M365 Copilot: Preparing Your Environment 

Embarking on deploying Microsoft 365 (M365) Copilot across your M365 tenant?  

Securing your data is paramount. Here’s a streamlined guide to setting up a robust environment, ensuring your information is protected while maximising Copilot’s potential. 

Access Controls and Reviews 

Implementing strong access controls is foundational to a secure M365 setup. Use access reviews to ensure users have the data they need for their roles—nothing more, nothing less. As projects evolve and roles shift, updating permissions is crucial. With Copilot able to draft responses from any accessible data, managing access is essential to prevent unnecessary exposure. Regular access reviews streamline permissions, reduce data breach risks, and ensure compliance. By limiting access to only necessary data, you enhance both security and operational efficiency. 

Data Protection 

Identifying and labelling sensitive data is critical. Purview Information Protection labels can control user access and usage rights, regulating what Copilot can access. Copilot respects Purview labels, ensuring generated documents inherit the appropriate labels from referenced documents. This protection is key for maintaining confidentiality and data integrity. By using these labels, you safeguard against unauthorised access, ensuring sensitive data is used appropriately and mitigating potential risks. 

Data Governance 

Effective data governance involves implementing retention policies to manage data lifecycles. These policies ensure outdated or irrelevant data is deleted, maintaining a high-quality data environment for Copilot. Accurate, relevant data is essential—obsolete information can cause serious issues, like incorrect contracts or pricing schedules. Regularly auditing and purging outdated data keeps your repository clean and efficient. This enhances Copilot’s performance and ensures your data is accurate, relevant, and compliant. 

SharePoint and Teams 

Robust controls in SharePoint and Teams prevent oversharing and improper posting. Limiting users’ ability to create Teams and establishing a clear process for team creation and membership management reduces data exposure risks. Implement change controls to oversee new Teams, ensuring memberships and sharing settings are correctly configured. Modify default sharing permissions in SharePoint and Teams to be more restrictive. Permissions can be adjusted on a per-site or per-Team basis, providing flexibility while maintaining security. 

Preparing your environment for M365 Copilot involves a comprehensive approach to data security and governance. By implementing strong access controls, protecting sensitive data with labels, governing data with retention policies, and managing sharing settings in SharePoint and Teams, you create a secure and efficient environment for Copilot to thrive. These steps safeguard your data and ensure Copilot delivers accurate, relevant insights, boosting productivity and security. 

Evolve North is dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of modern IT environments. Stay ahead of the curve with our expert guidance and ensure your M365 deployment is secure, efficient, and ready to elevate your business.  

Give us a call 01748 905 002 or email [email protected]

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