Turn GDPR to your business advantage with Office 365

As the countdown continues to the May 2018 deadline for GDPR compliance, businesses are urgently looking at how IT can support their GDPR goals. The big questions they are asking are: What is my path towards GDPR compliance? How much will GDPR compliance cost my business? Will it hold us back? Find out how Microsoft Office 365 can support GDPR compliance while setting you up for increased productivity and growth.

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” ~ Helen Keller

GDPR: what you need to think about

It’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed with the looming shadow of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) kicking off for serious in May 2018, with all the potential financial and reputational repercussions for non-compliant organisations. But what if this cloud has a silver lining?

Once you’ve grasped (hopefully sooner rather than later) that Brexit is likely to have zero impact on GDPR, you’ll need to consider the implications of GDPR on your business in the following terms:

  • What is your path to GDPR compliance?
  • What investment is required?
  • What do you need to change – particularly in terms of IT and data?

The cloud paradox

While a handful of traditional IT users may remain sceptical about the compliance and security advantages of cloud IT, the ambitious financial and professional services have been investing in it for years. And cloud software and services continue to get better and better as more people are moving more areas of their business to the cloud. Initially, perhaps, to address regulatory requirements for better business continuity, then to improve productivity, and finally to have a more agile business with cloud infrastructure itself.

So, here’s the thing. With Office 365, you can address the first two of those stages when it comes to addressing GDPR compliance and increasing your people productivity.

How Office 365 helps increase productivity

Let’s briefly look at the productivity aspect. Microsoft Office 365 gies you access to your business email, shared calendars, instant messaging, conferencing and file collaboration – wherever you happen to be. And the security aspects that address GDPR issues – more below – mean that your business can embrace BYOD, allowing your people to work on their preferred devices. All of these elements lead to a happier and more productive workforce, who can communicate and collaborate wherever and however works for them. And this is the key part – all without putting your customer and business data at risk from non-compliance fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the inevitable reputational damage that ensues when word gets out.

How Office 365 helps address GDPR compliance

Office 365 helps you with three key aspects of GDPR compliance. It helps you:

  1. Detect what data you have
  2. Protect that data
  3. Respond to data threats

Detect what data you have

– You will need to identify documents or content that may be subject to a compliance investigationeDiscovery search allows you to search meta-data and other textual information contained within, for example, email and SharePoint, the document collaboration tool.

– Advanced Data Governance uses machine learning and similar technologies to help your business disover, find, classify and configure polices on data throughout the whole data life-cycle.

Protect your data

– You will need to know when data is at risk of unwanted exposure Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a built-in features of Office 365. It allows you to configure actions that trigger when sensitive or personal information is detected. This helps you to block unwanted deliberate – and accidental – disclosure.

DLP can identify 80 common, sensitive data types covering financial services, personal identifiable information (PII) and healthcare. It can also be used alongside a wider range of DLP solutions.

– You can remain in control of your data in the event you require technical support from your IT partner. Customer Lockbox allows you to set explicit data access rules, while all actions are logged and audited.

– Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)scans for viruses, malware and other threats. ATP polices will stop malicious attachments affecting users, while the scanning engine can detect high-risk links contained in emails.

– Advanced Security Management (ASM) spots trends such as abnormal or high-risk usage. This can also alert your business to potential breaches.

Respond to threat

– Office 365’s Threat Intelligence provides deep insights, leveraging Microsoft’s extensive reach and scale, so you can be aware of new and emerging threats before then can impact your business.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.” – Abraham Lincoln

Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how Office 365 can help your organisation achieve GDPR compliance and boost productivity. If you need help with your GDPR program as a whole, on top of IT, our GDPR compliance consultants can help you with your entire GDPR journey – or as much as you need.

Talk to a GDPR expert