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Microsoft 365 Compliance Center Addresses New Privacy Regulations

In 2018, the European Union enacted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the first major policy protecting consumer data. That spearheaded greater attention and concern over the issue of data privacy, and other places around the globe have since followed the EU’s lead. The state of California is one of those places, having recently instituted its California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Consumers themselves are more careful as a consequence of this as well. A Forrester survey shows that 43 percent of U.S. consumers are now likely to cancel an online transaction if they see something they’re uncomfortable with in the privacy policy. Together, consumer awareness and new legislation have created a sort of privacy conscience that many of us are committed to following. These are all reasons for businesses to take their compliance seriously. Microsoft now has a dedicated workspace, the Microsoft 365 Compliance Center, which features new tools to help companies stay compliant with these regulations.

The new Microsoft 365 Compliance Center

This new dedicated workspace simplifies the job of compliance management for security administrators. Within the Compliance Center you can access the Compliance Manager tool, which helps you track your company’s compliance easily. You can see what areas need to be improved, which of your organization’s apps are non-compliant, and a checklist of steps to take to improve data protection. The Microsoft Compliance Score gives you a clear breakdown of how well you are achieving different compliance standards.

Microsoft Compliance Score assesses for each privacy regulation

Screenshot shows the percentage a user is achieving for compliance in each of the privacy regulations.

CCPA and GDPR are only a couple of the major privacy regulations. There are many others that may apply to a business, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or ISO 22701, which is designed to help businesses maintain a Privacy Information Management System (PIMS). Depending on the type of company and where it does business, different sets of regulations may apply. So Microsoft Compliance Manager is a helpful tool that allows you to clearly assess your compliance for each of these regulations. You can view a breakdown which shows in percentage form how well you are complying with each one.

Other new offerings in Microsoft 365 Compliance Center

Screenshot shows how a user can categorize an a task based on level of confidentiality.
  • New data protection features. Users can classify content directly from their Office apps, labeling it “general” or “highly confidential,” for example. The appropriate protection policies will then be automatically applied.
  • Enhancements to Advanced Data Governance. This includes new label analytics (currently in preview) which let admins evaluate the way sensitivity and retention labels are used in their company, both in Office 365 and non-Office 365 data. There’s also the file plan manager, which can map and migrate complex retention schedules from the company’s existing records management solution into Office 365. This allows for easy transfer of governance policy configurations.
  • New capabilities in Advanced eDiscovery. For legal and investigative matters, eDiscovery helps isolate case-related contents for additional protection. It also aids in communication with employees related to the case. And the new review and redact capability allows users to go over and modify sensitive sections of documents before exporting them.
  • Streamlining in Microsoft Teams. Those using Microsoft Teams can now communicate more efficiently in Exchange emails and Teams channels, through the Supervision feature. There are also new capabilities based on machine learning which are able to flag sensitive data as well as offensive language. Compliance professionals can monitor these activities easily at any time.

Compliance confidence

With these new tools and features, Microsoft 365 Compliance Center makes it more manageable to stay on top of compliance for privacy regulations. Making use of the resources it offers will help companies stay organized and compliant for legal reasons, and it will also build better relationships with customers and consumers. People want to be able to trust organizations they interact and share personal information with. When a company takes its privacy compliance seriously and commits to the data privacy of its consumers, stronger relationships are forged and everyone is happier.

If you haven’t yet, read about privacy compliance issues in the popular Zoom app.

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