LSU Health - Office 365 - Safe Attachments
 

Contents

Introduction
How do Safe Attachments Work?
What do Safe Attachments Do?
Cautions
 

Introduction

We have implemented a new solution from Microsoft called Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Safe Attachments to protect our users from malicious file attachments received by email.  In addition to the standard antivirus scanning, Safe Attachments will actively scan through all attachments in email messages you receive trying to find any malicious code or content.  It even protects you when you access your email from a mobile device or from off of the LSUHSC network.
 

How do Safe Attachments Work?

For many email messages, you won’t immediately notice any changes. You will see the entire message body, and an icon for your attachments. But if Microsoft is still scanning your attachments, you will see placeholders that will let you know what is going on.

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While attachments are being scanned, Microsoft allows a preview of compatible attachment types, such as PDFs and Office documents, so you can begin viewing the content in safe mode without macros or other potentially harmful content.  If the attachments are deemed safe then the placeholder is replaced with the original attachments.

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What do Safe Attachments Do?

If Microsoft or LSUHSC find an attachment to be malicious, we can block users from accessing the content.  Even if the message is delivered to your mailbox, it can later be removed and placed in quarantine if the attachment is determined to be harmful.


Cautions

Remember to only open attachments in messages sent by a reliable and verified source.  If the sender’s email address looks suspicious, or the message itself doesn't look right, don’t open the attachment without checking with your local computer supporter, or Postmaster.  Safe Attachments provides extra protection, but does not guarantee that all files are safe.

If you ever open an attachment, and it looks suspicious or causes any concerns, please take appropriate precautions, and notify your local computer supporter, and Information Security and Postmaster if you feel your account may have been compromised.  Click the link below for associated compliance documentation:
https://intranet.lsuhsc.edu/admin/ocp/training_requirements.aspx#HIPAA Security

Safe Attachments will only perform the extra scanning for messages sent to users in a Safe Links policy.  If you send an email to an external user, Office 365 will only do traditional antivirus scanning, unless the recipient’s organization is also using Safe Attachments. 

It is best to allow Safe Attachments to finish scanning any content you receive before you forward it to another user.  If you forward a message while it is still being scanned, the recipient will end up with the proper attachment (once it is scanned), but the copy in your Sent Items folder may continue to show the “ATP Scan in Progress” placeholder attachment, and not get updated.