New Email Security Features On The Way

New Email Security Features On The Way

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is pleased to announce the implementation of Microsoft Defender for Office 365.


Microsoft Defender will replace our existing email filtering technology. Over the past year, OIT has tested Defender using a large, diverse user pilot group to ensure a smooth transition for all SOA employees. This message is part of a series of announcements to let you know what is coming and how it will affect you.

You should expect a few changes in the beginning stages as the application learns to adapt to your individual preferences. The look of the spam quarantine and hyperlink safety filter has changed, and the junk email experience is similar to other mail applications (e.g., checking your junk folder if you don’t receive an email you are expecting). More information with user guides will be available next week.

What is Microsoft Defender?

Microsoft Defender filters email to protect against malware, viruses, and harmful links. Benefits include:

  • Safe Links protects you from malicious hyperlinks in email messages.
  • Safe Attachments ensures that attachments are safe to open.
  • Quarantine – Spam, phishing, and malware messages are identified and sent to quarantine even before they get to your inbox.
  • Tool Tips –Banners appear at the top of an email message when Microsoft recognizes something new, different or external. This notifies to take extra care before opening any links or attachments.

When will Microsoft Defender be available?

  • Microsoft Defender will be available in the beginning weeks of December 2021.

Things you should know:

  • You may notice a difference when you click on links in an email message.
    • If the link is safe, the URL will open, no change here.
    • If the link is NOT safe you will be directed to a warning page blocking you from access to the site and the action will be reported for security purposes.
  • If you receive a malicious file, you may see the file but won’t be able to open or download, keeping our computers safe from infection. 

If you have any questions about the above information, please contact or your Department IT Helpdesk contact:

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