Office 365 to Block Malicious Links in Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Safe Links, which is already active in Outlook, will be rolled out to all Office 365 ProPlus desktop clients at an unspecified date later this month.

Aldrin Brown, Editor-in-Chief

April 5, 2017

1 Min Read
Office 365 to Block Malicious Links in Word Excel and PowerPoint

Microsoft today announced it is extending the Safe Links feature of its Advanced Threat Protection for Office 365 beyond email, to protect users of cloud-based Word, Excel and PowerPoint from malicious links.

When a user clicks on a link protected by Safe Links, the software inspects the link and – if it determines the software is malicious – redirects the user to a warning page instead of the original URL.

The technology, which is already active in Outlook, will be rolled out to all Office 365 ProPlus desktop clients at an unspecified date later this month.

“As cyber criminals broaden the scope of attacks beyond email workloads, it’s necessary to extend security capabilities beyond email,” according to a blog post today by the Office 365 team.

“This new capability will further integrate and expand security across Office 365,” the post continued. “Our intent has always been to provide our customers with an end-to-end, unified and secure experience across all of Office 365, and this extended capability of Safe Links is an example of our continued step toward this goal.”

Office 365 was among the Microsoft online services to be hit by a pair of massive outages last months.

The first outage, on March 7, only lasted about an hour.

In the second outage, on March 22, some Office 365 applications were disrupted for more than 16 hours.

Microsoft said it was investigating the outages and has not released a cause. 

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About the Author(s)

Aldrin Brown

Editor-in-Chief, Penton

Veteran journalist Aldrin Brown comes to Penton Technology from Empire Digital Strategies, a business-to-business consulting firm that he founded that provides e-commerce, content and social media solutions to businesses, nonprofits and other organizations seeking to create or grow their digital presence.

Previously, Brown served as the Desert Bureau Chief for City News Service in Southern California and Regional Editor for Patch, AOL's network of local news sites. At Patch, he managed a staff of journalists and more than 30 hyper-local and business news and information websites throughout California. In addition to his work in technology and business, Brown was the city editor for The Sun, a daily newspaper based in San Bernardino, CA; the college sports editor at The Tennessean, Nashville, TN; and an investigative reporter at the Orange County Register, Santa Ana, CA.


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