Office 365 Data Loss Prevention

With constant shifts in the business and technology frameworks, modern businesses face many unique challenges related to data loss. From hacking to RCE attacks, there are a number of threats out there.

Companies are under a lot of pressure to protect their vulnerable data. Regardless of the size of the business or the company, almost everyone has incorporated data-driven processes in their work.

DLP or data loss prevention has revolutionized the market. From helping businesses protect their data to allowing companies to create sound security systems, DLP policies always come in handy.

Since companies have a lot of sensitive data like trade secrets, personal information, client information, and financial information, protecting this data becomes the company’s top priority.

Office 365 DLP policy is easy to set up. However, before we delve deeper into the nitty gritty of it, let us understand what DLP policy is.

What Is Data Loss Prevention?

Almost all companies have a plethora of sensitive data at their disposal. This is confidential and needs to be protected at all costs. However, human error or malicious intent can cause someone to leak this data and send it to an unprotected domain.

DLP policies can be used to prevent any authorized user from accidentally sending confidential details outside the company. DLP policy will prevent the user from sending the information to an unauthorized email address, cloud storage, or to google drive.

Additionally, data loss prevention software mostly block any hacker from doing the same. Here is all you need to know about DLP policies:

  1. They are being adopted by companies to adhere to stricter state and global regulations that force companies to use more stringent mechanisms.
  2. It combines a number of techniques, tools, and strategies to prevent the leakage of data.
  3. It also uses a set of rules to identify all the files that need to be protected. These contain confidential information that can not be transmitted outside the company.
  4. Does a thorough job in protecting all data- whether it is currently in use or stored in a secure document.
  5. Help make up for human errors (authorized people can accidentally send sensitive information to an unauthorized user).

What Does Microsoft 365 Data Loss Prevention Do?

Microsoft 365 app is world-renowned as it helps create and test DLP policy. Through Microsoft 365, you can create policies and criteria that will determine which particular files need to be protected. Moreover, the app allows for customization. You can create rules for when a data set can be transmitted and sent. This helps give you an all-rounded security performance.

Microsoft 365 not only makes the rules, but you can also use it to regulate your response. If your data is being sent or leaked, the app can either:

Notify you of the malicious activity so that you can hold the person accountable.

It can block the information from leaving your system.

How Do Companies Set Up A Successful DLP Policy?

In most companies, this is set up by professionals. However, if you want to overlook the process, you should understand the basic mechanism behind the DLP policies. Here is how you do it:

  1. If you want to use a default template from your system-simply, head over to Microsoft 365 compliance and then click on DLP.
  2. Create a policy. You will now see a plethora of templates, and you can choose one that fits your needs.
  3. Regardless of which template you choose, things like the name, service locations, and descriptions will be added beforehand. You can change this information if you want.
  4. There are now two pathways you can take: you can either accept the already defined rules and regulations, or you can create customized new ones.
  5. After you are done completing all policy settings, you can test the DLP policy. This ensures that all your requirements are being met. If the DLP policy falters, go and change the default setting accordingly.

Where Can I Use Microsoft DLP Policies?

If you are wondering where to apply the Microsoft 365 DLP policies, the answer will make you quite happy. With Microsoft 365, you can protect your sensitive information like your credit card information, passport information, health and financial records, and more.

Not just that, but you can also customize the settings, thus making the app protect any other information you deem worthy. Microsoft 365 can protect your data across the following fields:

  • Cloud apps.
  • PowerPoints.
  • Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.
  • OneDrive.

Why Is Data Loss Prevention Becoming Essential?

If you have never created a customized DLP policy for yourself or your company, it is about time you should. Stats gathered from around the world paint a very gruesome picture for data-driven companies. Data breaches are happening not just across the US but all across the world.

According to one research by Bitdefender, around 34% of companies experienced data losses last year. What’s even worse is that around 74% of these companies were completely unaware that they had experienced data breaches and that their sensitive information had been lost.

It is also worth noting that although around 48% of breaches occur due to criminal activity, around 27% occur due to common human errors. System glitches also account for a large number. A secure DLP policy not only caters to criminal attacks but also makes up for human vulnerabilities in your system.

