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Microsoft Dynamics 365 Security Model Concepts: Everything IT Managers Need to Know

microsoft dynamics 365 security for it managers

Handling data security can be a big task, even with small and medium-sized enterprises. 281 million people were affected by data breaches in the first nine months of 2021, but many CRMs now have extensive security systems that ensure employee and customer data is efficiently protected.

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 security model concepts allow data access and easy collaboration while ensuring data integrity and privacy. This system offers access control via a role-based framework so data is confidential and only accessible to those who need it.

The goals of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM security framework are:

  • To provide a multi-tiered licensing model for users
  • To give users the access they require to do their jobs
  • To categorise users and teams by role and restrict access 
  • To support data sharing for collaboration
  • To prevent access to documents and areas that users don't own or share

Microsoft Dynamics 365 not only ensures the security of business data but also helps IT managers enforce and comply with data privacy regulations and standards like GDPR.


Why Should IT Managers Focus on Cloud Security?

As cloud computing has grown in the workplace, so have concerns around security.  

It has become increasingly dangerous to have business data on multiple servers from various providers. With the cloud and a CRM system like Microsoft Dynamics 365, data is gathered in one place with no one person having direct access to the servers. These systems are also regularly updated, patched and backed up to mitigate any data loss. 

According to a survey by Ermetic, the top cloud security threat is misconfiguration of the security system, along with lack of visibility into access settings and activities, and identity and access management permissions errors. 

Despite being aware of these challenges, only one in five organisations assess their overall cloud security in real-time. So how can IT managers implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 security successfully?


How Can You Implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 Security?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has the security framework set up — no installation or coding is necessary. 

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 system divides an organisation into business units, teams and individual users. A business unit is a group of users, which large organisations will likely have multiple of depending on the number of customer bases they have.

When a business unit is created, the system will automatically create a default team for that unit. Remember that users will gain all the rights given to them by the assigned teams. IT managers will likely need to add additional teams to the business unit. For example, sales and service teams or teams with specific tasks or events.

Each team is created with predefined security roles and privileges for each user. These privileges determine the ability to create, read, write, delete and share records/documents. You can set these privileges at different levels: individual user, business unit, the entire business unit hierarchy or across the organisation. 

Setting these permissions and access levels for teams is critical to ensure users don't have access to sensitive records that can lead to security breaches.

Microsoft works with you to provide periodic information security system reviews. This process involves monitoring the effectiveness and improvement of the system, reviewing security issues, auditing results, monitoring status and planning and tracking actions. 

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 security framework may seem complicated with many moving parts, but there are a few best practices to keep in mind when setting up and maintaining the system.


Best Practices for Security With Microsoft Dynamics 365

Use Security Roles Effectively

Security roles define how users, such as salespeople, access different types of records. Modifying existing security roles, creating new ones or assigning these roles to individual users should be the first thing you do. 

It's common for businesses to assign roles quickly when pressed for time — work needs to be done quickly and easy access is essential. However, it can be challenging to revoke once a user has unrestricted access and control. Creating and maintaining a strict process of adding and removing users is critical to avoid accidental data breaches.


Set Up Teams to Manage Large User Groups

Something to note is that each user can have multiple security roles and, as such, would be granted the permissions and privileges available in each role. This is why Microsoft has developed record-level privileges and field-based privileges. 

Teams are automatically set up when a business unit is created, but creating more with field-level security profiles will help the organisation's overall security in the long term. 

Field-level security profiles allow IT managers to restrict or allow access to specific fields within records and documents, for example, account records. Using field-level security means security can be ensured when records are shared across multiple teams and business units.

These teams need to be created with clarity, with the long-term security of the business in mind as it grows.


Use the Microsoft 365 Purview Compliance Centre

Microsoft recommends using their Purview compliance centre to track user and administrator activities, malware threats, data loss incidents and more. 

You can also use the Reports dashboard for up-to-date reports on security and compliance for the organisation.


Perform Periodic Reviews of Your User Permissions

As your business grows, you’ll continuously add and remove users to the CRM platform, making a regular review of user permissions critical to ensure data security. 

These reviews should include checking that users don't have too much access, ensuring ex-employees no longer have access, removing any temporarily-assigned access and checking the system's overall security.


Find Out What Microsoft 365 Can Do for You

Being aware of the best security practices and how to implement them is critical for creating a robust security framework that will protect the data of your company and customers. But it takes time to know what else your system can do. 

That’s why we’ve created a blueprint for making the most of Microsoft 365. Check it out below. 

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