How to Implement Data Loss Prevention in Microsoft 365?

Data loss prevention is of paramount importance to modern enterprises. This involves keeping sensitive data safe from malicious actors and preventing the accidental distribution of this data. This sensitive data could include personally identifiable information (PII), financial information such as credit card numbers, and personal electronic health records. The inability to protect such data could result in catastrophic consequences for businesses as they could lose consumer trust, loss of business, fines, penalties, and even legal actions. Consequently, businesses need a reliable solution to safeguard customer data. In this article, we will examine how the comprehensive data loss prevention (DLP) policy available in Microsoft 365 Security and Compliance Center can be used to protect data.

What Are the Features of Microsoft 365 Data Loss Prevention?

Microsoft 365 provides several resources to help admins maintain awareness of the organization’s data. Here are some of the most important features of DLP in Office 365/ Microsoft 365.

  • Admins can be alerted when sensitive data is being shared on platforms such as SharePoint, OneDrive, Exchange, or Teams.
  • Users can be prevented from inadvertently sharing sensitive data.
  • Sensitive data can be monitored on desktop applications, such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Word, available in the Office Suite.
  • Team members can be educated about maintaining compliance. The policies can be set up such that workflows are not disrupted.
  • Advanced reports aligning with the company’s custom-made DLP protocols can be generated.

How Do DLP Policies in Microsoft 365 Protect Data?

DLP Policies in Microsoft 365 protect sensitive data by automating actions when certain conditions are met. Sensitive data, such as tax IDs, licenses, passport numbers, or social security numbers, can be used to identify individuals and can be used to compromise them. By implementing DLP policies, admins can define conditions for access depending upon the person requesting it. These conditions could be based on several criteria, such as specific keywords, internal functions, or certain expressions. When access to sensitive data is requested, actions such as sending a notification to a manager or an incident report can be generated.

How to Create A DLP Policy in Microsoft 365?

Creating DLP policies involves identifying the type of data and understanding the applications in which it is hosted, and then creating rules to monitor the data. The simplest and most widely used method to implement DLP policies is using templates in the Microsoft 365 Compliance center. Here are the steps to create the DLP policy from a template.

  • In the Microsoft 365 Compliance center, navigate to Solutions > Data loss prevention > Policies > + Create policy.
  • Select an appropriate DLP policy template, provide a name for the policy, and then choose the locations for which DLP policy will be applied.
  • Accept or customize the scope of the policies, and proceed to the Protection actions page to customize the policy tip notifications and notification emails.

Apps4Rent Can Help with Microsoft 365 DLP Implementation

The data loss prevention (DLP) suite of tools in Office 365/ Microsoft 365 is one of the most advanced solutions which if implemented correctly, can provide unparalleled security to data in the cloud. Microsoft offers multiple licensing types for information protection depending upon the sensitivity labels. While manual sensitivity labeling is available in all Office 365/ Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans and Microsoft 365 Business Premium, automatic sensitivity labeling is available only in Microsoft 365/ Office 365 E5, and its equivalent plans. Alternatively, enterprises can purchase Enterprise Mobility + Security or Azure Information Protection Plan 2 for advanced capabilities.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner in the Cloud Platform competency, Apps4Rent can help businesses and enterprises with licensing and customization of Microsoft cloud solutions for securing enterprise data. Contact our certified IT security experts available 24/7 via phone, chat, or email for assistance.

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