If you use SharePoint or OneDrive at work – Microsoft Copilot, the new AI tool from Microsoft, could unintentionally expose your sensitive documents and data. 

HR, Finance, Sales, Marketing and all of you out there dealing with information you’d like to have locked down – keep reading. This is legitimately something you need to get a firm handle on.  

Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft Copilot is going to be integrated across the whole Microsoft 365 suite of tools – Word, Excel, Outlook, SharePoint and OneDrive to name a few. It is a productivity powerhouse and honestly an exciting new tool. It will revolutionise the way we work.  

The catch? Copilot’s abilities are directly linked to the permissions and access you already have within your company’s Microsoft environment. This is where things can get a bit risky. 

Anything saved on SharePoint sites or in OneDrive folders is essentially fair game for Copilot’s super-powered search capabilities. We’re talking an AI assistant that can understand and sift through thousands of documents in incredibly nuanced ways – far beyond the basic keyword matching we’re used to. 

That means Jo in Accounts could potentially ask Copilot about a high-level finance initiative, and inadvertently gain visibility into budget forecasts, acquisition information and other sensitive materials they wouldn’t have found with a regular search. Or well-meaning Sam in Sales might unintentionally expose HR records, client contracts, or other confidential data – simply by posing an innocent query to their new AI Copilot… And then tell all their colleagues about what they found. 

Microsoft SharePoint and OneDrive often suffer from poorly configured permissions as people struggle to either understand or maintain the settings. Because of this, inadequate permission settings can result in unauthorised access to sensitive information, including financial data, employee salaries, performance reviews, and other confidential documents.   

This Pandora’s box of new data privacy and security considerations needs to be reckoned with proactively. When was the last time you thought about reviewing the access on all of your documents? 

Getting your business ready for Microsoft Copilot 

Whether your business plans to implement Copilot or not, or Microsoft turns it on for everyone, now is the time to assess and fortify your data security measures. A proactive approach ensures that your data remains protected, regardless of the tools at play. It’s not just about Copilot; it’s about safeguarding your business’ most valuable asset – its data. By addressing permission issues and implementing strong security measures now, your business can minimise the risk of data exposure and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements.  

6 key steps to enhance your business’ data security 

1. Review and adjust permissions: Conduct a comprehensive review of SharePoint and OneDrive permissions, ensuring that only authorised individuals have access to sensitive data and that access rights are aligned with organisational policies and guidelines. 

2. Educate employees: Provide training on data security best practices, emphasising the importance of responsible data handling and the implications of unauthorised access. 

3. Implement least privilege access: Adopt a least privilege access model, granting employees only the permissions necessary to perform their job roles, minimising the risk of data exposure. 

4. Monitor and audit access: Regularly monitor user activity and audit access permissions to detect any anomalies or unauthorised access attempts promptly. 

5. Enforce data loss prevention policies: Implement policies to prevent the accidental or intentional sharing of sensitive information outside of your business. 

6. Partner with Pi Digital: Leverage Pi Digital’s expertise in data security and compliance. Our team can conduct a thorough review of your current security posture, provide tailored recommendations and implement the right solutions to help your business mitigate risks effectively.

How can Pi Digital help your business address Microsoft Copilot security concerns? 

To protect your business and reduce the risk of Microsoft Copilot prompt-hacking, you must look at proactively implementing security measures now. Our team of specialists can help secure your business and data through comprehensive data access reviews, user training programmes, and robust security controls. By prioritising data security and adopting a proactive stance, your organisation can harness the power of AI while safeguarding your sensitive information. With the right approach to data security, your business can navigate the AI landscape confidently and protect your data assets in the age of Copilot. 

If you’re ready to secure your organisation’s data, we’re here to help. Get in touch with Pi Digital today for a free data security assessment and discover how our tailored solutions can help you navigate the challenges of Microsoft Copilot and safeguard your business’ sensitive information.

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