In an effort to fall in compliance with the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the European Union has scheduled to implement on May 25th of this year, Microsoft Corp. has released to beta testing their own tools to assist corporations and clients to abide by the new rules. The GDPR affects companies based in the EU and companies that use the personally identifiable information (PII) of European citizens, and subjects the practices of how such information is used and stored to higher standards of protection.
Microsoft Corp. has made available for beta testing two tools across Azure cloud, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 – the Compliance Manager and the Azure Information Protection Scanner. Let’s take a closer look at the purpose and functionality of each.
At the heart of the Compliance Manager is the question: “Am I meeting the data protection guides and standards as written out in the GDPR?”
Nick Postma, an information technology manager at Dutch healthcare firm Abrona, comments that the “Compliance Manager really adds great additional value for Microsoft Cloud services by providing insights on the relationships between regulation, processes, and technology.”
Through the Compliance Manager, each company that relies on Microsoft cloud services to fulfill its day-to-day functions receives a so-called “Compliance Score” that assesses the current overall standing of each service in relation to the GDPR.
Second, there’s the Azure Information Protection Scanner. Simply put, this tool enables clients to identify the documents left vulnerable as defined by the framework of the GDPR and are in need of additional protections.
A statement from Microsoft on its functionality reads: “We’re also going to expand sensitive data types to include a GDPR template to consolidate sensitive data types into a single template.” The tool will be crucial for companies to experience a smooth transition into full compliance with the GDPR guidelines.