How to Prevent Data Leakage with Microsoft Data Loss Prevention

microsoft data loss protection

Businesses using Microsoft Office 365 have new options to prevent data leakage from their business. Whether a company frequently handles sensitive information like patient information or wants to clamp down on sharing personally identifiable information (PII) via e-mail, the Microsoft Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tools can help. A brief overview of the DLP capabilities will show why businesses that operate in industries with a lot of regulations need to deploy their IT team to shore up their defenses.

Microsoft DLP—Identifying Shared Information

The Microsoft Data Loss Prevention tools are a system within Office 365 that reads the information that you input in the Microsoft cloud software such as OneDrive, SharePoint Online, and Exchange Online. Also, the DLP can be applied to offline sources for added security.

Essentially, an IT team sets up the DLP to process all the data that you send through these systems and flags information that you do not want to be shared. The toolset can identify credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other forms of PII.

The system can be localized to the country in which a company operates as well as those with whom they do business. For example, the system can be set so that Australian ID numbers and American ID numbers can both trigger the security protocols, protecting a wider swath of data without burdening the system with data that would never be used.

Each business is in charge of establishing the parameters that they would like followed as well as the desired results when the information shared does produce a red flag.

The system can be set to remove a file with PII or disallow the communication from going forth. Furthermore, the system will send messages to the appropriate members of management to provide documentation about the attempts to send out information.

DLP is easy to set up with the help of trained IT team members, and it goes into effect in less than an hour after establishing parameters.

Monitoring and Educating Employees

The vast majority of employees do not want to contribute to a leak of personal information for the people they serve or those they work with. However, there are still internal data losses every year where people within a company unwittingly give away valuable data.

As previously mentioned, an IT team can work to establish specific parameters for data sharing. These DLP parameters can identify when PII or other valued information is shared internally and externally in Microsoft software.

Not only will utilizing DLP tools cut down on the frequency of leaks, but they will give management the tools they need to teach workers about their specific vulnerabilities and how to prevent them from happening in the future.

Using Microsoft DLP to prevent data leakage is a step that every business operating with Office 365 should take. Simply identifying the types of information you do not want to be shared and enabling the parameters and alerts for data can prevent many common problems from occurring. The result is your company will identify which employees are responsible for data leaks so they can be properly re-educated and save information from falling into the wrong hands.

Microsoft Collaboration Tools for the Remote Office

microsoft collaboration tools

In the past decade the corporate world experienced a steady trend toward remote work, however even a year ago, no one could have predicted this alternative method of working would experience such immense growth in such a short period of time. As it turned out, remote working options were a key component of not only keeping many companies and even nonprofits afloat, indeed, it allowed many organizations to notably flourish during a very challenging time.

As internet service continues to improve, both in terms of speed and available access, it’s likely that remote work is here to stay for many industries. 

A Changing Landscape

Many organizations managed within a matter of months, to successfully shift almost their entire workforce to a new working environment. The fact that so many organizations were able to pull off such a massive undertaking with minimal disruption to their customer base, is a testimony to the ability of their employees to quickly deliver agile and creative solutions to solve complex issues.

It’s impossible to predict when the pandemic will fade into history, but given the success of the rapid transition to remote working, it’s probably safe to say that even as COVID-19 fades, the option of remote working will continue to see very strong growth for the foreseeable future. 

A New Kind of Work Environment

If employers view remote work as a loss of control over their employees, today’s sophisticated collaboration tools, along with other useful software tools and apps will prove over time that employers are still very much connected to their workforce. In fact, very large companies that traditionally housed thousands of employees within a massive skyscraper may actually see a significant improvement in communication and collaboration levels within their workforce.

Whereas formerly, an employee had to get on an elevator and walk through multiple cubicle areas to speak with someone in person, now these same employees have chat apps or video conferencing software right at their fingertips for conversations with management and other co-workers.

Of course, some organizations will require training for staff that formerly worked in a more traditional office setting. It’s important for these companies to invest in adequate staff training as much as they invest in the collaboration tools themselves, in order to take full advantage of all the rich features of today’s remote work software tools.

As companies become more comfortable with the shifting work environment, they will likely rely much less on face-to-face communication. Organizations may find that renting a conference room for weekly face-to-face meetings is more than sufficient for their needs. 

Microsoft Teams 

If there is any communication and collaboration tool that is ready to fully support an entire workforce, it’s Microsoft Teams. From the beginning, Microsoft understood that all forms of online communication are only truly successful if they reside on a safe and secure foundation. Regardless of an organization’s size, if they decide to use Microsoft Teams, they will have access to Enterprise level threat protection that meets more than 90 regulatory and industry standards. 

Residing on the Teams secure foundation are a wide range of helpful tools designed to offer both management and staff a variety of ways in which to communicate and collaborate, not just within their own company, but with members outside their organization.

Employees have a multitude of tools to help them communicate in a group setting, or as a simple one-on-one conversation. Along with traditional voice communication, Microsoft Teams also offers video conferencing, a chat feature, and file-sharing that works intuitively with Microsoft’s other productivity apps such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft Teams also provide useful bots to automate tasks within an organization, as well as private hubs for individual departments that can be specially designed to meet their unique needs.

We Can Help

If you would like to know more about the Microsoft tools that can make remote working a success for your organization, please contact us.