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How Microsoft’s Modern Office Provides Data Loss Prevention

Losing data can negatively affect your business’s productivity, security, and privacy. This can be especially concerning while working remotely, since you may not have the necessary communication platforms in place to effectively solve the problem.

At WheelHouse IT, we know that data loss is devastating for business leaders, so you need to know about data loss prevention (DLP) best practices. DLP is an important issue for enterprise message systems because of the extensive use of email for critical business communication, which includes sensitive data.

In order to enforce data compliance requirements and manage its use in email without hindering the productivity of workers, DLP features make managing sensitive data easier than ever before. In this guide, we’re going to take you through what a DLP is, its features, and how we can help your business implement them to guarantee security while working remotely.

What Are Some Data Loss Issues That Companies Face?

Data loss occurs when data is accidentally deleted or corrupted. This is more common than you probably think. Viruses, physical damage, and formatting errors can make data unreadable for both humans and software, leading to a loss of information and security.

When your business is working remotely, a data breach or loss can be devastating. It quickly becomes difficult to troubleshoot the problem and effectively find its source, leading to ongoing technical issues and further data loss.

These sources range from uncontrollable issues (power outages) to human error, as well as hacking and other digital problems. Here are some common causes of data loss that many companies face:

  • Human Error
  • Viruses & Malware
  • Hard Drive Damage
  • Power Outages
  • Computer Theft
  • Liquid Damage
  • Disasters
  • Software Corruption
  • Hard Drive Formatting
  • Hackers and Insiders

What Is a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Policy?

DLP policies contain multiple sets of conditions that consist of mail-flow rule conditions (also known as transport rules), exceptions, and actions that you can create in Microsoft’s Exchange admin center (EAC) before activating to filter email messages and attachments.

These policies contain specifications for where, when, and how to protect content. DLP policies can protect the entirety of the Microsoft Modern Office suite, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business sites, as well as Microsoft Teams chat channels.

You can also set a group of specific conditions that must be met by content before actions are enforced. These measures make DLP policies important elements of any business’s work-from-home strategy.

How Can You Use a DLP Policy to Prevent Sensitive Data Loss?

We touched on this a bit in the previous section, but there are features that DLP policies have that make them effective data loss prevention tools. Let’s break down a few of those features and how they help keep your company’s data and information safe—no matter where you’re working from.

Identify Sensitive Information

As stated in the previous section, DLP policies can help you identify sensitive information across many locations and programs, such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams. For example, you can use a DLP policy to identify documents containing your company’s credit card number stored in your OneDrive for Business site.

Prevent Accidental Information Sharing

With a DLP policy, you can be notified of any documents or messages containing sensitive information—like tax records—that are shared with people outside of your organization. Once notified, you can choose to automatically block document access or even block the message from sending.

Monitor and Protect Office 365 Programs

You can also use a DLP policy to monitor and protect sensitive information stored in desktop versions of Office 365 programs like Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. DLP policies provide constant monitoring when employees share content in these programs.

DLP Doesn’t Get in the Way of Productivity

DLP policies help users learn how to stay compliant without interrupting their work. For example, say one of your employees tries to share a document containing sensitive information. A DLP policy will send them an email notification and show them a policy tip in the document library that allows them to override the policy if they have the authority to do so.

DLP Reporting Encourages Compliance

You can also check the number of matches every DLP policy and rule has over time to assess how your organization is complying with them. This way, you can be sure that your employees remain compliant and protect information—no matter where you are.

How Can WheelHouse IT Help Your Business With Data Loss Prevention and Modern Office?

At WheelHouse IT, we want to see your business succeed in these uncertain times (and beyond). We have a dedicated and experienced team of managed IT professionals who can help you navigate this new, modern workplace and help you implement Microsoft Modern Office and DLP policies for your business as you continue to work from home.

Work with a team that is knowledgeable and has experience with Modern Office by getting in touch with us today. Microsoft DLP policies are the most secure and reliable tools for effectively monitoring, protecting, and managing your business’s data and information as you continue to work remotely—and WheelHouse IT has the experts to help you implement it effectively.

Let’s work together to make sure your business remains as effective, productive, and secure as possible.

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