Microsoft bring Advanced Data Governance to Office 365

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been a game changer in the tech industry, we've written about it in depth and how it's going to affect you here. Such measures are introduced to deter organisations from acting nonchalantly about the customer data they acquire, retain and perhaps never even use. Failure to adhere to policies can often lead to very costly outcomes for an organisation that has its customer data compromised, so you need to be able to pro-actively monitor risk areas.


In light of the new regulation, Microsoft has kept true to form and stayed abreast of providing its Office 365 customers the very best in functionality that allows your record managers to adhere to even the most stringent data governance policies in your organisation, industry or region.


What is Data Governance?

Data governance is actually a bit of an umbrella term. It encapsulates the availability, usability, integrity and security of data within an organisation. Yet another way to describe data governance could be the actual controls that meet standards, rules, and definitions within a data model. It can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and you'll often find that many individuals have some sort of responsibility in upkeeping data governance standards across your organisation, so don't be surprised if you find yourself in charge of keeping some sort of data up to date, in order or safe.

Advanced Data Governance

In the most recent update, Microsoft gives you further tools to know and classify your data. Data often grows organically— meaning it's usually unstructured and messy, this is especially true when it's on an Intranet and it's your users uploading/creating content. In these conditions, a compliance officer needs to be able to have a simplified, easy to use analysis experience with accurate data from the Intranet they're managing. The security and compliance dashboard retains this experience so your users are empowered to create the right rules and take the right actions to make sure you're working within your boundaries.

So what has Microsoft been doing to accommodate new regulations and improve the existing Security and Compliance center? To put it succinctly, expect;
  • Machine learning to provide you with pro-active policy recommendations 
  • Automatic classification of data based on metadata such as type, age and users who interface with it.
  • Being able to take actions depending on the above (retention and preservation, or deletion).

Security and Compliance Dashboard overview

Let's take a quick look at the Security and Compliance Dashboard;

Advanced Data Governance

A comparative view of data in your industry is provided at the top of the dashboard, allowing you to utilise Microsoft's understanding of its customers in a similar sector to yourself. 


Advanced Data Governance

Recommendations based on data in your tenant and regulatory policies in your industry that Office 365 detects have not been deployed are available on the right hand side of the dashboard.


Advanced Data Governance

Office 365 recognises different document types allowing the system to analyse data in your tenant and make recommendations.

Advanced Data Governance

The option to know and classify data in all your organisation (even that which is not held in Office 365) also exists within the Security and Compliance Dashboard. It's as simple and importing your data into the cloud, and filtering and importing what you don't need in Office 365 with simple criterion, such as age, data type and user type.


Advanced Data Governance

More advanced data management functionality can appear as recommendations on your dashboard. You can then preserve and protect certain data by creating policies around these recommendations. For instance, for Tax records in an organisation you may wish to retain this data according to specific standards.

Advanced Data Governance

After clicking through you can modify or create a new policy for retention.

Advanced Data Governance

Set location to choose where you wish to apply this policy. Including content in Exchange email, public folders, Office 365 Groups, Skype for Business conversations and OneDrive SharePoint documents.

Additionally, you can choose how you want to preserve the content or when you want to delete it and allow users the ability to publish labels to retain their content.

Once the policy is set up, the 'Alerts' area will highlight to show you where there is unusual behaviour related to a policy you have set up, to give you the much-needed visibility on data that is important to you and your organisation. 


Advanced Data Governance

Microsoft continues working on updating governance and data solutions, more so in light of newer regulations such as GDPR. This has only been a brief look into the updates to the Security and Compliance Center, so if you'd like to find out more about data governance in your organisation, and how Office 365 can aid you in knowing and understanding your data, get in touch!

Author bio

Faizan Shaikh
User Engagement Analyst
Faizan is a User Engagement Analyst


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