DLP in Office 365 To Keep Your Organization’s Data Safe and Secure

Marketing Team Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • May 4th, 2021

Securing the content of the information sent via email is possible with the help of DLP in office 365. There’s increasing use of emails in organizations because it is believed to be the standard for formal communication. Statistics account for over 100 billion emails being sent and received daily.

When you need a password reset where do you get the information? Your email, even back transaction codes are communicated via email. This evidence asserts that emails in an organization and anywhere contain sensitive information. The nature of this sensitive information is such that if they transit to the wrong hands, security is compromised.  Given that emails are frequently used in organizations. Studies confirm that oversight mistakes amongst other common errors make employee dispatch emails to the wrong hands. As little as a misspelled address could pass sensitive information to unauthorized persons.

Organizations certainly do not want to trust their employees not to make mistakes given the pressure they work under. Neither do you want your IT team or CSO to have sleepless nights over whether or not something was sent correctly? With Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange provide Data Loss Prevention (DLP) you can protect confidential information and identify data leakages in outgoing mails.

DLP in Office 365 – How it Works?

In 2013 Microsoft launched a DLP for SharePoint and DLP for OneDrive. Later that year, they added the Exchange Online Feature managed by the Exchange Administration Center (EAC) in the 365  Admin Portal.

This DLP policy features Exchange Online scans through the body of mails and their attachments for confidential information. A DLP policy normally monitors, detects, and protects confidential information. With the Exchange features through the transport rules, you can detect and identify sensitive information in your email. The tech used to detect sensitive information is a blend of keyword matching, machine matching, regular expressions evaluation, dictionary matches, and thorough content review.

Organizations Can Do More

With office 365 you can have the contents of your email checked for sensitive information. Nevertheless, organizations need to do much more if they are going to guarantee the security of data in their custody. It doesn’t make sense that your employees are oblivious to data loss prevention policies, not security risks and threats.

There’s gap organizations have failed to see. Although, office 365 guarantees that your email would be checked for sensitive data. The ball is in the court of your employees to take corrective actions that do not compromise data security. The bigger puzzle is, do they know what to do?

This explains why organizations must educate employees on the compliance policy in the organization. Employees must never be lost on what’s confidential/shareable data in the organization. Employees also need to know what action to take when the DLP policy is infringed.

DLP Policy Tips

So that employees can have a grasp of compliance policies. We have put together a few DLP policy tips and how it works.

First, you must understand what’s a DLP policy tip. It’s simple, a policy tip is a warning that pops up when an employee is doing contrary to what your DLP policy stipulates. Through these policy tips, you’re able to notify an employee of the existing compliance policy they are already aware of and how what they are about to do negates the compliance policy. You can create your policy and integrate policy tips to help your employees operate efficiently.

Every rule you create in your policy can have an accompanying policy tip.  You can achieve a uniform standard by ensuring your policy tips:

  • Notifies employees that the action they are about to take negates the compliance policy.
  • Requests them to take action to resolve the conflict in the data policy.
  • Allows employees to override the DLP policy if necessary.
  • Alternatively, you can have employees put in writing a justification for overriding your organization’s DLP policy. This is so you can always track reports for why an override was made.
  • Allow employees to report a false positive and override the DLP policy. When they report a false positive, they automatically report to the system. This means you get to see reports and fine-tune your rules where necessary.

Setting Up Organization’s DLP Policy in Office 365

There’s only one piece of information that hasn’t been demystified in this resource. Let’s get to it, how do you go about setting up your DLP policy. There are about three ways to set up your DLP policy for securing your mails through office 365

  1. Make use of already made DLP policy templates from Microsoft. Truth is, with a lean team policy creation could take longer than you have patience for. Invest the hard work in reviewing policy templates from Microsoft to find what works for your organization’s security needs.
  1. Source for DLP policy from other software vendors. organizations can look up reputable software vendors other than Microsoft for their DLP policy templates. Because these pre-built policy templates are external to your messaging environment you can expect optimal performance relative to your organization’s needs.
  1. Create your custom policy. If you have the human resources and other resources needed you can create your custom DLP policy. This is usually the only option for organizations that have needs that demand a custom policy. Sometimes organizations don’t want to source from DLP policy from software vendors. The reason is far-fetched, they have more faith in the custom DLP policies they create.

You can create policies in test mode. This way you get to run a background check of what your DLP policy functions like. Your IT team can use the results from the testing to determine improvement and security gaps.  After implementing your DLP policy it’s good practice to monitor its functionality and receive reports per time of its performance.


Emails need data security and prevention from data loss because of the sensitive information communicated through them. Although the office 365 olds hope through the Exchange feature. There’s an increasing need to educate employees on compliance policy, DLP policy tips, and security threats/risks. Putting all these measures in place is the only way an organization can optimally profit from using Office 365 for the data security of their mails. Anything short of this standard isn’t more reliable.