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The C-Suite Guide To Microsoft Purview

Data as a strategic asset 

The C-suite guide to Microsoft Purview 

Historically, organisational data was structured in databases. Standard practice was to build a robust perimeter “fence” of security around the data or network, and live with any inconvenience or restrictions users may experience in the name of security goals. 

Today, things are a little different. 

Data is becoming increasingly unstructured. It’s growing at exponential rates. More importantly, there is a rising awareness of its value as a strategic asset. The old-school approach of treating data (and sensitive data in particular) as a high-risk burden to be locked away has given way to a far more progressive mindset where data is viewed as a valuable organisational resource offering a significant competitive edge. 

As a result, managing data has become less about ringfencing it away, and more about implementing multi-layered security and compliance strategies that support your ability to use your data as rocket-fuel for success. 

The “top down + bottom up” approach 

To safely unlock the potential of organisational data, we need to let go of the mindset that it’s one person or one department’s responsibility. In the same way that cyber-security is everyone’s problem, organisational data security is everyone’s problem, too.  

Getting that right means viewing data holistically across the organisation, and building data management into everyday workflows from top to bottom and bottom to top. Governing data (e.g. adding the right sensitivity label to apply the right protections), managing data (in file shares and Teams environments) and protecting data are integral components of every job in our new digital world. No one is too junior or too senior to play their part. 

What is Microsoft Purview? 

Microsoft Purview is a suite of data governance, security, risk and compliance tools, built into the Microsoft ecosystem. Its capabilities make it possible to: 

Govern your data 

  • Map your data landscape so you know exactly what you have and where it’s stored. 
  • Empower your users to find useful, trustworthy data to make better decisions and reduce duplication of efforts. 
  • Classify your sensitive information so you know what and where it is in order to appropriately manage it. 
  • Map your data’s lineage so you can see where it’s coming from and where it’s going. 
  • Empower your business’ data managers and security admins with potent tools to monitor, manage and secure your data estate. 

Protect your data 

  • Data Loss Prevention: Detect sensitive content as it’s created, used and/or shared anywhere in your organisation (including the cloud and mobile devices) to prevent accidental data loss. 
  • Information Protection: Discover, classify and protect sensitive and/or business-critical content throughout its lifecycle. 
  • Insider Risk Management: Proactively detect undesirable/risky activity to rapidly identify, investigate and act on insider risks and threats. 

 Manage your data 

  • Data Lifecycle Management: Import, store and classify business-critical data so you can keep what you need and defensibly delete unnecessary (and potentially risky) clutter. 
  • Records Management: Use intelligent classification to automate and simplify the retention schedule for your regulatory, legal and business-critical records. 
  • eDiscovery:  
    • Standard – search across content locations to identify, preserve and export data in response to legal discovery requests and eDiscovery cases. 
    • Premium – Boost standard capabilities with intelligent analytics and machine learning to further analyse relevant data. 

A platform for growth and transformation 

There’s no doubt that Purview supports good organisational hygiene. Properly deployed, its risk mitigation capabilities are substantial, enabling you to operate within risk tolerances and avoid potentially costly events like data breaches. (Bear in mind, the longer you delay the start of your Purview journey, the less straightforward your deployment becomes.) 

The biggest win, however, is Purview’s ability to support digital transformation through risk reduction, data governance, and data management. It enables organisations to trial new technology and exploit emerging capabilities with confidence, unlocking the competitive advantages of things like advanced analytics and GenAI with the security of a robust and integrated “safety net”. 

Why use Microsoft Purview? 

  • You already have it – Purview capabilities are included in Microsoft E3 and E5 licenses, which means most enterprises already have access to some or all of its functionality. 
  • Makes it easier to find your data – Finding specific content in amongst vast quantities of organisational data is hugely time-consuming. Purview maps your content to make it much quicker and easier to find exactly what you need. 
  • Helps you do more with your data – Greater visibility into your data makes it easier to spot trends and insights that hold business value. 
  • Identifies unsecured data – Purview shines a light into your data landscape’s darkest corners, helping to identify unsecured data to ensure nothing slips through your security net. 
  • Unifies data governance – Purview simplifies data management by providing a single, unified platform from which to action and oversee all data management tasks. 
  • Supports modern work – Purview’s unified approach to data management makes it easier to support and secure modern work essentials like remote work, mobile devices and third-party cloud technologies. 
  • Encourages a unified approach to data – Purview brings data governance, and data management and eDiscovery teams together, encouraging smarter and more efficient processes. 

How and where to start your Purview journey 

Chances are your existing Microsoft enterprise license already includes many (if not most) of the Purview capabilities we’ve mentioned here. Making the most of those capabilities is a great way to maximise the value for money your licensing delivers.  

That said, getting started with Purview is not a straightforward IT deployment. Data governance is everyone’s problem, which means there needs to be a lot of interdepartmental collaboration and consultation to achieve the kind of holistic perspective necessary to tackle your data using an informed, risk-based approach. 

Fortunately, we can help with that. 

At Cloud Essentials, we have risk and compliance experts who speak the same language as your business users. We know how to facilitate the right conversations to ensure all voices are heard (and all perspectives considered) without delaying the decision-making process that informs the technical implementation. 

The fact is: complex, multi-stakeholder programmes of work don’t have to be a headache. All you need is the right partner to guide your progress along an optimal trajectory. 

Get in touch.