What Are The Limitations Of Microsoft 365 DLP

DLP is an amazing tool for protecting sensitive information in your system. But, like all other systems and policies, it also comes with some limitations. Although not many, these limitations are worth mentioning, so you can make an informed decision.

Not Useful Against Attacks

Your system is vulnerable to a range of attacks. Setting up DLP is a step in the right direction, but it can not protect your computer from ransomware attacks, misconfiguration, or phishing attacks. Moreover, DLP is also in front of extremely harmful attacks like RCE. In addition, if you delete an important piece of information, DLP won’t be able to recover it.

Requires Extra Scrutiny

DLP also requires you to scrutinize all the information you want to keep secure carefully. If you accidentally send a sensitive piece of data that was not marked beforehand, DLP won’t be able to detect or block its transmission.

It Needs A Lot Of Effort And Resources

It is also worth mentioning that DLP policies require time, money, and effort-especially if you don’t want to stick to the bare minimum protections. You may need to have a qualified person on board who can customize the policy on a frequent basis.

How Do DLP Reports Work?

After you set up the data loss protection policy, it is time to test it. You will see DLP reports along with being able to view the following things.

DLP Policy Matches

All the policy matches are shown in this report. You can try filtering out the report by setting specific criteria for data, location, action, and policy. This report helps you identify any processes that do not adhere to your DLP policies. Moreover, it allows you to specify your policy and change rules accordingly.

DLP Incidents

As the name suggests, this report shows you all the policy matches. However, these go down to an item level. Unlike the DLP policy matches report, this one is item-specific and only highlights particular pieces of information that don’t adhere to your overall policy.

DLP False Positives

This report contains all the false positives and overrides. The report contains all the instances where your users reported a false positive or were able to override an objection. Like with other reports, you can filter out content by location, date, and time. This is probably one of the most crucial reports as it allows you to detect all the places where your policy contradicts simple business processes.

How To Allow Users to Access The Data Loss Prevention Policy?

A good DLP policy only works when your users also have information about it. This is why it is essential to notify your employees about the policy changes. This helps them stay vigilant and avoid human error.

For starters, you need to give access to the policy to the compliance center. Large organizations have tenant administrators that will help edit and delete the policies. They also have a monopoly over who gets to view the policy.

To assign permissions, you have to open the Microsoft 365 compliance section. Head over to permissions and then click on the compliance center. Next, create a specific role group. There will be a section with the heading ‘choose rules.’ After selecting the DLP compliance management, choose the number of people you want to give access to.

You can change, edit and even modify these numbers later on. You can also remove access for some people through the same process.


Is Office 365 Data Loss Prevention A Substitute For Cybersecurity?

Contrary to what people think, DLP should not be considered a replacement for cybersecurity. The latter is much more advanced and offers thorough protection against a number of crimes. Moreover, cybersecurity protects your data and your system from hackers and attacks.

Where DLP is used to regulate your company and make it adhere to government protocols, cybersecurity protects your company from phishing, hacking, and other malicious attacks.

Can Data Loss Prevention DLP Protect My Sensitive Data, Including My Financial Data?

Data loss prevention is specifically designed to protect your sensitive information, including your sensitive data. When employees exchange online information with one another, it can lead to the loss of sensitive data.

This is where the security and compliance center of the company gets involved and implements its data loss prevention policy.

Final Say!

Data loss prevention DLP tools are essential and help protect your sensitive information from getting leaked. The use of Microsoft’s information protection DLP policy helps companies adhere to strict data regulations and achieve inclusive data security.

Creating DLP policies may seem challenging. However, if you want to prevent data loss and ensure that your employees don’t accidentally leak sensitive data outside the company’s system- using data loss prevention policies is the best way to go about it.

It is safe, reliable, and, let’s admit, very, very affordable.

Derik Belair

As President and CEO, Derik leads the vision, strategy and growth of Augmentt. Prior to founding Augmentt, Derik was the Vice President at SolarWinds, leading the digital marketing strategy for SolarWinds’ Cloud division. Derik has been working in the channel for over 20 years, starting his career as a channel sales rep at Corel Corp. and eventually becoming the first employee at N-able Technologies in April of 2000.
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