Scanning Office 365 for sensitive PII information

Radim ŘehůřekPersonal Data, Security

Discover personal & sensitive data inside Office 365 accounts and remediate it. This includes both structured and unstructured data in Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Exchange Online, and Sharepoint Online.

What does “support Office 365” mean?

With PII Tools, you directly find, review, and remediate personal and sensitive information in documents, emails, and tables shared within your company’s Office 365 accounts. No need to export or copy the data to external locations.

Scanning across Office 365 can sound a little frightening, and navigating Microsoft’s enterprise is not always straightforward. So here’s what we mean specifically:

  • Office 365 is a suite of products and services, some of which may store personal information or sensitive data, such as names, addresses, credit cards, faces, passport scans, sexual preferences, or religious views.
  • The main services within Office 365 are:
    • OneDrive: File hosting service operated as part of Office Online. There are drives for users, user groups, and entire sites.
    • Exchange Online: Hosted email, one mailbox per user. Includes a separate “In-place Archive Mailbox” service under a special license.
    • Sharepoint Online: cloud service to share and manage company data. Some documents are shared on OneDrive.
  • PII Tools lets you apply our context-aware personal data detectors to:
    • Mailboxes of individual users, archive mailboxes, or all users in Exchange Online.
    • Drives and Sharepoint sites of individual users or of all users.
    • Drives of single groups or all groups in OneDrive.
    • All drives and subsites for a given OneDrive or Sharepoint site.
  • Technically, programmatic access to Office 365 happens through an API called Microsoft Graph, mgraph.
  • PII Tools comes with step-by-step instructions on how to set up and authorize Office 365 scans.

Office 365 remediation

For every detected PII instance, you also have the option to quarantine and erase it directly from PII Tools’ interface. This includes any email, email attachment, and file within Office 365: Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online, and OneDrive.

The “Secure Erase” capability will wipe any email or file from Office 365 permanently and irrevocably. Use this function with care!

It is also possible to delete individual email attachments independently, while keeping the rest of the email.

The quarantine process will copy any erased original and its metadata to a secure location of your choice for backup or later review. This means you retain the original file or email content, permissions, owners, email headers, etc.

Source: PII Tools

With PII Tools, you can also remediate emails and files in bulk directly from a PII Analytics search. Basically this bulk remediation lets you find all affected emails within your inventory, using sophisticated search filters and classifiers, and then remediate them all at once, with a click of a button.


Interested? Request a FREE DEMO and let’s walk through your use-case together.