Data Security, NIS2 and Microsoft

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Data security is a formidable and ever-evolving challenge for organisations. Outdated data security practices and poor data hygiene leave businesses vulnerable to breaches, and increasingly, compliance and regulatory infringements. For those based or operating within the European Union, this challenge will soon develop further still with the introduction of NIS2, the new Network and Information Security Directive.

As businesses continue to facilitate remote work and operate with more devices than ever before in an increasingly interconnected world, the prospect of achieving data security compliance by NIS2’s October 2024 deadline may seem daunting. However, those utilising Microsoft’s suite of security solutions will find themselves already well placed to meet the new demands once the tools are effectively implemented with NIS2 in mind.  

While email phishing attacks and malware may be the first threats that come to mind when one thinks of cyber security vulnerabilities, data breaches continue to constitute a substantial concern. When over 800 global cyber security professionals were asked, they reported that within the past year alone:

  • On average, organisations experienced 59 security incidents, 20 per cent of which were severe.
  • 74 per cent of organisations were exposed to an incident related to business data.
  • Those businesses with a greater number of security tools (16+) experienced 2.8x more data security incidents than those with fewer tools deployed.

What does this mean for data security? Largely, that a traditional approach to data security can no longer be considered entirely effective, particularly in light of NIS2’s demands, and a consolidated, comprehensive approach to security solutions is a worthwhile route to stronger, more reliable defences. As NIS2’s deadline looms, strategies and tools should be brought in line with the latest best practices wherever possible.

Cyber security company developers encrypting cloud processing data system

Data Security Strategy with NIS2 in Mind

Modern data security now requires a layered, strategic approach to help safeguard data wherever it resides within your estate to ensure compliance. By implementing Microsoft’s solutions with this in mind, businesses can be well on their way to aligning with NIS2’s key principles. Think of it as a process of protection, whereby you:

  1. Discover and protect all sensitive data, throughout its cycle.
  2. Identify potential risks as they as emerge by understanding how users access and make use of this data.
  3. Prevent data from unauthorised use dynamically based on user risk.

This end-to-end approach to data security helps to drive NIS2 compliance and can be meaningfully achieved by Microsoft Purview.

Microsoft Purview is a collection of complementary security tools which integrates Information Protection, Data Loss Prevention, Insider Risk Management, and Adaptive Protection into a single user-friendly solution.

Combining the legacy tools of Azure Purview for data governance and Microsoft 365 Compliance for risk and compliance, Microsoft Purview provides users with the best of Microsoft 365’s latest data, compliance, and governance capabilities.

As business data continues to become increasingly fragmented, Microsoft Purview simplifies its handling by offering whole-environment protection to help ensure that data is manageable, monitored, and in the case of NIS2, compliant.

How does Microsoft Purview achieve this? By providing four layers of multi-faceted support across a business’s entire data stack, whether data resides on-premises, in the cloud, or within a SaaS solution.

The Layers of Microsoft Purview

What sets Microsoft Purview apart for data security, and how can it help businesses to achieve NIS2 compliance?

  • By offering a simple, integrated, and intelligent solution that reliably covers organisations’ entire data stacks, Microsoft Purview helps to ensure that data doesn’t fly under the radar—essential for both achieving and demonstrating compliance.
  • When data is stored widely and used diversely, visibility is key to discovering hidden risks and understanding how data interconnects in ways that may risk compliance. Microsoft Purview offers comprehensive visibility to assist with this.
  • The more tools and solutions that require monitoring, the more difficult an analyst’s job, opening the door to user error and alert fatigue. Microsoft Purview simplifies the task of implementing consistent and compliant data security practices by providing end-to-end security across a suite of fully integrated solutions, built on the same platform.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming increasingly important for the identification of emerging potential threats. Microsoft Purview utilises AI-powered security to get teams ahead of incidents, offering more time for investigation and remediation when time is of the essence and compliance may be threatened.

Threatscape’s award-winning Microsoft Security Practice provides a range of managed and professional services across information protection, identity protection, messaging, endpoint protection, cloud security and more.

For those looking to optimise their existing Microsoft 365 Security stack with the next generation of security posture management, Overwatch for Microsoft 365 delivers simplified security without compromise, including a NIS2 compliance view to monitor ongoing compliance in near real-time.

Overwatch for M365 Security Service

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