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Take control of your data - be more secure

It is more important than ever to protect your information and to keep track of how it is handled inside and outside your business. Does your organisation know how all the important data is stored - and where in the system it is kept? With a well-developed security mindset and smart collaboration platforms, an efficient and secure working environment can be created.

There are many reasons why it is so important to protect your data in this day and age. The more places employees work and the more channels and platforms they work on, the harder it becomes to keep track of information and how to best manage it. It's important that it doesn't go astray and with both internal and external threats, it can be easy to get lost.

Are you in control of your data and how it flows?

Although your organisation may feel healthy and secure, management may still not feel in control of how data flows and where it is stored. There may be various Teams channels, on prem solutions, SharePoint, intranets and emails where data is exchanged without thought or underlying strategy.
It is then important to have a work process in place so that employees have clear instructions on the rules that apply within the organisation; where data should be stored, how the storage process should take place, who has access to what et cetera.
If this strategy does not already exist within the organisation, help is needed to set up the rules and a platform to easily classify the information.

Do you know what data your organisation shares?

But shouldn't the requirements for control and security already be built into existing systems like Microsoft 365? Yes, but not always tailored to your organisation's specific needs. Those who have purchased an out of the box solution are getting a pre-packaged service/application that should be quick and easy to get up and running and start collaborating with their team members in.
However, it is not clear what kind of information you have access to - confidential or public - which means that it is easy to accidentally share the wrong kind of data, which should not be shared.
If data classification and security features are not used in SharePoint, there is a risk of data leaking outside the walls of the organisation. Used correctly, these security measures ensure that sensitive information is encrypted so that only authorised people can unlock and access it.

4 tips for secure data management

Often, the IT manager is tasked with finding solutions for information security and compliance. However, the highest level of responsibility for these issues lies with the CEO, who is directly affected if data is not classified.

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Here are four examples of how to create a safer environment:

Personal or patient data.
The GDPR imposes high standards on the handling of personal data and means that your organisation must act securely.
SOLUTION: Double encryption of stored data in Microsoft 365 SharePoint where the organisation has one key and Microsoft the other. This means that data can be stored in the cloud without the cloud service provider being able to read it.

Management team contract management
Where are the sensitive documents and contracts of the business located? And who has the right to see them? Maybe only the management team should have access to certain...
SOLUTION: Store agreements in designated locations and set separate permissions around who can access what. Sensitivity labels are applied and then confidential agreements cannot be spread outside the sphere. For example, management team minutes and meeting notes need to be encrypted to keep them confidential.
Classification rules can learn to recognize sensitive data and thus suggest how and which documents should be classified as sensitive, thus preventing that kind of data from being passed on.

Revision and retention
A document that is sensitive for a certain period of time may become outdated after a while. It should then not be open and available for someone to take the wrong version.
SOLUTION: Clear out old sensitive data that is no longer current. Set an expiration date and make automated rules and logic that react to dates and ping the appropriate people when it's time for action via an email or in Teams where there's a chat from a bot: "Hey, your document is about to go out - take a look at it and act." This can be achieved via managed document tagging and document ownership rules.

External collaborations
If you don't want external parties to have access to documents that are to be used internally, it's a good idea to create special collaboration areas for sharing with external partners.

SOLUTION: External users are managed in project or B2B locations with the same security as the rest of the platform. Data to be shared externally is controlled and classified in these locations so that it can be accessed by partners. This provides control over the data, what it contains and how it is used.

Annual evaluation and monitoring ensures high data security

A review of data management practices and a review of the rules should be carried out annually. Have the activities changed? Should we keep the same set of rules or expand them? Are there other changes that should be considered?

It is more important than ever to live by internal guidelines, instructions and regulations. Compliance monitoring needs to be done on an ongoing basis to identify and report compliance gaps. The board, management, employees and consultants need to be trained in the rules. Only then can a high level of data security be maintained.