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3 Ways to Better Your Office 365 Compliance Program with Compliance Guardian Online

As organizations make the move to the Microsoft Cloud, issues like data privacy, security, and compliance are still top of mind. While Microsoft has made significant efforts to improve the compliance functionality of the Office 365 platform, as we discussed during our Cloud Arcade series, there is still a lot to be desired from native capabilities alone. With the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looming, it is more important than ever for companies to be able to not just discover sensitive content in the cloud, but also classify and take action on it.

To build on Microsoft’s investments and give organizations looking to go all in on the cloud the robust security and data protection features they need, we introduced AvePoint Compliance Guardian Online back in 2013. Entirely Azure-hosted and part of our AvePoint Online Services offering, Compliance Guardian Online helps organizations minimize risk of privacy violations across Office 365, websites, web applications, and other cloud platforms. We’re pleased to announce that the latest version of Compliance Guardian Online is now available.

This new version brings about feature parity with our on-premises Compliance Guardian platform and adheres to the following similar themes:

  • Data discovery and classification
  • Real-time data protection for Office 365
  • Incident management and reporting

With Compliance Guardian Online, users and administrators can now scan SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Yammer, and Websites on both a schedule and in real time while accessing our complete Incident Management system through a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering. Take a look at three of our newest features in Compliance Guardian Online below.

1.    Streamlined Incident Management in the Cloud

To help your teams deal with compliance incidents swiftly and completely, Compliance Guardian Online has added the Incident Management System, an updated Report Center that includes dashboards, the Compliance Guardian Online Heatmap, and Trend Reports. The Incident Management Center allows for a single location to review and remediate any incidents that are discovered in your environment. From a single location, you can reassign incidents, take action on items that have been flagged for review, and export incidents for consumption in other systems such as a security information and event management solution.

Figure 1: Incident Manager in Compliance Guardian Online
Figure 1: Incident Manager in Compliance Guardian Online

Updated dashboards allow for the use of multiple views to provide a holistic picture of the data in your environment. Using these dashboards, it becomes easy to quickly identify the most pressing issues in an environment. Using the Heatmap allows for a top-level view of the most sensitive areas in your environment. With options to view by scope or type of scan you are running, the Heatmap allows you to identify at a glance where the most sensitive content lives in your environment based on the number of violations, an associated risk score, and other customizable and out-of-the-box considerations. Finally, Trend Reporting in the Incident Management Center allows you to track the progress you are making in improving organizational compliance in your environment. You can quickly view a historical record of the number of violations based on your selected factors and track the improvement or decline of your data’s sensitivity and disposition.

Figure 2: Updated Dashboard in Compliance Guardian Online
Figure 2: Updated Dashboard in Compliance Guardian Online

Using this functionality, you can exceed the security features provided natively for both detection and remediation of incidents in your environment. Combined with other native Microsoft Cloud technology, such as Azure RMS, Compliance Guardian Online and Office 365 are better together.

Figure 3: Updated Heatmap in Compliance Guardian Online
Figure 3: Updated Heatmap in Compliance Guardian Online

2. Real-time Scanning Across Your Office 365 Investments

Compliance Guardian Online’s updated Scanner Manager enables easy-to-use plan creation for an expanded number of sources to include SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Yammer, and Websites. Additionally, the plan creation has been brought into parity with Compliance Guardian 4.0 to increase usability and user adoption. Whether you’re looking to run a standard out of the box scan for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or HIPAA compliance, or creating a heavily customized scan for a specific use case, the new Scanner Manger provides a straightforward graphical way to create scans.

Figure 4: Scheduled Scan and Source Options
Figure 4: Scheduled Scan and Source Options

The addition of real-time scanning allows you to scan and validate content as it is introduced into your environment, minimizing risk and ensuring that your users can learn from their mistakes without exposing you to potential fines and breaches.

Figure 5: Real-Time Scan and Source Options
Figure 5: Real-Time Scan and Source Options
Figure 6: Updated Scan Creation
Figure 6: Updated Scan Creation

3. Updated Control Panel

Updates to the Control Panel include sweeping changes in the Test Suite Manager and Check Manager. Utilizing the simplicity of the updated interface, it is easier than ever to customize your scans to a specific use case and work at the granularity that your organization needs. Utilizing the Compliance Guardian classification system, it is easy to create reusable checks that can be implemented in multiple scopes that have different associated actions. By breaking out the Test Suites and Checks from the Scan plan, the reusability of the solution is exponentially increased! This will allow you to create consistent and repeatable processes throughout your organization and across multiple systems, reducing both the workload required to generate new scans as well as time to go live for new sources and scopes.

Figure 7: Updated Control Panel in Compliance Guardian Online
Figure 7: Updated Control Panel in Compliance Guardian Online
Figure 8: Updated Check Manager in Compliance Guardian Online
Figure 8: Updated Check Manager in Compliance Guardian Online
Figure 9: Updated Test Suite Manager in Compliance Guardian Online
Figure 9: Updated Test Suite Manager in Compliance Guardian Online

Try AvePoint Compliance Guardian Online Today

For organizations looking to improve their Office 365 compliance program and implement better information security in the cloud, Compliance Guardian Online offers a robust incident management engine, deep reporting, and extensive scan capability in both scheduled and real-time scenarios with an improved interface. To get started, I encourage you to visit our AvePoint Online Services page to get started with your free trial today.

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