Build a privacy-resilient workplace with Microsoft Priva – Microsoft

Today, we celebrate international Data Privacy Day. This day reminds us of the importance of respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust.

However, annual reminders are insufficient to drive material change, which can be seen in the effectiveness rates of one-off trainings. According to the forgetting curve theory, employees forget about 75 percent of training after just six days.1 Imagine the lack of knowledge retention for employees of organizations that only do annual privacy training.

To help you with this challenge, we are excited to re-emphasize our commitment to helping organizations build a privacy-resilient workplace with Microsoft Priva, which was announced by Vasu Jakkal, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity, last year at Ignite. Microsoft Priva is the new brand of privacy solutions provided by Microsoft moving forward. Currently, the Microsoft Priva solution offers two products:

1. Priva Privacy Risk Management: Proactively identify and remediate privacy risks arising from data transfers, overexposure, and hoarding, and empower information workers to make smart data handling decisions.

2. Priva Subject Rights Requests: Manage subject rights requests at scale with automated data discovery and privacy issues detection, built-in review and redact capabilities, and secure collaboration workflows.

Managing privacy data requires understanding the context around the data, including why information workers collect the data and the intent of use. The integration of Microsoft Priva with your day-to-day productivity tools and business applications gives organizations the power to effectively influence employees to make positive decisions on personal data handling. The in-the-moment nudges drive fundamental behavioral changes, helping people make good data handling decisions in the context of their daily activities.

For example, when a user collects personal data but hasn’t used it for more than 180 days, it may no longer have business value but can increase the risk surface area. To adhere to a principle of data minimization, Microsoft Priva can send a system-generated reminder to the data owner to review the file and make a decision to delete or provide a business justification to keep it. Users can easily take action within the Outlook interface, safeguarding personal data without impeding productivity.

Microsoft Priva identifies unused personal data and empower users to make smart data handling decisions, enabling organizations to meet data minimization requirements.

Figure 1. Help identify unused personal data and empower users to make smart data handling decisions.

Privacy administrators can also set up policies to detect personal data overexposure and notify data owners to review access to the file, with similar experience in the abovementioned example. This feature can help companies who audit file or site access manually, which could be time-consuming and overlook risks between audits.

Microsoft Priva can also help govern communication to support organizations meeting data transfer requirements. In Microsoft Teams, the most commonly used communication platform, users can receive near-real-time notifications and guidance when sending personal data across regions or departments. Privacy administrators can customize the transfer boundaries to adhere to the company’s privacy policies.

Microsoft Priva detects cross-border or cross-department communication in Teams and provide just-in-time guidance, enabling organizations to meet data transfer requirements.

Figure 2. Detect cross-border or cross-department data transfer in Teams and provide just-in-time guidance.

In addition to the user experience, Microsoft Priva also provides an aggregated view of privacy posture showing key insights of detected privacy risks. Admins can easily spot privacy issues and fine-tune policies to engage with users. Microsoft Priva solutions are designed with the concept of privacy by default. User information is pseudonymized by default in the admin interface.

Microsoft Priva provides an aggregated view to privacy admins to gain visibility into critical privacy risks arising from data overexposure, data hoarding, and data transfer.

Figure 3. Provide an aggregated view to admins to gain visibility into privacy issues.

Since launching Microsoft Priva, we heard great feedback from customers, including Novartis, the world’s leading pharmaceutical company, which is currently in a trial with Microsoft Priva solutions.

“Microsoft Priva will help us identify and prevent critical privacy risks that arise from transferring private data across borders and oversharing. We’ll empower our employees to mitigate risks themselves, freeing our IT resources to focus on more urgent high-severity risks.”Beni Gelzer, Head of Data Privacy (Switzerland), Novartis

Read more about how Novartis uses Microsoft Priva to enable its employees with a solution that works with them.

Learn more

Microsoft Priva solutions are generally available for customers as an add-on to all Microsoft 365 or Office 365 enterprise subscriptions. If you are interested in learning more about Microsoft Priva solutions, we encourage you to start the 90-day free trial today to experience the product directly. If you can’t see the “start trial” button on the page, contact your Global Admin to gain permission for the solution. Learn more about the trial program in this trial playbook.

We hope that Microsoft Priva can help increase your employees’ awareness of data privacy continuously throughout the year so that you can build a privacy resilient workplace. Happy international Data Privacy Day!

To learn more about Microsoft Security solutions visit our website. Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Also, follow us at @MSFTSecurity for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity. 


1The Forgetting Curve, Data & Visuals, Harvard Business Review. October 2019.

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