Microsoft Purview: Here’s Everything IT Admins Need to Know About Microsoft’s New Data Governance Platform

Microsoft Purview: Here’s Everything IT Admins Need to Know About Microsoft’s New Data Governance Platform

December 3, 2022

Microsoft 365 is a massive platform with lots of different apps under its umbrella. If you’re an IT administrator, it may sometimes feel overwhelming to contend with all the new changes happening behind the scenes.

It may even feel reasonable to write off Microsoft Purview as yet another attempt at refurbishing an existing offering for corporate reasons.

But, Microsoft Purview is more than just a rebrand for Azure Purview. It’s part of the platform’s new approach toward breaking down existing silos to create a unified solution for data governance and data protection.

By combining Azure Purview withthe former Microsoft Security and Compliance Center, the platform is signalling a more cohesive approach to data management for your entire cloud ecosystem and portfolio.

Today, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know to prepare your organization for Microsoft Purview — including how to make use of the newly unified discoverability and security functionalities to create a comprehensive governance framework for your organization’s data. 

There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s dig in!

What Is Microsoft Purview?

Microsoft Purview is a newly-launched data governance platform that combines the former Azure Purview with Microsoft Security and Compliance Center. It works by extracting metadata from the organization’s IT infrastructure to discover and catalog company data.

The idea is to create a single-pane-of-glass platform that provides a complete view of your organization’s data estate and security status, both on-premises and cloud-based.

But, Purview has implications that go beyond just one platform.

DevOps is all about breaking down silos to create a holistic approach to product development. However, Microsoft’s workflow for data governance and compliance management has remained static for a long time, allowing for friction between different departments and plenty of duplicate projects because no one has complete visibility.

But, Purview signals a step away from this siloed approach towards a more consolidated data management solution.

Want to know more about the specific features that make up Microsoft Purview? Keep reading!

Microsoft Purview: Components and Features

There are five main components that make up Microsoft Purview. Each of them offers features to improve the data lifecycle management process — be it through powerful analytics, security improvements, compliance solutions, data classification, or ediscovery resources. 

Let’s take a look at them now:

1. Data Map

Microsoft Purview Data Map is a new feature that enables system admins to map out their entire data estate across on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud scenarios. The result is a single source of truth that lets users trace and discover data across their organization’s ecosystems.

You can classify data using pre-existing and custom classifiers. Moreover, sensitivity labels allow you to tag sensitive data across Azure, Microsoft 365, Power BI, and more. 

Data Map serves as the foundation for your data governance and  data discovery infrastructure. It visualizes your data estate with a single screen to make management a breeze.

2. Data Catalog

When a bird’s eye overview of your data structure isn’t enough and you need access to specific resources within your data structure, Microsoft Purview Data Catalog can help. Not only does it enable users to search for specific data, but it also lets them browse data sources easily using pre-built collections and hierarchies.

With an enterprise grade business glossary, complete data lineage visualization, and more — the new data catalog provides your data scientists and data analysts with everything they need to trace and discover specific information.

3. Data Estate Insights

Microsoft Purview Data Estate Insights is an analytics tool that reports on the security health of your company’s most sensitive information.

It’s purpose-built for stakeholders in data management, data security, and data compliance, with actionable insights to improve the overall health of your organization’s storage infrastructure.

Purview Data Estate Insights is ideal for risk management because it helps you visualize vulnerabilities in your ecosystem as they appear. Each report is prepared automatically, so that administrators and stakeholders can focus on the information itself.

4. Data Sharing

Microsoft Purview Data Sharing is an in-preview feature that lets administrators securely share vital information without having to duplicate data assets by hand. It introduces the concept of in-person data sharing, where your company data can be shared with other users and accounts in almost real-time, without duplication.

Data Sharing serves as a unified platform for maintaining all your shared data relationships across Azure Data Lake Storage Gen 2 and Blob Storage accounts, allowing for greater transparency and increased accountability. You can also terminate access to shared data at any time, ensuring that you’re always in complete control of the flow of company information.

5. Data Policy

Another in-preview offering inside Microsoft Purview, Data Policy enables file owners and data engineers to allow and restrict access to company assets per user account.  

For example, if a user needs to be able to read or modify data assets pertaining to an Azure Storage account, you can create a data access policy to allow them to access those assets directly within Microsoft Purview.

Why Use Microsoft Purview?

Still confused about whether Purview is right for your organization? Here are a few ways the platform can improve your existing data management infrastructure:

  • Gain improved visibility of your data infrastructure.
  • Identify sensitive data through labels and classification.
  • Make your assets discoverable for data consumers.
  • Generate valuable insights about data usage.
  • Manage permissions and secure sensitive information.
  • Ensure proper regulatory compliance.

Configuring Purview to Work for Your Organization

According to Microsoft, the company spends more than a billion dollars every year on cybersecurity research. 

The best thing about working with Microsoft Purview is that you’re able to take advantage of all these data governance and data management solutions while also leveraging the organization’s state-of-the-art compliance and security infrastructure.

But, security and compliance aren’t a one-size-fits-all. You need to manually configure your Microsoft 365 tenants to work in tandem with your IT infrastructure for the best data security and compliance outcomes. 

But when you’re working with multiple tenants across several clients or a single large organization, manual configuration can become tedious very fast.

Thankfully, there’s a better way. Simeon Cloud is an end-to-end configuration management solution that automates security and compliance for Microsoft 365. 

Powered by an industry-standard security baseline, advanced auditing and monitoring features, as well as automated lifecycle management tools, Simeon offers everything you need to make sure your organization’s data infrastructure stays secure and compliant.

Want to learn more about how Simeon can help you enforce modern security and compliance standards with Microsoft Purview? Sign up for a free demo to see for yourself!