In most organisations, individuals collaborate with both internal and external partners to accomplish their tasks. This implies that content is no longer confined within a firewall but can freely traverse various devices, applications, and services. When content moves across these platforms, it’s crucial to ensure that it does so securely and in accordance with your organisation’s business and compliance standards.
Microsoft Purview Information Protection offers sensitivity labels that enable you to classify and safeguard your organisation’s data. These labels ensure that user productivity and collaboration capabilities remain unimpeded while upholding the necessary levels of security and compliance.
What do we mean by Sensitivity Labels?
When you apply a sensitivity label to content, it acts as a customisable stamp that is:-
Tailored to your organisation’s specific needs, allowing you to create categories for different levels of sensitive content, such as Personal, Public, General, Confidential, and Highly Confidential.
Stored in clear text within the metadata of files and emails, enabling third-party apps and services to read it and apply their protective measures, if necessary.
Embedded in the metadata of files and emails, ensuring that the label remains associated with the content, regardless of where it is saved or stored. The unique label identification for your organisation serves as the foundation for applying and enforcing configured policies.
When users within your organisation view a sensitivity label, it appears as a tag on the apps they use, seamlessly integrating into their existing workflows. Importantly, these sensitivity labels remain invisible to users from other organisations or guests.
Each item supporting sensitivity labels within your organisation can have a single sensitivity label applied to it. Documents and emails have the flexibility to carry both a sensitivity label and a retention label concurrently.
How can we use Sensitivity Labels?
- Implement protection settings, including encryption and content markings. For instance, affix a Confidential label to a document or email, which not only encrypts the content but also adds a Confidential watermark. Content markings, such as headers, footers, and watermarks, along with encryption, can limit authorised individuals’ actions on the content.
- Safeguard content in Office apps across diverse platforms and devices. Supported by Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook on both Office desktop apps and Office on the web. This support extends to Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
- Extend protection to content in third-party apps and services through Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps. This capability allows you to detect, classify, label, and protect content in third-party platforms like SalesForce, Box, or Dropbox, even if these services do not inherently support sensitivity labels.
- Secure containers like Teams, Microsoft 365 Groups, and SharePoint sites. This involves configuring privacy settings, managing external user access and sharing, and controlling access from unmanaged devices.
- Protect meetings and chat by labelling and optionally encrypting meeting invites and responses, while also enforcing Teams-specific options for meetings and chats.
- Extend sensitivity labels to Power BI, enabling their application and visibility within the Power BI environment, providing data protection when saved outside the service.
- Extend sensitivity labels to third-party apps and services using the Microsoft Information Protection SDK, allowing third-party apps to read sensitivity labels and apply corresponding protection settings.
- Label content without implementing specific protection settings, offering a visual representation of your organisation’s data sensitivity. These labels generate usage reports and activity data, providing insights into data with varying sensitivity levels, and protection settings can be applied later if needed.
- Protect data when Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 is assigned to users. Copilot integrates sensitivity labels into user interactions, recognizing and ensuring the protection of labeled data.
In each scenario, Microsoft Purview sensitivity labels empower you to take appropriate actions on your content, identifying data sensitivity across the organisation and enforcing protection settings aligned with the data’s sensitivity, ensuring persistent protection with the content.
What are the benefits of Microsoft Sensitivity Labels?
Enhanced Data Protection
By classifying and applying protection policies based on sensitivity labels, organisations significantly enhance their data protection capabilities. This is especially crucial in industries with strict regulatory requirements, such as healthcare, finance, and legal services.
Consistency Across Services
Sensitivity Labels provide a unified approach to data classification and protection, ensuring consistency across different Microsoft 365 services. This helps organisations maintain a coherent data protection strategy and reduces the risk of data leakage.
Compliance with industry regulations and data protection standards is simplified with the use of Sensitivity Labels. The ability to automatically enforce protection policies based on data classification contributes to a proactive compliance posture.
With Sensitivity Labels, organisations can confidently collaborate on sensitive projects knowing that the right security measures are in place. This fosters a collaborative and secure digital workspace.
In an era where data security is paramount, Microsoft Sensitivity Labels offer a robust and versatile solution for organisations seeking to protect their sensitive information. With features such as flexible classification, automated protection policies, and seamless integration with Microsoft 365 services, Sensitivity Labels empower organisations to take control of their data protection strategy. By implementing Sensitivity Labels, businesses can not only enhance their security posture but also foster a culture of responsible data handling and collaboration.
If you would like to discuss how Sensitivity Labels could assist data protection in your organisation, or indeed any other Data Loss Prevention techniques, please get in touch with Fusion IT.