In today's connected world, businesses face the challenge of maintaining accuracy, security, and compliance as data moves across multiple applications, cloud services, and on-premises systems. Microsoft Purview is a cloud-based data governance solution that helps organizations to discover, understand, and manage their diverse data estates. It enables users to find and categorize different types of data across multiple platforms, including on-premises, cloud, and SaaS systems, which is a vital first step towards managing data quality, compliance, and security.

In this article, Stephen Lazzara, a Security Solutions Consultant at Valorem Reply, will explore Microsoft Purview, focusing on understanding the nature of data, its vulnerabilities in modern environments, and the potential risks it poses to businesses. We will delve into current data practices, highlighting the factors that make them susceptible to threats. Finally, we will discuss the evolving landscape of data in the near future, considering the rapid advancements in technology that shape our world today.

Part 1: Defining Data for Today’s World: What is data considered today?

In this session, we delve into the definition and scope of data in today's world. We explore the various types and locations where data resides within a company. These range from traditional sources like file shares and email to modern platforms such as Microsoft Teams and cloud environments like AWS and Oracle. Additionally, we discuss the importance of classifying data based on its value and usage to ensure comprehensive data management and security.

Part 2: Modern Environmental Data Vulnerability: How data protection has changed with how we work today?

In this discussion, we address the vulnerability of classified data in modern working environments. With employees working remotely, multiple office locations, and external partners accessing various data sources, the security boundary has shifted, presenting new challenges. Vulnerabilities include endpoint exposure, malware on personal devices, user errors, cloud data egress points, and breaches of enterprise applications. These potential breaches can lead to ransomware attacks, data leaks, and compromised environments, posing risks of reputational and financial harm to companies. Proper data protection measures and management are crucial to mitigate these risks and safeguard the organization.

Part 3: Protecting the Company: How can data jeopardize a company and how do we protect against threats?

This session discusses the shift in data protection from traditional network security to cloud infrastructure. With the breakdown of network boundaries and the rise of remote work and cloud storage, data security now relies on securing data at the identity or data layer. Microsoft's Purview suite of products offers a solution by leveraging metadata attributes to classify and label data, set retention policies, and apply data protection measures. This approach ensures data security regardless of its location, allowing for automated data protection policies and the extension of protections to non-Microsoft data sources.

Learn more about building a successful Data Loss Prevention (DLP) program in our eBook here.

Part 4: Future Developments: How does AI and Automation change the way we work?

In this last session, Stephen emphasizes the importance of continuously developing and adapting security measures to keep up with technological advances. He mentions some advanced data protection strategies, including trainable classifiers that use interactive learning to classify data based on its utilization, information barriers that limit data access based on network segmentation for data sovereignty, adaptive policies that monitor user activity and adjust data protection policies in real-time, and Priva, a product specialized in securing personally identifiable information to ensure compliance with privacy regulations. These strategies aim to protect data, maintain customer trust, and prevent reputation damage.

In conclusion, the ever-evolving nature of data usage and the increasing risks associated with it require proactive security measures. Companies must stay ahead of technological advancements and changes in business practices to effectively protect their data and mitigate potential risks. Valorem Reply has successfully employed Microsoft's Purview product line to help clients identify, protect, and utilize their data while preparing for future advancements. We understand the importance of staying vigilant in the realm of data security and aligning with Microsoft's developments.

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Valorem Reply’s Security Assessment offers a data-driven analysis of your organization's security posture, evaluating vulnerabilities and identity risks with phased remediation recommendations. Ask us about Microsoft’s Solution Assessment Funding Program and see if you’re eligible to receive a complimentary Security Assessment. Learn more here.