Keeping the information secure is key to organizations in all industries, and it can be more challenging to certain verticals such as healthcare, where data breaches have increased 55.1 percent from 386 in 2019 to 599 in 2020.
Data security can be dramatically improved by Microsoft 365 Information Protection, which allows you to identify data quickly and to add embedded labels and permissions, providing you with effective prevention against possible environmental threats.
Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) is a built-in, intelligent, unified, and extensible solution to protect sensitive data in documents and emails across your organization. MIP provides a unified set of capabilities to know and protect your data and prevent data loss across Microsoft 365 apps (i.e. Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook), services (e.g., Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Exchange, Power BI), on-premises locations (e.g., SharePoint Server, on-premises files shares), devices, and third-party apps and services (e.g., Box and Dropbox).
Sensitive Information Types
The first step in the Information Protection discipline is to identify and classify sensitive items that are under your organizations control. To do that, Microsoft 365 provides three ways of identifying items so that they can be classified as follows:
- Manually by users
- Automated pattern recognition, like sensitive information types
- Machine learning.
Microsoft 365 Sensitivity Labels
As part of the Microsoft Information Protection suite, the sensitivity labels are available with certain Office 365 licenses. Sensitivity labels are a key feature in the Microsoft 365 Information Security as they markup content – such as documents and emails – in a way that makes users aware of the need of protecting the information. They can also be used to encrypt that content, and to monitor it once labelled.
In addition to that, a document or email that has had a Microsoft 365 Sensitivity Label applied may have a ‘watermark’ across it, or a header or footer stating the security level. Labels are persistent – so they remain attached to your content – meaning you can be sure they are still working even if a document leaves your organization.
Best of all, sensitivity labels are designed not to get in the way of your work, ensuring you can protect your information without any impact on productivity.
What Does Encryption Mean?
Encryption is an important part of your file protection and information protection strategy. The encryption process encodes your data (referred to as plaintext) into ciphertext. Unlike plaintext, ciphertext can’t be used by people or computers unless and until the ciphertext is decrypted. Decryption requires an encryption key that only authorized users have. Encryption helps ensure that only authorized recipients can decrypt your content. Content includes files, email messages, calendar entries, and so on.
How to Prevent Data Loss?
Data loss prevention uses rules and policies to determine which files and data are considered confidential, critical, or sensitive and then protects those files from being shared or transmitted. The goal of applying these rules, policies, and protective measures to Office 365 is to prevent data loss from the Office 365 environment.
In Microsoft 365, you implement data loss prevention by defining and applying DLP policies. With a DLP policy, you can identify, monitor, and automatically protect sensitive items across:
- Microsoft 365 services such as Teams, Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive
- Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Windows 10 endpoints
- Non-Microsoft cloud apps
- On-premises file shares and on-premises SharePoint.
I would highly recommend the use of the services provided by the suite Microsoft 365 Information Protection, to avoid data loss and access of information to unauthorized persons. Reach out VNEXT experts here to support you during the process to secure your organization.