Where does Microsoft 365 store your data? A detailed guide

Where Does Microsoft 365 Store Your Data? In today’s fast-paced digital world, data is the lifeblood of any organization. It is the foundation upon which decisions are made, strategies are formulated, and success is measured. As a user or admin of Microsoft 365, you have access to a powerful suite of tools that enable you to create, store, and manage your data with ease. But with so many applications and features, it can be challenging to know where your data is stored and how to access it.

This blog post will help you understand the various storage locations for Microsoft 365 applications so you can answer the question, Where does Microsoft 365 store your data?

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Retention vs. Archive vs. Backup: How to Manage and Govern Your Microsoft 365 Data

Are you struggling to manage your data in Microsoft 365? Do you want to avoid losing your data, violating regulations, or wasting storage space? If so, you need to know the differences between retention, archive, and backup. These are three data management options that can help you protect your data, comply with rules, and optimise your performance. But what are they exactly, and how do they work? In this article, I will answer these questions and more. I will explain the main features and benefits of each option, along with any risks involved. I will also provide some scenarios where you might want to use one or more of these options and how Microsoft solutions can support you.

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How to add sensitivity labels to your existing Microsoft 365 Groups, Teams and SharePoint sites

How to add sensitivity labels to my existing groups, teams and sites? This was a question I was asked after one of my previous blogs on how to protect your groups, Teams and sites. If you only have a small number of groups, teams and sites, then it is easy to manually add the container sensitivity label to each group team or site. But what happens when you have thousands of groups, couples and sites?

Fortunately, there is a way to automate this task using PnP PowerShell. In this blog post, I will walk you through the steps needed first to analyze your existing groups, teams and site and then to programmatically apply container sensitivity labels to your existing Teams, Groups, and Sites in Microsoft 365 to help you protect your important data from unauthorized access and accidental sharing.

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How to use Microsoft 365 Retention Policies and Labels

Are you struggling to stay compliant with industry regulations and company policies when it comes to managing your organization’s data? Look no further, because Microsoft 365 retention can help you stay compliant and secure. Microsoft Purview Data Lifecycle and Records Management provides powerful tools to enable you to automatically retain or delete content based on your retention schedules.

In this blog, I will walk you through the basics of setting up retention policies and labels in Microsoft 365, so you can start meeting regulatory requirements and protecting your organisation’s sensitive information.

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How to use sensitivity labels with your PDF files

Did you know you can now label your PDF files with the same sensitivity labels you use with your Word, PowerPoint and Excel files?

Using Microsoft Purview sensitivity labels, you can add a visible classification label, protect your PDF files with encryption and add visible marking such as headers, footers and watermarks. Your PDF file now respects any Data loss Prevention policies, such as blocking external sharing of confidential data.

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How to allow auto-forwarding to Teams channels

Email forwarding can be useful, but poses a security risk due to the potential disclosure of information. Therefore the Anti-spam outbound policy blocks the auto-forwarding at the tenant level by default. Although this minimises the security risks, it hampers productivity since there are valid reasons to allow auto-forwarding to an external domain.

There are valid use cases for external email forwarding such as:

  • To support the adoption of Microsoft Teams and the concept of working in Teams rather than sending email. However, users cannot auto-forward emails to a Teams channel, because the Teams channel email addresses are external email addresses, for example (uniqueid@emea.teams.ms or uniqueid@uk.teams.ms).
  • Auto-forwarding emails to a third-party system, such as CRM or ticketing system for processing.

Read on to learn how to allow auto-forwarding to Teams channels and other authorised external domains to increase productivity and reduce security risks.

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How to use sensitivity labels to control access to Microsoft Teams, Groups and Sites

Are you using Microsoft Purview sensitivity labels to control access to Microsoft Teams, Groups and Sites? If not, why not?

Did you know that your Guest access and external sharing controls are managed at the tenant level? As a result, security becomes ‘one size fits all’ rather than providing granular security controls based on Teams, Groups, and Sites’ confidentiality requirements.

For example

  • When guest access is enabled, Team owners can add external guests to all Microsoft Teams, Groups and SharePoint sites.
  • When you create a new Team or a Group, the default SharePoint external sharing is set to New and existing guests unless your tenant setting is more restrictive. So Team members can share Team content externally.

Check out the information below to learn how you can use sensitivity labels to apply granular security controls to Teams, Groups, and Sites.

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How Microsoft Purview Compliance Manager supports your compliance journey

We are in the middle of a digital revolution where information is a strategic asset, hybrid working is the norm and protecting your information assets is crucial to maintaining trust and meeting compliance requirements. As a result, organisations are now seeking external certifications such as ISO27001, Cyber Essentials or NIST 800-53 to manage compliance risks and to provide assurance of their overall information security and compliance posture.

Microsoft Purview Compliance Manager is a great solution to demystify the complexities of compliance by offering templates, improvements actions and risk-based reporting.

Using Microsoft Purview Compliance Manager, I was able to suggest best practices for our Microsoft 365 environment to help CloudWay achieve ISO27001 certification. Read CloudWay’s blog on becoming an ISO 27001 certified company.

Read on to see how Compliance Manager can support your compliance journey.

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Do you know you can now upload your improvements actions into the Microsoft Purview Compliance Manager

📢It’s good news for Microsoft Purview Compliance Manager.

You can now bulk import your updated improvement actions directly into Microsoft Purview Compliance Manager using the Improvement actions export report. With no APIs or programmatic interfaces, bulk import is a significant improvement.

Having the ability to work on your improvement actions outside of the Microsoft Purview Admin Center is extremely helpful. You can work on the improvement actions with multiple businesses and IT stakeholders without giving them admin rights. In the past, any changes to improvement actions had to be manually updated in Compliance Manager. Organisations often only focus on the initial export of data, so they miss out on automatic testing notifications, reporting and updates.

By using the Excel export file to bulk upload your changes into Compliance Manager, there is no need to rekey any information, which is a significant time-saving improvement.

Additionally, keeping the Compliance Manager updated lets you see the impact of changes to regulations or configuration changes via automated testing.

Read on to find out more.

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How to manage guest access reviews in Microsoft 365

With guest access switched on for Microsoft Teams, do you have a process to manage guest access reviews?

It is easy for Team owners to invite external guests into their Team. However, how do you proactively review guest accounts to ensure people only have access as long as they need it?

With internal users, there are joiners, movers and leavers processes to manage access and reviews, but these processes typically exclude guest users.

Read on to see how you create a regular review of external guest access to ensure they only have access as long as necessary.

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