Microsoft Copilot for Security – Use Cases for Data Governance Teams Working with Auditors and Consultants

April 22, 2024 | 5 min read

Micah Heaton

Executive Director, Managed Security Center of Excellence

Micah Heaton Square Calcite Duotone

This is the final installment of our Microsoft Copilot for Security blog series. Over the past eight weeks, our weekly blog helped various cyber security groups see possible use cases for Microsoft Copilot for Security. This final blog explores how AI and Microsoft Copilot for Security can assist external auditors and consultants in interacting with Microsoft Purview. 

Azure Policy and Microsoft Purview work together to ensure the proper governance and compliance of data assets: 

  • Policy Enforcement: Azure Policy can be used to enforce governance rules and compliance standards related to data management. 
  • Data Classification: Purview data classification can be used in conjunction with Azure Policy to enforce governance rules. 
  • Compliance Reporting: Azure Policy can be utilized to ensure that data governance policies defined by Azure Purview are enforced.   

While Azure Policy and Purview are distinct services, they can be integrated into an organization's broader governance and compliance frameworks. For example, you might use Azure Policy to enforce specific data management rules identified through Azure Purview's data discovery and classification capabilities.  

External auditors and consultants for Microsoft Purview can play a crucial role in ensuring that an organization's data governance and compliance practices are effective and align with requirements. Here are some reasons why external auditors may need access to Purview:

  • Independent verification 
  • Regulatory compliance alignment:    
  • Provide advice on best practices and standards  
  • Risk management  
  • Third-party assurance 
  • Continuous Improvement 
  • Legal and contractual obligations and requirements 

It's essential to consider security and compliance implications carefully when granting auditors and consultants external access to data governance tools like Microsoft Purview. Microsoft Copilot for Security can help with:

  • Setting Permissions: Ensure that the appropriate permissions are configured within Microsoft Purview to allow external auditors access. 
  • Defining Access Controls: Determine which data sources and assets within Microsoft Purview the external auditors can access.  
  • Monitoring and Auditing: Help implement monitoring and auditing mechanisms to track the activities of external auditors and consultants within Microsoft Purview.  

Once everything is configured and access established, Microsoft Security for Copilot can help optimize the efficiency of external consultants and auditors. 

  • Enhance external audits through Microsoft Purview.   
  • Export data for independent analysis in Azure Policy   
  • Inform external security consultations through Microsoft Purview 

More Efficient Auditors and Consultants 

Using Copilot for Security to improve the external audit of Microsoft Purview involves leveraging advanced analytics and automation to enhance audit procedures, increase efficiency, and ensure compliance.   

  • Automated Data Sampling: Intelligently sample data from Microsoft Purview based on risk factors, such as data sensitivity or usage frequency. Select representative samples for audit testing, reducing manual effort and ensuring comprehensive coverage. 
  • Data Governance Anomaly Detection: Identify irregularities or outliers in data governance practices within Microsoft Purview to help auditors focus on specific areas 
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Policy Compliance: Analyze data governance policies, regulations, and contractual agreements stored in Microsoft Purview. Extract critical terms and clauses to compare these documents against actual data practices to identify discrepancies. 
  • Automated Audit Documentation: Summarize audit results, identify compliance gaps, and recommend remediation actions in human-readable reports.   
  • Audit Planning and Resource Allocation: Analyze data governance metrics and audit history to optimize audit planning and resource allocation for Microsoft Purview audits. Prioritize audit tasks, allocate resources effectively, and improve audit outcomes. 

By combining Copilot for Security with Microsoft Purview, consultants and auditors can enhance audit procedures, identify compliance risks proactively, and ensure that data governance practices meet regulatory requirements and organizational standards.  

Simplify Analyzing Data in Azure Policy 

Microsoft Copilot for Security can help facilitate exporting Purview data to Azure Policy for analysis.  

  • Automated Data Extraction: Parse through Purview's metadata, classification labels, and access logs to extract relevant data for analysis.  
  • Data Mapping and Transformation: Map and extract data from Purview to the required format for Azure Policy analysis. Transform metadata attributes, classification labels, and access control policies into a standardized format compatible with Azure Policy. 
  • Semantic Enrichment: Add context or metadata. Enrich data classifications with industry standards, regulatory requirements, or organizational policies. 
  • Integration with Azure Policy APIs: Orchestrate the export of Purview data to Azure Policy using APIs and integration frameworks and dynamically adjust data mappings, transformations, and analysis parameters based on evolving requirements and feedback from Azure Policy. 
  • Continuous Monitoring and Adaptive Policy Enforcement: Monitor data governance activities within Purview and Azure Policy. Detect changes in data classifications, access patterns, or policy adherence in real time and trigger automated responses or policy adjustments to maintain compliance. 

With Microsoft Copilot for Security, organizations can streamline the export of Purview data to Azure Policy for analysis, enhance compliance assessment capabilities, and ensure alignment with regulatory requirements and organizational policies. 

Keep Security Consultations Informed Through Microsoft Purview 

Microsoft Copilot for Security can inform external security consultants using Microsoft Purview by providing valuable insights and analytics regarding data governance, compliance, and security risks.  

  • Anomaly Detection: Identify irregularities or suspicious activities within Purview's metadata and access logs, such as unauthorized access attempts, unusual data access patterns, or potential security breaches. 
  • Compliance Monitoring: Monitoring data governance practices within Purview to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards. Identify areas of non-compliance and recommend remediation actions. 
  • Risk Assessment: Analyze data governance metrics, access controls, and data usage patterns within Purview to assess security risks. External security consultants can use risk assessments to prioritize security measures and allocate resources. 
  • Security Incident Response: Automate incident response capabilities to streamline incident management processes, reduce response times, and minimize the impact of security breaches. 
  • Predictive Analytics: Use historical data and predictive analytics to proactively implement security measures and mitigate potential risks before they escalate into security incidents. 
  • User Behavior Analytics: Analyze user behavior within Purview to detect insider threats, unauthorized access attempts, or data misuse.  
  • Training: Collect and analyze user behavior to identify security training needs, improve user awareness, and foster a security culture within the organization.  

With Copilot for Security, external security consultants can gain deeper visibility into the organization's data governance practices, assess security risks more effectively, and collaborate with internal stakeholders to strengthen the organization's overall security posture. 

By leveraging Microsoft Copilot for Security, organizations can optimize the efficacy of auditors and consultants. This results in more proactive compliance management, an enhanced security posture, and reduced costly manual activities. 

BlueVoyant is an early adaptor of Microsoft Security for Copilot and a member of the Microsoft Design Advisory Council for Copilot for Security. Our commitment to our clients is to continually guide how and where to optimize security operations with Microsoft, including Copilot for Security.  

This concludes this Microsoft Copilot for Security use case blog series. Please stay tuned for more helpful insights from BlueVoyant into how organizations can benefit from Microsoft Copilot for Security.