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Varonis Tool Adds Data Privacy, Security for Microsoft Copilot

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Data security specialist Varonis Systems is addressing one of the top concerns organizations have around the adoption of Microsoft 365 Copilot -- providing data security and privacy guardrails for the GenAI assistant.

Varonis, which says it is 100% channel-driven, is pledging "safe" adoption of Microsoft 365 Copilot with what it calls the industry's first purpose-built solution to secure Microsoft's AI-powered productivity tool before and after deployment.

Varonis for Microsoft 365 Copilot builds on Microsoft 365 security suite by adding new capabilities to monitor Copilot data access in real time, detect abnormal Copilot interactions, and automatically limit sensitive data accessible by both humans and AI agents, the company said.

"Strong data security posture is necessary to roll out Copilot safely," said David Bass, Varonis executive vice president of Engineering and chief technology officer. "However, once you deploy, you need ongoing visibility into what Copilot is doing, what sensitive data it's accessing, and the ability to detect abnormal behavior and policy violations in real time. Varonis for Microsoft 365 Copilot does that."

Varonis for M365 Copilot Features

Varonis cautions that while AI tools can unlock big efficiency gains, it can also unintentionally expose sensitive information to employees and allow cybercriminals and insider threats to find, encrypt, or steal data faster than ever.

With this in mind, Varonis for Microsoft 365 Copilot's offers the following features:

  • Copilot posture dashboards provide a real-time view of sensitive and regulated data exposed to Copilot users, analyze usage trends, and track sensitive data accessed by AI.
  • Copilot policy automation Enforces security policies to continuously limit Copilot's access to sensitive information and prevent accidental data leakage. Automatically applies sensitivity labels to data created by Copilot.
  • Copilot monitoring and forensics collects and enriches Copilot events so you can answer questions such as, "Which users accessed sensitive financial data via Copilot this week?"
  • Copilot threat detection enables a user behavior analysis engine that factors in Copilot activity and notifies customers of abnormal or suspicious Copilot interactions with sensitive data.
  • Athena AI integration Varonis for Microsoft 365 Copilot works with Varonis' own Athena AI SOC assistant and natural language search, introduced in November 2023, to make it easier to investigate and resolve Copilot-related security incidents. Varonis' Athena AI is embedded within the company's data security platform and appears in a variety of user interfaces to speed up security and compliance tasks. At rollout in November Athena AI provided two generative AI capabilities: an AI SOC analyst and natural language search.

Organizations can request a free Microsoft 365 Copilot readiness assessment to evaluate their AI security posture or start a Varonis trial from the Azure Marketplace.

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.