Leveraging Microsoft Purview and SharePoint Premium Capabilities to Protect Your Microsoft Copilot Deployment

As organizations embrace AI-powered tools like Microsoft Copilot, ensuring robust data security and compliance becomes a critical priority. In this blog, we’ll explore some critical strategies to help prepare for a successful deployment of Copilot.   These strategies will include utilizing common Microsoft tools like Microsoft Purview and SharePoint Premium which can be critical by providing advanced data protection features. Specifically, we’ll delve into capabilities that safeguard data within Copilot, Office 365, and sensitive content stored in OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint libraries.

From a strategy perspective, lets begin with Copilot’s native protections.

Copilot offers inherent data protections:

  1. Access Control: Copilot ensures that data is never returned to a user or used by an LLM if the user lacks access to that data.
  2. Sensitivity Awareness: Copilot respects sensitivity labels applied
  3. Data in Use Protection: Copilot extends protection to data stored outside your Microsoft 365 tenant when it’s open in an Office app.

Administrators need to understand the crucial role they play in securing Copilot data:

  1. Configuration: Admins can configure sensitivity labels, retention policies, and communication compliance settings within Purview to align with organizational requirements.
  2. Monitoring: Regularly monitor Copilot interactions, audit logs, and content searches to identify any anomalies or policy violations.
  3. Training: Educate users on sensitivity labels and best practices for handling sensitive data within Copilot.

Now let’s look at some strategies to strengthen data security.

Microsoft Purview integrates seamlessly with Copilot to enhance information protection. When data is stored in your tenant, Copilot ensures that it is never returned to a user or used by an LLM (Language Model) if the user lacks access to that data. Sensitivity labels play a crucial role in this process.

Data Classification and SharePoint Advanced Management Tools

Microsoft Purview provides robust data classification capabilities. By classifying data based on its sensitivity, you can enforce appropriate access controls and retention policies. Copilot benefits from this classification by ensuring that only authorized users can interact with sensitive data.

As we look at protecting our unstructured data that is accessible to Copilot, we want to explore some ways that SharePoint Premium can enhance security with some of it’s advanced management tools.

  • Advanced Access Policies for Secure Content Collaboration
    • Restricting Site Access
      – Allows administrators to restrict SharePoint site access to specific groups. For group-connected sites, access is limited to members of Microsoft 365 groups. For non-group connected sites, security groups define access.
    • OneDrive Content Access Control
      – You can limit access to shared content in a user’s OneDrive to specific security groups. This ensures that only authorized individuals can access the content.
    • Data Access Governance Reports
      – Provides reports to identify potentially overshared or sensitive content within SharePoint sites. These reports help administrators assess and apply appropriate security and compliance policies.
    • Default Sensitivity Labels for SharePoint Document Libraries
      – When SharePoint is enabled for sensitivity labels, administrators can configure default labels for document libraries. New files uploaded or existing files edited in the library automatically inherit the default label (if not already labeled).

By leveraging Microsoft Purview and SharePoint Premium capabilities and understanding Copilot’s native protections, you can confidently deploy Copilot while maintaining robust data security and compliance. Microsoft Purview and SharePoint Premium bridge the gap between security and AI-powered productivity, making it a valuable asset for organizations embracing the future of collaboration and content management.