Struggling to comply with GDPR? Microsoft 365 rolls out new privacy dashboards

Microsoft wants to make it easier for organizations to deal with new privacy regulations.

Microsoft is rolling out new dashboards in its Microsoft 365 enterprise bundle to help security and compliance officers deal with new privacy laws. 

Microsoft 365, which includes Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, is gaining a new workspace for managing compliance with Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other regions' laws. 

The Compliance Manager risk-assessment dashboard helps security and compliance professionals manage regulatory compliance tasks. Under GDPR, any EU resident can request data that's been collected about them. The updated compliance manager helps Microsoft 365 users handle these data-subject requests. 

California's new privacy laws offer similar protections, including giving consumers the right to request that personal information is deleted and to easily transfer data to other services. 

Microsoft VP and chief legal officer Brad Smith believes US lawmakers in 2019 will begin pushing ahead with federal privacy legislation to avoid a patchwork of state-based variants of California's law. 

The tool also uses analytics to help display actions that compliance managers should take with respect to various regulations, including GDPR, the US HIPAA healthcare regulations, and ISO-27001 security standards.      

The new specialized workspaces give security and compliance teams a centralized view across Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), as well as Azure capabilities, according to Microsoft.  

Microsoft will roll out of the two dashboards this month and expects the worldwide rollout to be complete by the end of March. 

The new dashboards will be accessible from security.microsoft.com and compliance.microsoft.com, as well as the Microsoft 365 admin center. 

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According to a a new support document, the features will be available to Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 or E5 customers, as well as customers with a Volume Licensing equivalent, including Office 365 Enterprise E3 or E5, Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 or E5, and Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5.  

The Microsoft 365 security center offers a central place to view information about identity and access management, threat protection, information protection, and security management. 

This includes a dashboard that provides the status of an organization's security score, identity protection vulnerabilities, device compliance and malware statistics, and details about which cloud-based OAuth apps have high privileges. 

The security center also gives SecOps teams tools to manage incident response, including a centralized view of alerts and "hunting capabilities" for investigations. 

A new Microsoft 365 Label Analytics preview is on offer to help compliance officers analyze and validate how sensitivity and retention labels are being used beyond Office 365 workloads. 

Meanwhile, the Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS) insights feature aims to identify risks across applications, identify shadow IT, and monitor non-compliant employee behavior. 

Microsoft's popular enterprise messaging platform, Microsoft Teams, is also gaining new compliance tools aimed at customers in regulated industries. 

A new 'intelligent policies' feature includes intelligent filters, flags for sensitive information types, and advanced message filters. 

Intelligent filters feature is in private preview and includes an offensive language detector powered by machine learning and artificial-intelligence models that can identify communication patterns over time.

The sensitive information types feature allows admins to monitor data regulated by financial, medical, health or general privacy laws. 

The advanced message filter allows admins to include or exclude emails based on domains and do the same based on retention labels.  

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The updated compliance manager helps Microsoft 365 users handle data-subject requests. 

Image: Microsoft

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