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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now in effect, and, for many Irish businesses, it was a struggle to get there. Such a challenge it was that some companies simply wiped all of their collected data and decided to start from scratch!

However, GDPR is just one policy, and as innovations in technology accelerate and our personal identity becomes increasingly intertwined with technology, you can be certain that there will be many variations of GDPR-type laws to come. Rather than struggling to the finish line every time a new regulation is passed, it is time to come up with an effective process for compliance. This is why Microsoft Compliance Manager really is a lifesaver!

What is Microsoft Compliance Manager?

Microsoft Compliance Manager is a standalone solution that can be accessed through the Office 365 suite. Its function, in a nutshell, is to help you manage your compliance. Regulation policies are notoriously complicated, and Microsoft Compliance Manager aims to simplify the process towards becoming compliant by giving you access to everything across the one dashboard.

On your dashboard, you will find tiles for each of the regulations your company needs to comply with, and you can always add more. On each tile, a simple graphic shows your Compliance Score at that time. Microsoft recognises that compliance is a joint effort between it and its clients and so Compliance Manager also shows you Microsoft’s cloud service measured against a regulation of compliance.

Click into a tile and you can see how Microsoft has broken down the articles in the policy into manageable chunks, with recommended actions for each one and the necessary links to product pages. From here, you can assign tasks to specific people who have personalised role-based access controls (RBAC), leaving them a note and setting the level of priority for the task.

What are the benefits?

Compliance is not a choice; it is the law. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t reap some rewards from the situation. Policies such as GDPR are improving personal security in the digital landscape, which can only be a good thing. Let’s have a look at the benefits Microsoft Compliance Manager offers:

  • Documented steps towards compliance: should the Data Protection Commissioner come knocking at the door, you now have evidence of your active progress towards compliance.
  • Trust: complying with the law increases trust for your clients and suppliers. Everyone knows they need to be compliant and that in many situations it is a joint effort. Therefore, it makes sense to only work with companies that are also compliant.
  • Save time: reading through policies, auditing data and implementing compliance policies can be a laborious process. Microsoft Compliance Manager simplifies this process dramatically, reducing tasks to manageable chunks and providing actionable insights.
  • Easy to use: the application’s interface is very user-friendly, which is not a word usually associated with regulatory compliance! With simple graphics, easy task trackability and straightforward auditing controls, becoming compliant is made a lot less daunting.
  • Data protection: this is what compliance is all about – keeping your data and your clients’ data safe. Now you can prevent unlawful use of data and help make the digital world a safer place.

The cloud makes compliance easy

All Microsoft applications are connected to the cloud which is why you can enjoy seamlessly integrating solutions throughout your workday. As a result, what you have is access to a holistic data centre, with every application talking to each other in real time. This is an ideal starting point for becoming compliant with data protection policies.

In our blog, How the cloud makes GDPR compliance easier, we talked about how Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform stores huge amounts of data while ensuring it is always accessible to the user who needs it. Azure’s intelligent cloud service is fortified with industry-leading security, which means that you can always be sure your data is protected. Organised data that is safeguarded by the top security measures and policies available in the market is a fundamental foundation for good compliance and Azure cloud is a fantastic way to get you there.

Tired of trying to keep up with the never-ending roll-out of new data protection regulations? Get in contact with us today and we can point you in the right direction for simple compliance processes that will make your life easier!