That Definitive Checklist for Your Company’s SharePoint Compliance Management

SharePoint Compliance Management
SharePoint Compliance Management
SharePoint Compliance Management

What has SharePoint compliance or SharePoint compliance management got to do with the pandemic? It’s a long story, and here’s how it goes. One of the few positive outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the significant increase in public cloud adoption. The trend was rising even before the pandemic hit in early 2020. However, the global crisis was a powerful driver of rapid digital transformation across industries, surpassing initial expectations and goals. Most organisations experienced a surge in cloud usage beyond what they had initially planned. COVID-19 accelerated the migration from traditional data centres to the cloud while boosting reliance on existing cloud-based applications as online use soared.

This shift to the cloud was a reliable and efficient resource for ensuring business continuity during uncertain times. Shifting data to the cloud provided a significant advantage, enabling teams to perform their tasks efficiently in a virtual environment. Consequently, Microsoft software, including SharePoint, gained tremendous popularity and became a top priority for corporates in the modern workplace. 

While IT professionals emphasise the benefits of cloud-based data storage and availability, powerful platforms like SharePoint require top-notch compliance measures. Compliance is a top priority for most companies, but adequate preparation is essential for actual compliance audits. SharePoint is a potential solution for this problem, as it is a secure and flexible platform that enhances compliance. A strong compliance program can help mitigate risks and save money, and CCOs increasingly recognise the need to leverage technology to improve compliance efforts. 

SharePoint offers a promising solution for this need, as it can help to bridge the gap between the importance of compliance and actual preparedness for audits. Using SharePoint, organisations can create a culture of adherence to regulations and best practices, strengthening compliance efforts.

This article will outline the essential steps to help your organisation maintain SharePoint compliance. Implementing these practices is crucial for managing your business data effectively and preventing unintentional data leaks.

Understanding SharePoint Compliance and SharePoint Compliance Management

SharePoint compliance encompasses three key elements: legal and regulatory requirements, organisational governance, and internal and external threats. Understanding these elements is crucial to ensure a secure SharePoint environment and effective compliance management.

SharePoint compliance

Organisational governance plays a vital role in maintaining an appropriate SharePoint environment. A well-organized approach and adopting a self-service model can boost productivity and ease the workload for IT teams. However, mismanaged data and a disorganised self-service system may pose security risks. 

For instance, ownerless SharePoint groups may contain sensitive data, posing potential data leakage risks. Fortunately, SharePoint and Microsoft offer great features for document management, mitigating the chances of mishaps and ensuring data security.

Internal and External Threats

SharePoint’s exceptional collaboration capabilities make work processes smooth and efficient, attracting external users to the platform. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is critical in Microsoft 365 SharePoint compliance and SharePoint compliance management to ensure data security. DLP restricts end-users from sharing or transferring confidential information, safeguarding the organisation from potential fines and offering financial incentives.

An effective Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Strategy involves identifying and classifying various types of data and information specific to each organisation’s needs. This customised approach allows organisations to establish controls and monitor external parties’ access to secure information, ensuring data protection and compliance.

Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Data lifecycle management is vital in ensuring SharePoint compliance and SharePoint compliance management, especially concerning protecting sensitive data governed by legal and regulatory requirements.

Data lifecycle management involves efficiently managing information and data within your organisation from creation to disposition. Collaboration with end users at various levels of the business process is crucial when establishing a data or document retention policy. Their insights into different types of data and information they work with can significantly enhance the policy’s effectiveness.

Microsoft 365 offers a range of compliance features to simplify the data lifecycle management process. By configuring retention settings based on your company’s data policies, documents are securely safeguarded and managed following relevant requirements. This proactive approach ensures compliance and data protection.

Recommended Checklist for SharePoint Compliance 

A comprehensive checklist is vital for effectively managing SharePoint and consistently adhering to company policies and data flow. You can automate many essential activities to streamline SharePoint configuration based on personalised business needs. The following checklist outlines critical steps:

Better Understanding of Compliance Requirements:

Evaluate your firm’s requirements to gain insight into the data and information you will control. Stay up-to-date with regulatory developments that may impact your organisation.

Mandatory and Regular Training for End Users:

Provide systematic training to employees, informing them about SharePoint’s collaboration and productivity benefits. Regular training ensures employees understand the correct process for sharing sensitive information, reducing the risks of file sharing.

Effective Implementation of Access Controls:

SharePoint offers the option to implement access controls to grant appropriate access to information for respective individuals. SharePoint ensures robust access control measures by leveraging industry-standard practices like the Principle of Least Privilege (POLP) and Zero Trust.

For more context, POLP is a fundamental concept in computer security aimed at restricting users’ access rights to the bare minimum required for their job tasks. POLP ensures users get permission to read, write, or execute only those files or resources essential to fulfilling their job responsibilities. 

