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Are Microsoft Office Macros Still a Security Threat in 2021?

Image of a security lock | | Office Macros | Blog

Macros are legitimate code written to automate lengthy and/or complex tasks. They benefit users by streamlining their work and add consistency as well as accuracy. Macros are written to work within a given larger context. Regrettably, when Microsoft started using macros, they were lax about their security and continue to give chase to a solution. Connected Platforms will provide you with a strong defence to any security issues and offer small business IT solutions that will fit your specific situation. Need help in understanding the information behind the potential threat involved with macros? Continue reading this blog post to get up to date about the dilemma they pose.

Do Office macros currently present a threat?

Yes, they do. The threat of Office macros has existed since the 1990s. The basic attack has not changed since then. However, perplexing and dynamic content loading has made finding this malware difficult. Malicious macros present an opportunity for unauthorised access to your systems. When opened they may infect workstations causing a backup of junk emails, as the Melissa virus did, or deny authorised users access to critical information.

How likely are Office macros to be used as a delivery system?

Microsoft macros are the tried-and-true way to introduce threats into your computer. They are the potential first point of contact in an infection chain. Macros can automatically be enacted or permitted with a simple click which is why they are so popular. Additionally, Microsoft asserts that it has over one billion users. Its sheer popularity and historically weak security often make it a target. Phishing campaigns are often used to deceive employees into opening an attached file and clicking on the infected macro.

How to prevent office macros from being a risk

In many cases, social manipulation is frequently implemented to crack security barriers and having a solid policy in place regarding macros can go a long way to keeping your systems safe. However, it takes more than just being smart to prevent disaster. One choice would be to simply disable all macros. While easy to implement and strong in terms of security this decision can have a high impact on your business. Macros make work easier and not using them can complicate streamlined work processes.

A blended approach of sensitizing your staff to the dangers imposed by malicious code, made-to-order policies, and security solutions offers an effective strategy. We recommend one of the following:

  • enabling only macros with a digital signature by trusted publishers
  • only enable macros from trusted locations

Additionally, you may consider the following:

  • use applications to mitigate malicious macros operating in unofficial applications
  • filter email and web content to examine Microsoft Office files for macros, and stop it as necessary
  • apply macro execution logging to check that only trusted macros are being used
  • train your staff so they can use VBA correctly and securely

The Next Steps

Looking for solutions but don’t want to hire a full-time specialist? The experts at Connected Platforms will help guide you through these choices. Let our Brisbane MSP team provide security to your IT systems. We can help you improve your business, and we offer 24/7 tailored support. Reach out today. Call Connected Platforms on 07 3062 6932 or request a FREE IT Health Check. 

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