection to Office Online,” says the company on the Microsoft 365 roadmap entry.

“When a user clicks a link in Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote in Office Online, Advanced Threat Protection will inspect the link to see if it is malicious,” also adds Microsoft. “If the link is malicious, the user will be redirected to a warning page instead of the original target URL.”

Redmond also plans to make it easier to setup Safe Links for Office policies by combining configurations for both desktop and online products into a single setting.

The new Safe Links capability will also be enabled by default for all Office on the web apps to automatically alert all Office for the web users when malicious links are detected.

“This new capability further integrates and expands security across Office 365,” adds the company on the new feature’s Microsoft 365 roadmap entry.


More Microsoft 365 updates coming

Microsoft is also planning to enhance the quarantined malware and phishing email notification system for admins in all Microsoft 365 environments, with the feature having an estimated time of arrival of early October.

Another set of updates to the quarantine system and the submission experience of suspicious content for all Microsoft 365 environments is also rolling out this month, with these changes having been first announced during early August.

After being rolled out, admins will be able to submit suspicious files, URLs, and emails to Microsoft’s security team for analysis, with the feedback for each submission to be immediate, thus making it a lot simpler and faster to detect and remove any rules blocking legitimate content or allowing malicious content into tenants.

Microsoft is also in the process of rolling out better manual threat hunting features for the Office 365 Threat Explorer, as previously announced in late July.

After this update, Office 365 admins will be able to preview and download malicious emails for further analysis and to access an email timeline designed to differentiate multiple events being triggered for the same malicious message.

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