Zero Trust, on the other hand, is a robust security framework that mandates authentication, authorisation, and continuous validation for all users, regardless of whether they are within or outside the organisation’s network. Users must undergo thorough security configuration and posture checks before granting or maintaining access to applications and data. 

Performing Audits at Regular Intervals:

SharePoint provides features to track document movement, helping identify any misplaced or missing files. Additionally, it helps to detect the absence of sensitivity labels or metadata, highlighting potential compliance issues. Regular audits are crucial to maintaining data integrity and compliance.

Reviewing and Monitoring of Logs and Reports:

We always recommend periodic audits and monitoring of the organisation’s SharePoint environment. Reviewing logs and reports within the system allows for a comprehensive understanding of user activity, aiding in identifying and resolving compliance-related concerns.

Careful Monitoring of User Activity:

SharePoint offers advanced features to set up a monitoring system, incorporating rule-based automation techniques to track user activity. This proactive approach enables organisations to address actions that may pose compliance risks swiftly.

Implementation of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Policies:

SharePoint acknowledges that each organisation has unique DLP requirements, including external sharing. The platform allows easy configuration of settings in its admin centre, aligning with specific company policies.

Regularly Reviewing Security Settings:

Organisations should review and update security settings regularly to ensure ongoing compliance. SharePoint facilitates adjusting settings to accommodate changes in collaboration principles within the organisation.

Efficient Monitoring of Third-Party Add-ins:

Thoroughly evaluate and update add-ins to align with the latest regulatory changes and compliance management tools. Reviewing proposed add-ins is essential to ensure seamless support for all Microsoft 365 features and compliance platforms.

By implementing these practices, organisations can ensure effective SharePoint compliance management, safeguarding data and staying up-to-date with the evolving regulatory landscape.

Expert's Tips for Better Compliance Management

Effective compliance management relies on well-organized content, making content management a fundamental aspect of compliance practices using SharePoint.

Better Use of Metadata:

SharePoint metadata is crucial in compliance management, providing essential information about documents, pages, or list items. Organisations can monitor data sharing and prevent unauthorised collaboration or sharing with external parties by carefully linking or tagging metadata.

Proper Definition of Documents Based on Taxonomy:

Taxonomy refers to a formal classification system that includes company metadata, content labels, and descriptive terms used to categorise content in SharePoint. Developing a consistent and effective taxonomy allows organisations to classify content based on factors such as information type or geographic regions, ensuring sensitive information is appropriately categorised and managed. Each company can tailor its taxonomy to suit its specific needs.

Careful Identification and Classification of Sensitive Content:

A vital step in compliance management is the detailed identification and classification of sensitive content. SharePoint provides several pre-configured sensitive information classifiers to assist in grouping data.

There are three methods to identify sensitive information; each enlisted in the system:

Manual Categorization:

Organisations use this method to tag content based on their judgment, utilising the appropriate, sensitive information classifier available in the system.

Automated Pattern Recognition:

This method relies on patterns created through document fingerprinting, which consists of unique word patterns that match specific ranges of sensitive words and metadata values.


In this method, different pre-trained classifiers from Microsoft use Machine Learning to detect various file types, including legal agreements and financial transactions. SharePoint also offers customisable classifiers.

By implementing these identification and classification methods, organisations can effectively manage and safeguard sensitive content in SharePoint, enhancing compliance management practices.

Usage of Sensitivity Labels:

A practical method for managing data protection in SharePoint is using sensitivity labels, which classify information into three categories: Public, General, and Confidential or Highly Confidential. This classification system enables safer collaboration within various departments within your organisation or with external parties.

When applying confidential labels to files or documents, they become encrypted, ensuring that only authorised individuals with granted access can view or edit the content.

This article highlights the significance of safeguarding data from accidental leaks and how SharePoint is crucial in preventing unauthorised data transmission to third parties. Implementing sensitivity labels in SharePoint enhances data security and compliance management for organisations.


A compliance management system based on SharePoint significantly enhances your organisation’s workflow by facilitating smooth team collaboration. It also ensures the safety and protection of confidential information, preventing potential data breaches. SharePoint’s restricted sharing feature for secret data offers added security, safeguarding organisations from possible legal liabilities.

As a leading IT services provider specialising in SharePoint compliance and SharePoint compliance management, the dedicated team at Neologix can help you properly manage your organisation’s data with utmost care and concern. Our experienced and professional team assists in implementing customised SharePoint data protection policies, ensuring your business’s growth and success. 

With Neologix’s expertise, your organisation can confidently navigate the complexities of compliance management and data security in SharePoint.

Are you looking for ways to improve data security or want to discuss ways to improve compliance management using SharePoint? Email us at or +971-521043266. 

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