Microsoft Data Loss Prevention

Last updated:
March 25, 2022

What Is Microsoft Data Loss Prevention?

A data loss prevention solution is a security platform that protects your organization by detecting and preventing the unauthorized access or deletion of information. The protection extends to both in-transit content and at rest content. It also provides visibility into which users are accessing what kinds of files from where, so you can better understand how sensitive business content flows through your network. This article discusses some common uses for this technology, including:

• Preventing user errors such as accidental deletions

• Detecting insider threats

• Identifying potential risks before they become problems


Data Loss Prevention Overview

The purpose of data loss prevention solutions is not to prevent all types of malicious activity but rather to identify and block specific actions taken against organizational assets. For example, if someone tries to delete an important file without authorization, DLP will detect it and take action immediately, while allowing other operations like copying a document to another location to proceed uninterrupted.

At its core, DLP involves two components: detection and response. Detection refers to identifying suspicious activities taking place within your environment; while response means blocking those behaviors when detected. In addition, there may be several levels of response based upon severity – most commonly, there’s no immediate reaction for low level events, then escalating responses for more serious issues.

DLP technologies have evolved over time with new capabilities being added regularly. Some examples include:

• File monitoring

• Network traffic analysis

• Application control

In order to use these tools effectively, organizations must first define their baseline policy needs. From here, they choose a toolset that meets their requirements. Each vendor has different strengths and weaknesses, so choosing one requires careful consideration. If possible, try out multiple products because each offers unique features and functionality. For instance, some vendors offer additional reporting capabilities and others provide greater granularity around the rules themselves. You should ask yourself questions about workflow management, ease of deployment, integration options, etc. Once you determine which product best fits your needs, implement the appropriate controls using either software agents or native device drivers. For further reading, see our related articles below.

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What Are the Benefits of Data Loss Prevention?

Data breaches are happening at an increasing rate

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Solution for Office 365 helps protect organization's critical documents by detecting and preventing unintended changes to protected items by leveraging Microsoft Graph APIs and Azure Active Directory OAuth 2.0 authentication flow. With simple configuration via PowerShell scripts, DLP solution enables administrators to quickly deploy across thousands of endpoints. 

Prevent User Errors Like Accidental Deletion

With proper planning, an organization can ensure confidential company information stays safe even during periods of high user turnover. A good way to do this is to proactively monitor employee behavior and enforce policies designed to minimize risk. An effective approach includes implementing enterprise data security solutions that help protect corporate intellectual property by providing real-time alerts whenever employees attempt to modify secure content. These solutions often work together to create comprehensive protections that apply to every type of file stored on any endpoint, regardless of whether the storage medium contains encrypted data or unencrypted text. One of the key benefits of proactive monitoring is that it allows IT admins to catch potential mistakes early on, minimizing the damage done after the fact. Other advantages include improved productivity, reduced downtime, and decreased training costs associated with educating staff members about compliance regulations.

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Detect Insider Threats

Today, many companies face increased pressure to keep pace with evolving cyberthreats landscapes and respond faster than ever. While sophisticated malware attacks continue to increase in frequency, many businesses struggle to recognize them until well after they occur. This makes insider threats a growing threat as malicious insiders compromise sensitive business processes and steal valuable assets from unsuspecting organizations. By deploying advanced technologies like behavioral analytics and machine learning algorithms, enterprises have gained unprecedented insight into how people behave within their own networks. Organizations can now detect suspicious activity before it becomes a problem and take action against known bad actors more efficiently. But what happens when these tools identify unauthorized access attempts made by legitimate users who were not previously suspected of being involved in wrongdoing? In such cases, where there’s no evidence of criminal intent, it’s important to balance privacy concerns with organizational efficiency. To make sure that sensitive files aren't compromised without cause, use Data Loss Prevention technology to prevent accidental modifications to confidential materials. 

Why Use Data Loss Prevention?

There are many reasons why businesses need effective data loss prevention strategies – whether they involve protecting internal networks or external systems connecting employees across geographic boundaries. Here are just a few:

1. Ensure compliance with regulatory mandates

2. Protect intellectual property

3. Reduce risk associated with mobile devices

4. Minimize disruption due to incidents

5. Save money

6. Increase productivity

7. Improve employee satisfaction

8. Maintain reputation

9. Keep customers happy

10. Provide peace of mind

11. Create competitive advantage by preventing competitors from accessing sensitive information

12. Gain visibility into how users interact with corporate resources

13. Lower cost through reduced support calls

14. Enhance security posture

15. Prevent unauthorized access

And many more.

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Establish Policies to Protect Sensitive Data

The key is establishing policies that identify what types of files/data can be deleted as well as where they can go after deletion. The following guidelines help ensure this happens in a timely manner:

* Never allow employees to remove anything from any system without explicit approval.

* A secure folder on every user desktop should contain only authorized documents. This would typically be used for personal purposes such as email attachments, photos, music, videos, calendar appointments, financial transactions, etc. Anything else goes into a separate directory dedicated solely to company-owned content.

* All removable media containing confidential information should not leave the office unattended. Require all staff members who work remotely to connect via VPN before leaving the building. Remote workers should also require permission before removing documents from desktops at home.

Control Mobile Devices

Mobile phones pose special challenges for organizations trying to protect sensitive data.

Employees often use their phones while traveling and have no control over the contents displayed on them. To address these issues, consider adopting a policy similar to those above regarding laptops and desktops.


Data Loss Prevention Tips & Tricks

When selecting data loss prevention solutions, it’s important to understand the differences between preventative technologies versus detective technologies. While both provide useful benefits, each approach has its own strengths and weaknesses. In general though, preventive technology focuses more on detecting potential threats early, whereas detective technology looks deeper into existing data in order to detect past occurrences.

When considering which type of solution will best fit your needs, you must balance the tradeoffs between detection speed vs accuracy. If you want immediate results, then predictive technologies like behavioral analytics may be preferable. However, if you want to catch problems earlier, preventative technologies may offer better value.

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