As of August 19th, Microsoft has announced new pricing for Microsoft 365 products. The changes, which mark the first substantive pricing update in more than a decade, will go into effect in six months – beginning March 1, 2022. The increases apply globally with local market adjustments for certain regions. 

The products affected include M365 Business Basic, M365 Business Premium, Office 365 E1, Office 365 E3, Office 365 E5 and Microsoft 365 E3. 

Interestingly, the M365 E5 price does not change and I am very happy about that.  

With the increase in cyber-crime, and ransomware impacting more of our clients every month, it is clear that E5 is needed more than ever.  Sure, it comes with a hefty price tag of $57 / month but the alternative is to create a balance sheet provision for 45 Bitcoin which seems to be the going rate for many ransomware payments.  

Some of our healthcare clients are now getting well over 1 million cyber attacks per day so it is important that all the layers of security are integrated and automated. 

Whenever I am asked for a recommendation on M365 licenses, I generally lean towards E5 as it has multiple layers of security that are integrated in a way that makes “zero trust” strategy cost-effective to implement.  By this I am referring to the ability to have up to 7 layers of security that collectively determine whether the next login attempt is legit, or a hack.   

I like to think of a pyramid, with identity at the top, using Azure AD, with MFA and SSO.  Conditional access policies help to weed out impossible logins, device management policies help with device attestation, app protection policies secure data on unmanaged devices, Information Protection policies are wrapped around sensitive data and Defender protects against threats.  Add in Cloud App Security to minimize shadow IT and Advanced Threat Analytics and you have a multi-layered security framework.  All of this is included in E5 so if you can afford it, it is worth the money.