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What Is Data Loss Prevention In Office 365

Data Loss Prevention In Office 365

With the modern and digital world we live in today; data is essential for every business. Your business has sensitive and confidential data that you need to maintain secure and private. However, there are data risks and threats which can lead to data loss, and it can be a big problem for your business or organization. With that, you need a reliable tool to protect your business data and avoid severe damage to your company.    

Since Office 365 is widely used by many businesses for their operations, you should know how to protect your data while using the platform. This article will guide you about data loss prevention in Office 365. Before we proceed, let us first understand data loss prevention and how it can help your organization.     

Data Loss Prevention in simple term

Data loss prevention is essential to keep your sensitive and confidential data secure and protected. By using tools for data loss prevention, you have peace of mind that a user can’t send sensitive data to any email account out of your company domain or to a public cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. Data loss prevention allows you to block accidental or malicious attempts on sending sensitive data out of your company network. 

In addition, Data Loss Prevention utilizes policies and rules to identify which data and files are critical, confidential, or sensitive. Then, it will protect files and avoid it to transmit or share to unauthorized users. Applying these policies, rules, and protective measures to Office 365 is beneficial to avoid data loss in the Office 365 environment.              

Many companies decide to adopt data loss prevention not just due to a threat of a villain workers or negligent insiders in mishandling sensitive data. Businesses consider DLP to their security systems due to the stricter global and state regulations for demanding data and protection for access. 

Data loss prevention in Office 365

How Data Loss Prevention in Office 365 Works? 

Microsoft launched Security and Compliance Center for Office 365 way back in 2017. It helps users to manage different features like data loss prevention. The data loss prevention feature in Office 365 can help to secure your business data. 

The policies defined in Office 365 will manage data and send notifications if someone violates a rule. It can also classify data automatically and use set policies to avoid an email from being sent. Furthermore, you can also block unofficial access to a classified content. 

If you have high standards for your data security needs, choosing Data Loss Prevention for Office 365 is the best solution. 

Advantages of Data Loss Prevention in Office 365 

We cannot deny that data breaches also have an increased rate. With that, you need to use the most powerful security tool for your business data. So, you can avoid data breaches from criminal or malicious attacks. 

With data loss prevention in Office 365, you can receive lots of benefits. 

Peace of mind against data breaches 

With DLP in Office 365, you don’t need to worry about data breaches. You have peace of mind that your business data are safe and secured against data loss. 

Avoids unauthorized sharing of company data 

Another advantage of the Data Loss Prevention feature in Office 365 is that it can help avoid unauthorized sharing of company data by malicious outsiders and insiders. DLP solutions are also beneficial for adhering to compliance regulations. If you use cloud platforms such as Office 365, you need a solid and reliable DLP solution. 

Smooth business processes 

By keeping your business data safe and secured, you can have smooth business processes. In return, you can increase productivity and profitability with your business. It can also enhance team collaboration which can help to make your business projects successful. 

Protect your business’ reputation 

With data loss prevention, you can also protect the good name of your business. Thus, people will know that you value the safety and security of everyone within your organization. For example, you maintain the security of sensitive data of your employees. It can also help you gain more loyal employees. 

sensitive data protection in Office 365

Setting Up Data Loss Prevention in Office 365 

The setup of Office 365 data loss prevention is easy because of the app’s functionality and built-in systems. You can apply the following steps.   

1. Make and store policies for data loss prevention

You need to create a policy that can determine confidential data while letting authorized users to access it. Set actions that may happen based on how the data is managed. You need to log in to Office 365 to set up a data loss prevention policy. Then, select Admin centers and choose Security & Compliance

Then, select Data loss prevention and tap Policy. Choose the “Create a policy” option to create various policies like policies for medical, privacy,  customized  and financial situations. Select the specific country applicable to your company.  

2. Specify where you wish the policy to be enforced

Once you made a policy, specify the place you want it to be enforced. You can apply the policy on SharePoint sites, Exchange, or OneDrive. You can also set specific SharePoint sites and OneDrive accounts.   

3. Customize your rules set 

You can choose between the two settings for every policy in Office 365. Simple settings let you set default rules which are already present in Office 365. On the other hand, you can choose the Advanced settings for opening the editor of rule. It can help you view better tune what conditions and actions your policy need to have.  

4. You can now tweak policy tips that are displayed to users and the times a specific sensitive data can be shared before getting alerts

With the Advanced settings, you can tweak the policy tips show to users. You can also adjust the number of times a sensitive data can be shared before an alert. Additionally, you can also block or restrict people from sharing accessibility for sensitive information. 

5. You can deploy or keep turned off your newly made policy 

You can test the policy first and then turn it on. 

With these steps, you can successfully set up DLP in your Office 365 environment. So, you can have better security and enhance work processes in your organization. 

Tips for Office 365 Data Loss Prevention Implementation 

Using Data Loss Prevention in Office 365 is a good decision to increase your organization’s data security. If you want to make the best of it, you can consider the following best practices for implementing DLP Office 365.

Understand the policies 

First, you need to understand the policies. Do you have written policies? Do you need password changes or apply other security measures?

Moreover, do you want to limit permissions? Make sure that your policies are documented and detailed. 

Limit and understand about access 

It is also essential to document employees, associates, and outsiders who can access sensitive information. You need to limit the access for people who don’t need specific data to do their job. With that, you can prevent accidental or malicious sharing of your business data. 

Know about your stored inventory data 

The location, format, and type of data are essential for Data Loss Prevention. Therefore, you need to document and limit it to a quantity required for operating your business. Learn more about your data for an effective data loss prevention strategy. 

Be consistent 

Make sure to be consistent about avoiding loss and data security. With this, you can prevent possible mishaps, threats, and breaches. Keep in mind that business data is essential, so make its protection a priority for you and your team’s peace of mind. 

Eliminate redundant data 

Once you know your data and its location, it is helpful to remove redundant data to streamline your DLP technique. 

Monitor who can access the sensitive data 

If you want to reduce the risk of data loss, you need to monitor who has access to your sensitive data. You can let auditing in the Security & Compliance Center with your account in Office 365 to review different activities like user password resets or uploads to SharePoint Online or OneDrive. 

By applying these best practices, you can get the best results from implementing DLP in Office 365. 

What Can Data Loss Prevention Protect? 

Data Loss Prevention in Office 365 can protect the sensitive and confidential data of your organization. Examples of these data include Driver’s license numbers, tax ID numbers, social security numbers, passport numbers, and more. 

Handling these data to the wrong hands can result to problems. That’s why you need to implement strong security tools like DLP. You can define this information across your applications through internal functions, specific keywords that alert the system what to look for, and regular expression evaluation. 

Conclusion  Data Loss Prevention in Office 365 is the best solution to increase your business’s data security. With this, you have peace of mind that your organization’s sensitive and confidential data will remain safe and protected. In addition, you can also avoid data loss which can be a bigger problem for your business.

Errin OConnor

Errin OConnor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

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