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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

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333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
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March 8, 2024 | Chris Clark

3 Critical Steps to Getting the Most Out of Your Microsoft Purview Investment

Microsoft Purview is a complex solution because it’s so comprehensive. Fortunately, MSPs are well-positioned to help.

Maintaining compliance is top-of-mind for many small to midsize businesses (SMBs) as more states implement General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR-style laws. And there’s buzz that a federal data privacy mandate will be passed in the not-too-distant future.

Holistic solutions are on the rise that make it possible for teams to govern, protect, and manage their entire data estate within a single, consolidated dashboard. Deploying Microsoft Purview can make sense for the millions of organizations that already are Microsoft customers — and, in fact, for anyone looking for unified data governance and risk management within a full-featured product portfolio.

That said, Microsoft Purview is a complex solution because it’s so comprehensive, bringing together a wide range of capabilities that were formerly part of Azure Purview and Microsoft 365 Compliance.

Getting the most out of an investment in Purview isn’t easy, but it’s more than worthwhile since it can safeguard the business against regulatory risk, protect high-value data assets, and ensure that information is available when and where it’s most needed.

Chris Clark of Netrix Global.

Chris Clark

Many organizations will require outside expertise to help them maximize the value of their Purview deployment. Fortunately, MSPs are well positioned to help. Let’s take a closer look at the three most important steps your clients should take when implementing Microsoft Purview.

No. 1: Integrate Existing Data Sources

Purview can give organizations visibility across their entire data estates, while making it simpler to manage this data from a centralized location. But maximizing data visibility and control will require integrating as many of the existing data sources as possible.

This will enable Purview to discover and classify sensitive data across the entire technology ecosystem, regardless of whether this data resides in the cloud, a corporate data center, or an endpoint device.

To figure out which types of data are considered “sensitive” within your industry, involve stakeholders from the organization’s legal, risk management, and executive leadership teams. Once these requirements have been defined, the MSP can leverage data discovery tools to determine exactly which sources should be integrated into Purview.

No. 2: Build and Enforce Robust Data Protection Policies

Though Purview’s capabilities are far-reaching, it’s essentially a tool that helps teams develop and enforce data protection policies.

Purview can make it easier to translate complex regulatory requirements into specific improvement actions, but creating effective policies still requires a nuanced understanding of the individual organization’s data-related risks, industry-specific compliance requirements, and future plans.

Less mature businesses may benefit from the guidance of third-party experts like a vCISO (virtual chief information security officer) to help translate regulations into concrete entities, such as data classifiers and data loss prevention rules.

No. 3 Train Your Employees

To get the most out of Purview, it’s imperative to teach your staff how to use it.

Purview can play a role in many aspects of data lifecycle management, including audit readiness, eDiscovery, insider risk management, and data mapping. But it can deliver this value only if its users understand how to manage alerts, leverage automation to mitigate risks, and respond to any data security incidents that may occur.

Purview is natively integrated with Microsoft Copilot 365. This makes it possible to harness the power of generative AI within an organization’s data governance and compliance program, so teams can manage their Purview deployment with simple-to-understand natural language prompts. Still, the better employees understand how and why it does what it does, the more effective they’ll be at using Purview to discover, classify, and protect their organization’s highest-value data.

MSPs that understand the growing importance of data governance and compliance offerings in today’s market stand to win over competitors that do not. Microsoft Purview is comprehensive, cost-efficient, and capable of meeting nearly every organization’s unique needs.

Being able to offer your clients an intelligently designed, best practices-driven Purview implementation strategy can set your business apart.


Chris Clark is manager, Microsoft Security at Netrix Global.

Image: iStock


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