Concentric Integrates MIP, Joins Microsoft MISA Security Alliance

As soldiers in the fight against cybercrime, Concentric understands how pivotal it is to integrate with other elements of an IT tech stack. Defense-in-depth, a pillar of modern data security planning, is a substantially more effective strategy when paired with solutions capable of integrating with other data security products and frameworks. That's why our Semantic Intelligence™ solution integrates with Microsoft's Information Protection (MIP) solution for document classification and management. This week, based on our integration with MIP, Concentric became a member of MISA, an organization of managed security service providers and independent software vendors dedicated to improving security through integration with Microsoft solutions. We're excited to be a part of this vital organization and look forward to helping MIP customers everywhere automate data categorization and data access governance.

MISA_RGB_MemberBadge_Main_Landscape_FullColorMore than a million organizations with tens of millions of users rely on MIP to classify, label, and protect data. These labels are an essential element of data access governance: they help users properly manage documents, and compliance officers find sensitive information. IT professionals rely on MIP to solve several data security challenges. Using MIP to control internal information flows, for example, helps financial firms meet regulatory restrictions against insider trading. Hospitals use MIP to identify and protect private health information. And organizations of all kinds use MIP to control data access and implement data loss prevention services based on document labels.

Label information acts as an authoritative and, importantly, portable source of truth for what a file means and how the organization should handle it. Since label information travels with the document and not the infrastructure (e.g., network-based data loss prevention tools), they are ideal for data access governance in today's hyper-dispersed multi-cloud environment. But they have one devastating Achilles' heel: how does a file get labeled in the first place?

Initially (and even now in most cases), users were the primary "appliers" of document labels. Asking users for help is a sensible approach – they are, after all, in the best position to understand what a document means and how sensitive it is. Your tax accountants, for example, have a much better feel for whether a given tax document is safe to share internally than, say, a random summer intern in the IT department. Users, however, are obstinate beasts. Any task outside their domain that's too time-consuming, too confusing, or too obscure just won't get done. And that pile of unlabeled legacy documents? Good luck getting an end-user to label them retroactively. (Read our Data Risk Report to learn more about the problem of unstructured data).

Automation, naturally, is an obvious answer to problematic labeling programs that rely solely on end-users. With automation, document labeling should be far more accessible: no training, no recalcitrant users, no misclassifications. And automation has the potential to bring an organization's vast store of unlabeled legacy documents under control too. But automation – at least the rules- and regex-based automation that's common today – isn't much of an improvement on infrastructure-based alternatives like DLP. It's the old garbage-in, garbage-out paradigm: poorly-written rules lead to poorly-classified documents. And with automation, you'll have the "opportunity" to misclassify documents at scale.

Despite these challenges, MIP and document labeling are still incredibly potent data security tools. Concentric's MIP integration brings an expert AI system to bear on the problem of label automation. With Concentric, your organization won't need to build complex, hard-to-maintain rule sets or ask your end-users to add labels. Instead, our Sematic Intelligence™ solution scans your documents using advanced natural language processing algorithms to uncover the meaning and contents of each document. Then we apply your existing MIP labels as specified by your security team. You'll benefit from accurate, comprehensive MIP labels applied to new and legacy data across cloud and on-premises data stores. We'll even help you identify labeled documents that aren't correctly classified.

With Concentric, inaccurate data classification, unmarked documents, incomprehensible rule sets, and end-user frustration are all a thing of the past. And best of all, the document management, access control, and perimeter security tools that depend on MIP labels continue to work without modification. Concentric's the key to effective and efficient data security, based on MIP.

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