The Microsoft 365 Compliance Centre provides all the tools needed to help administrators control the retention, deletion and distribution of data ensuring your business stays compliant.
Retention polices are a feature of Office 365 which allow companies to perform either of two actions;
With regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) businesses must be more aware of where they store data, protect it and for how long they keep it.
Policies are created by an administrator and can be applied to mailboxes, SharePoint Online sites or Microsoft Teams messages. These can be applied manually by users or automatically if certain keywords and patterns are detected such as credit card or National Insurance numbers.
When retaining data, a time period can be specified such as 7 years for financial information or 15 years for health and safety. If data such as emails or documents are deleted by a user within these periods, the data will remain in the background and be accessible to specified users until the time has expired.
With a policy that deletes content, data that meets criteria such as personal information (i.e. a CV from an unsuccessful candidate) can be disposed of automatically after say 6 months.
For legal purposes, a Preservation Lock can be applied to data at a point in time to ensure the data is never changed. This can be useful for documents as such contracts or insurance claims.
For decades, companies have emailed documents and pictures across the world at lightning speed sending information where it needs to be. However, once the email has been sent, keeping track of that information and knowing where that data ultimately ends up can be a challenge. Using Office 365 DLP policies you can create rules to help address this problem.
An example use of this might be to detect personal or sensitive information in an email that is being sent to an external user. Using keywords and pattern matching rules information such as passport numbers can be found and if needed blocked from leaving the company.
All policies can be applied to emails, messages and documents in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business to help keep data where it should be. Policies can also use labels from Advanced Information Protection (AIP) if the licences are available.
Azure Information Protection can be used to discover, classify and protect your company’s data. By applying categories such as “Personal” or “Confidential”, security can be applied to documents and messages which travel with the data.
For example, a company’s financial report could be sent to an external accountant but the ability to forward or print that report can be removed no matter where the document is eventually stored.