In an age where data has become increasingly important to businesses, protecting confidential and sensitive information is a must. The growth in the use of digital technologies, globalization and the interconnection of systems have exposed companies to a series of unprecedented cybersecurity threats and risks.
Data loss and breach can have serious consequences for businesses. According to a study published by IBM, the average global cost per company of a data breach has increased to 4.01 million euros in 2023, a figure that represents an all-time high since the report was carried out (2005).
Beyond the financial consequences, the theft and loss of confidential data results in reputational damage, legal sanctions, and loss of customer trust.
All of this invites us to take measures to protect the information in the tools we use on a daily basis, such as Microsoft 365. On this platform, we can control the confidential information we manage with key solutions, such as sensitivity labels.
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What Are Sensitivity Tags And How Do They Work?
Microsoft uses sensitivity labels as a way to classify and protect documents or emails using labels that are based on visibility privileges. These sensitivity labels are currently built into Office 365 as part of the Security and Compliance functionality. Still, their use requires an Office 365 E3/E5 license.
Additionally, the same sensitivity label functionality is available in Azure Information Protection.
With these smart labels, documents and emails can be automatically classified and labelled according to the level of confidentiality.
With Sensitivity Labels, It Is Easier To Identify Sensitive Information
This classification facilitates the identification and management of critical information by allowing you to accurately and efficiently establish the appropriate protection and access levels for documents and emails.
By applying these labels, you can easily differentiate content that has critical, confidential or information of high strategic value from those that are less sensitive in nature.
Additionally, sensitivity labels and data loss prevention (DLP) policies in Microsoft 365 help control and protect sensitive information.
Control And Protect Information With Microsoft 365 Sensitivity Labels
These tools allow you to establish custom policies to prevent unauthorized disclosure of critical data and ensure regulatory compliance.
With the ability to customize labels to your specific business needs, you can clearly define what types of data are considered sensitive or critical and what actions are allowed or restricted for each category. This facilitates granular control over who can access, share or modify certain documents and emails, thereby reducing the risk of unwanted exposure.
Another benefit these labels offer is regulatory compliance. By having sensitivity labels that align with industry regulations and standards, the company can demonstrate responsible information management and adequate diligence in protecting sensitive data. This is especially relevant in business environments where non-compliance with regulations can result in financial penalties, loss of reputation and brand damage.
Why Does Using Dlp And Sensitivity Labels In Microsoft 365 Help Organizations Comply With Privacy Regulations Like Gdpr?
Sensitivity labels help you comply with regulatory requirements and internal policies by applying consistent classification and protection across all data managed by your company.
In addition to applying consistent data classification and protection, the use of sensitivity labels and data loss prevention (DLP) in Microsoft 365 provides several key features that significantly contribute to compliance with regulatory privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
With these labels, personal data can be identified and protected in accordance with established privacy policies and data breaches, and leaks can also be prevented. This will allow compliance with Article 33 of the GDPR, which requires notification of personal data breaches to the Control Authority.
On the other hand, sensitivity labels allow us to comply with the GDPR requirement to obtain informed consent from data subjects before processing their personal information. With tags, you can set policies that require support before sharing certain data or restrict access to information until approval is obtained.
In addition, labels guarantee the rights of data owners that the GDPR seeks to preserve. By appropriately classifying data with sensitivity labels, organizations can more efficiently identify and respond to requests related to the rights that data subjects have over their personal data, such as the right to access, rectification, erasure and portability.
Companies have all these benefits within their reach thanks to the application of Microsoft 365 sensitivity labels, which also increase productivity and are very easy to use.
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Increase Productivity With Microsoft 365 Sensitivity Labels
Microsoft 365 DLP and sensitivity tag capabilities are designed to be intuitive and easy to use.
These can be applied manually or automatically, and even if your administrator hasn’t enabled automatic tagging, they likely have set up a system that requires labels to be assigned to all files and emails in Office.
This requires you to assign a tag to all files. Otherwise, you won’t be able to save a Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file or send an email through Outlook.
Users can apply sensitivity labels with a few clicks. They will have to go to the Microsoft 365 home tab, select Privacy and choose the sensitivity label that applies to the file or email in question.
To remove a sensitivity label that has already been applied to a file, deselect it from the Privacy menu. As simple as that.
These labels facilitate secure collaboration and information sharing within and outside the organization by ensuring that each file or email is properly classified and controlled. This prevents uncontrolled malicious files from compromising productivity and affecting workflow efficiency.