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The digital age has massively increased the amount of data organisations use for day-to-day business, which has triggered a sharp rise in Data Breach and Data Loss incidents. Protecting sensitive data has never been more essential to business operations, and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a crucial component of any comprehensive data security strategy.

Azure Purview is Microsoft’s data governance solution that provides a powerful platform that helps you safeguard organisational data effectively. In this blog, we will explore the importance of Data Loss Prevention and how Azure Purview can help you accomplish it.

So, what exactly is Data Loss Prevention?

Data Loss Prevention, which can be abbreviated to DLP, is set of tools and processes used to ensure that sensitive data is not lost, misused, or accessed by unauthorised users. So basically, it prevents staff from oversharing or accessing sensitive data albeit by accident or on purpose.

If you are thinking why DLP is important to your business, you have to look no further than a 2023 study by Verizon which found that “small instances” of data loss (losing 100 files or less) cost businesses on average between $18,120 to $35,730 and that large-scale data loss (100+ million records) cost an average of $5 million to $15.6 million!

It is also important to note the difference between a Data Breach and a Data Loss event. Data loss is typically accidental and results from various non-malicious factors which result in the loss, deletion, or destruction of data, while a Data Breach is a deliberate, unauthorized intrusion into a system or network by malicious actors with the intent to access, steal, or disclose sensitive data.

While the two terms describe different types of events, they sometimes overlap. For example, data breaches will occasionally involve the destruction of data after it has been stolen. Additionally, threats like ransomware, which effectively destroy data with encryption, are sometimes referred to as breaches because of the malware’s ability to break through security measures.

Introducing Azure Purview

Azure Purview DLP is Microsoft’s answer to Data Loss.  It is a centralised software tool that classifies regulated confidential and critical business data and identifies violations of policies defined by organizations or within Microsoft’s pre-defined policy driven by regulatory compliance (to name a few, HIPPA, PCI-DSS and GDPR).

The key to implementing Azure Purview DLP successfully comes down the correct classification of data and configuration of policies within the Platform itself. Data classification within Azure Purview allows a client to map out all its data assets and then categorise such assets by assigning unique logical tags or by data sensitivity.

Azure Purview Data Map provides an automated classification capability while you scan your data sources making DLP extremely easy in certain cases. Policy configuration within Azure Purview allows an organisation to create a rule of how classified data can be shared or stored inside and outside of the the organisation’s network and then once deployed will be enforced on the entire IT estate.

Essentially, to protect your business from Data Loss with Azure Purview all you need to do is tag your sensitive data then create an enforceable rule which controls how the data can be stored or sent.

On top of this, any instance of data failing to be sent due to the restrictions of a DLP policy will send notifications to a staff member that is tasked with monitoring the Purview DLP platform, ensuring complete transparency of how data is sent, stored, and used across the organisation.

Using Azure Purview DLP is straightforward as it is easy to turn on, does not require the installation of any agents and has built-in protection for Microsoft 365 cloud services, Office applications, Microsoft Edge, and on endpoint devices. Azure Purview DLP controls can be further implemented on Chrome and Firefox browsers and to various non-Microsoft cloud applications such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

In Summary

All in all, Azure Purview is an extremely well-made tool and should allow you to create a robust network infrastructure that is protected from the majority of Data Loss risks.

Hopefully, this blog has given you a slight insight into Azure Purview DLP and how it could protect your organisation from the Pitfalls of Data Loss. If you are interested in learning more about this topic or anything else cyber security related that could help your businesses security posture, please feel free to reach out to