Data has always been the lifeblood of any organisation, whether that was physical data or digital data. Since the rise of cloud adoption, it is now one of the most valuable assets that can be exploited by malicious actors. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, such as Copilot for Microsoft 365, that can access and analyse large amounts of data, the need for effective access management becomes even more critical. Organisations are finding themselves asking, “How can you ensure that only the right people have access to the right data at the right time?”

Within the Microsoft Security portfolio, Microsoft Entra is the tool that helps you protect your data and resources from unauthorised access and over-permissioning. It leverages a Zero Trust approach, which assumes that no one and nothing is trusted by default, and can verify every request before granting access. With Microsoft Entra, you can implement role-based Conditional Access controls that limit access to data and resources based on the user’s identity, device, location, and other factors. You can also use Microsoft Entra ID Governance to manage the lifecycle of access rights and ensure that they are aligned with the business needs and compliance requirements.

Key Elements for Data Protection

There are three key elements which we can use Microsoft Entra to help protect organisations’ data from not only external threats but also internal threats and inadvertent access to data. These are as follows:

  • Priviliged Identity Management
  • Identity Governance
  • Conditional Access

In this series, I am going to talk about each of these elements and how organisations have struggled to adopt and transform, but equally how this can be tackled utilising the Microsoft toolset. The objective is that security and compliance teams are prepared to take on the next business challenge coming from their organisations around the management of generative AI solutions, such as Copilot for Microsoft 365.

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