SharePoint Data Loss Prevention

SharePoint’s strength is in helping people share and collaborate around content, but if unmanaged, that ability to share can create information security issues.

These issues come in many forms:

  • Noncompliant sharing of Sensitive Personal Information (Protected Health Information, etc.)
  • Risky behavior with client or employee financial data
  • Accidental sharing of corporate financial information to the wrong employees
  • Malicious sharing, vandalism, or destruction by disgruntled employees

There are some big opportunities in the SharePoint world for helping companies address these risks. Companies need to be able to demonstrate compliance, ensure adherence to governance, and manage inevitable breakages and mistakes.

The 2013 release of Exchange offered Data Loss Prevention (DLP). Microsoft has projected rolling out a preview of DLP for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business this month, September 2015. Microsoft will also add DLP features to Office 2016, due out next year. (See the Office Roadmap, and a blog article from April.)

Microsoft also points out that eDiscovery could be used for DLP. Third party solutions like AvePoint, and Sharegate also address this challenge.

SharePoint DLP in Action

SharePoint DLP is expected to have features that would

  • Notify management if content containing protected information (social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc.) is shared externally
  • Detect external sharing of sensitive information
  • Educate uses on policies with custom error messages

DLP is a great example of why SharePoint requires continual maintenance and improvement. Deploying SharePoint requires a commitment beyond simple care and feeding of the server. Enforcing policies and governance is critical to the platform’s success.

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