The increasing instances of data protection regulations like GDPR, NIST, and NYDFS, have proven how vital data protection has become for everyone, consumers, and companies alike. Over the years, companies have attempted various techniques to provide effective and robust security to their enterprise data. One such method is “data classification” to identify the most sensitive information and where it resides.
Microsoft’s sensitivity labels do precisely that – labels your data into categories such as public, internal, confidential, and top secret. However, classifying data and labeling based on the sensitivity levels doesn’t provide any protection. On the contrary, sensitivity labels require user discretion, proving to be risky for data security if mishandled and leaving unanswered questions such as:
- How does the user decide which information is sensitive or what level of sensitivity it should be labeled?
- What if the classification label reflects the incorrect level of security?
- What if an insider or a hacker steals your most sensitive classified files?
- Is classification enough to be compliant with data regulations if you have a data breach?
All in all, marking the data as sensitive without actively protecting it is like closing your front door and leaving it unlocked for intruders to come in and look around for valuables.
Get ahead of the class by attaching Seclore data protection when a document or email is classified
Yes, Microsoft’s sensitivity labels offer a convenient way to identify which information is sensitive. The labels still come with many caveats besides a lack of data protection, such as difficulty retrieving classified data after being shared, especially if shared outside the organization with third parties or accidentally with bad actors. With Seclore for Microsoft Sensitivity Labels, sensitive labels are automatically protected with persistent, granular usage controls based on the label marked in the metatag.
Let’s consider a few data classification scenarios with Seclore
Scenario 1: Jordan is a VP of Sales in his company and wants to share the Sales projections with his boss. He manually adds the “Confidential” sensitivity label to the email.
Question: Are the sensitivity labels active across all Microsoft products and applications protected by Seclore? Will his classified email be protected, or will the recipient have unrestricted access to the email content and attachments in the email?
Seclore Says: Seclore’s persistent, granular usage controls are automatically attached to emails and attachments based on the sensitivity label. The organization can be confident that the same protection level is applicable across all Microsoft applications. Therefore, even if Jordan applied the sensitivity label using Outlook, his Office files will retain the Seclore security policy associated with the sensitivity label applied by him. Jordan can also track his document and view all actions performed on it, regardless of where the document travels or resides.
Scenario 2: To err is human. And when it comes to sending sensitive information over email, the chances of erring are high. That’s what happened to Jordan when he shared a sensitive document with his colleague. He inadvertently forgot to apply a sensitivity label before sending the email.
Question: Will his email be unprotected and vulnerable to unauthorized access? What happens if he accidentally sends it to the wrong person?
Seclore Says: No worries! Microsoft automatically prompts Jordan to assign a suitable sensitivity label depending on the keywords in the email. Jordan selects the correct sensitivity label and sends the email. Thanks to Seclore’s Email Auto-Protector, data protection is automatically applied to the email and the attachments based on the level of sensitivity of the label. Only the intended recipients can access the email and the attachments according to the security policies mapped to the sensitivity label.
Scenario 3: Jordan is concerned about the email he just sent to one of his business partners. He wants to ensure that the sensitive information he sent isn’t shared with competitors.
Question: Can he track his email to view the activities performed on it?
Seclore Says: What’s better than attaching persistent, granular usage controls to sensitive emails and documents? Watching those controls work as the data travels across various touchpoints. Seclore’s security dashboard allows IT administrators and file owners like Jordan to track all activities performed on a protected document or email, including authorized and unauthorized attempts. Additionally, Jordan can revoke access from any of his emails or documents instantly whenever he deems necessary. He now has complete control over his sensitive information.
Seclore Wins Best Data Security for Microsoft 365 Two Years in a Row
Seclore integration with Microsoft’s sensitivity labels elevates the existing classification functionality to provide unparalleled data-centric security to all classified emails and documents across the organization. Seclore’s ability to automatically apply security permissions to classified data ensures sensitive information is consistently and accurately protected to meet compliance regulations. Additionally, Seclore’s integration with Discovery solutions allows Microsoft’s metadata tag to be scanned when classified and protected, permitting actions such as allow or block on emails and documents to ensure your data always remains safe.
Dipen Shah is data-driven product manager, building innovative enterprise security products and applications. An analytical thinker who loves to work with various enterprise security products with an approach to provide the best of data security which customers are looking for.