Microsoft Office 365 supporting your GDPR compliance

In just under 3 months, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force, and companies will face potentially huge new fines if they are found not to be compliant. Microsoft has responded to the challenge of GDPR compliance, with GDPR solutions delivered for Microsoft Office 365 through the Compliance Manager.

Microsoft Office 365 can help you build and implement your organisation’s GDPR plan, and gives a risk-based score based on the actions you’ve taken.

The Compliance Manager lists all the services covered, and also supplies the assessment scores too. It breaks it down into two views which are Microsoft Managed Controls including in-depth information about how Microsoft have implemented these controls. The second view is the Customer Managed Controls, which companies or organisations need to implement themselves, and it gives prompts on how to achieve this and also provides the space to fully document the actions taken and also test plans. This will include making sure sensitive documents held by your organisation are discovered, protected, classified and labelled, as the core stipulation of GDPR is the absolute protection of personal information.

So what kinds of things will this involve doing? Well, an example would be needing to create a number of standard labels which can going forward be applied across your workload. As part of this process, you would stipulate what watermarks and protections are applied to each type of document once labelled, and once setup you can create rules to apply automatically the classifications to any new documents or indeed existing documents too. Microsoft have also been working with other organisations such as Adobe, and so protections are applied not just to Word and Excel Microsoft document formats for example, but also others like Adobe’s PDF documents too.

Remember, enforcement begins on the 25th May 2018 and so it’s essential your organisation quickly gets up to speed with GDPR, and how Microsoft 365 can be a part of a GDPR compliance solution through the Compliance Manager available in Microsoft Office 365.