Where don’t we collaborate these days? So, where shouldn’t there be data loss prevention? We certainly need it with SharePoint, and soon we will have it.
“Everywhere your data exists, moves or is shared, we want to protect it,” wrote Shobhit Sahay, technical product manager for the Office 365 team, in a April 21 blog post. “ Office 365 has provided Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities for email since Exchange 2013. As collaboration extends beyond email to sites and documents, we are extending the DLP capabilities to these services.”
Microsoft previewed these expanded capabilities last year at TechEd Barcelona, and later this quarter they will be available in a public preview that will be available to Office 365 tenants.
DLP will be made available in SharePoint and OneDrive in a staged process: Phase 1 is for detection of sensitive content; Phase 2 involves prevention, protection and education; and Phase 3 will enable organizations to extend policy constructs and customize. The public preview comes at the Phase 2 stage. (Microsoft made some Phase 1 features available last year.)
Here is a drill-down into what Phase 2 will comprise:
- Admins will be able to set up DLP policies for SharePoint Online/OneDrive for Business from the Office 365 compliance center.
- End users will provide “rich notifications” in the context of where they are working, to help them identify potential problems and make the right decisions when working with sensitive data. If users move out of the context in which they are working, they will get an email notification with the policy tip info (see screen). All of this is configurable by the admin.
- Admins can track policy compliance through reporting built into Office 365.
Phase 3, which is planned for the second half of 2015, is expected to include:
- Exceptions for locations and conditions
- The ability to encrypt content as an action
- Support for custom classifications and document fingerprinting
- Inclusion of shared by/member of conditions
- Detection of content scanning areas
- Richer content types and more enforcement endpoints
For more on Microsoft’s DLP plans, including an FAQ, check out the Office Blogs.