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Information Protection

Protecting sensitive data and manage insider risks with intelligence

Within the area of Threat Protection, we discussed the importance of protecting your organization from external threats, but it’s just as important to protect your own growing amount of sensitive data, such as customer Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and intellectual property. The International Data Corporation (IDC) has predicted that global data will grow to more than 175 zettabytes by 2025. However, 88% of organizations no longer have confidence in detecting and preventing the loss of sensitive data. The tools available from Microsoft provide organizations with a rich set of capabilities to know, protect, prevent loss, and govern your data in a consistent way whether that data lives on-premises (e.g., SharePoint server or Teradata) in the cloud (e.g. Azure Storage or AWS S3), in Microsoft services (e.g. Teams) or third party (Salesforce), and whether it is your productivity data in files like Office documents and PDFs and in emails or your analytical and operational data.

Prior to guiding our clients as to how best to protect their critical information, the Oakwood Security Team will seek to better understand three underlying challenges.

Knowing and protecting sensitive data that resides across your hybrid environment.

The bedrock of Microsoft’s solution is a comprehensive set of both manual and automatic data classification methods. Especially notable are classifiers that leverage machine learning to automatically identify and classify sensitive content at scale using pattern-matching methods. You may not otherwise easily find this content, such as patents, contracts, and résumés.

Once we know your data, we’ll leverage the built-in labeling and protection experience in your core productivity solutions. Apps like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, or services like SharePoint, Exchange, or Power BI, use these core workloads instead of a bolted-on, plug-in experience. This not only lowers your costs by eliminating the need to deploy and maintain additional software, but also delivers better performance by eliminating the need to load add-ons every time a user launches an app or service.

Prevent accidental or inappropriate sharing of sensitive information

Now that we understand your sensitive data, we’ll want to establish a protection plan to address the risks of accidental or inappropriate sharing of sensitive information across the applications, services, and tools your users use every day. 

Your employees access data from a multitude of devices and locations and they engage with multiple internal and external business partners to perform a wide array of activities. These touchpoints can expose your organization to data oversharing or even present risks of inappropriate sensitive data disclosure which can result in regulatory compliance concerns.

Effectively manage insider risks and policy violations

Insider risk management leverages the Microsoft Graph and other services to obtain native signals across Microsoft 365, Windows 10, and Azure. This includes file activity, communications sentiment, and abnormal user behaviors without the need to deploy end-point agents. You can include additional third-party signals from human resources systems, such as termination date or performance data, to further enhance the risk signal. 

A robust set of configurable templates tailored specifically for risks such as digital IP theft, confidentiality breach, and potential security violations use machine learning and intelligence to correlate the signals to identify hidden patterns and risks that traditional or manual methods might miss. Using intelligence and correlations allows the solution to focus on actual suspicious activities so you don’t get overloaded with alerts. Furthermore, we can create default pseudonymous display names for at-risk users to maintain privacy and prevent bias.

To learn more about how the Oakwood Team can help protect your business information, please contact us below.