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Enable Microsoft 365 Copilot Safely - Quick Guide
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Microsoft Copilot
Jan 10, 2024 12:00 PM

Enable Microsoft 365 Copilot Safely - Quick Guide

by HubSite 365 about Blog –

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Secure M365 Copilot Setup: Ensure Safe User Access & Data Control

Key insights


Implementing Microsoft M365 Copilot involves ensuring secure user access and preventing unintended data exposure. Organizations need clarity on preventing data leakage, a concern heightened by past experiences such as the Delve rollout.

To avoid unnecessary alarm, recognize that SharePoint and OneDrive permissions are likely already properly configured, limiting data access to authorized users. Copilot will adhere to a user's existing permissions.

IT departments are not typically content owners and should involve business stakeholders in permission auditing. Access Reviews in Azure can effectively delegate this responsibility to SharePoint site owners.

For critically sensitive sites like HR or Finance, conduct targeted checks. Utilizing Access Reviews and manually verifying permissions in the SharePoint admin center can help ensure proper access control.

Enhance data security by implementing labels within Microsoft 365. Labels classify data and can restrict access, particularly for sensitive information, which aligns with Copilot's design to respect existing permissions.

Conduct a robust pilot to test security, simulating potential attacks by asking sensitive questions to reveal any flaws. Use the pilot phase to identify issues and refine SharePoint permissions and labels.

There are several reports available to manage and oversee permissions and shared data, including those that can be accessed via PowerShell and those found under the M365 admin center.


  • Validate the security of Copilot by confirming it respects current user permissions.
  • Ensure SharePoint and OneDrive permissions restrict access to sensitive areas.
  • Involve business stakeholders in the auditing process using Azure's Access Reviews.
  • Pay extra attention to critical sites by manually reviewing permissions.
  • Use labels to classify and control access to sensitive data.


Understanding Microsoft M365 Copilot Implementation

Microsoft M365 Copilot is a tool that seamlessly integrates into an organization's workflow while safeguarding sensitive data. The key to safely enabling Copilot is in maintaining a strict permission hierarchy within Microsoft 365. Regular permissions assessment becomes a crucial task, and the strategic use of features like Access Reviews, labels, and well-structured pilot tests can help identify any potential leaks.

Moreover, involving various stakeholders—especially from departments owning critical data like HR or Finance—ensures that data governance is not solely an IT task but a responsibility shared across the organization. By utilizing available reports, admins gain visibility over data sharing and can make informed decisions about permissions and access. Ultimately, the goal is to leverage Copilot's capabilities without compromising on security, relying on a robust permissions framework as the foundation.

Deploying Microsoft M365 Copilot Safely in Your Organization

Rolling out Microsoft M365 Copilot can raise questions about user access and preventing data leakage. A secure deployment requires understanding and managing permissions to ensure users don't access sensitive information inadvisedly.


The major concern for organizations is unauthorized data access. Such incidents can lead to data leaks and subsequent negative media attention. Security teams, bearing in mind previous experiences, require concrete steps to mitigate any risks associated with Copilot.

Ensuring proper permissions management is crucial. As Copilot respects a user's current permissions, it is vital to review access rights to documents and data. A clear understanding of who has access to what is necessary for maintaining security.


Most SharePoint and OneDrive permissions are already well-established. It is expected that company data is safeguarded, with only specific departments like HR or Finance needing additional access controls.

As the new tool utilizes Microsoft Graph to provide contextual answers, it only retrieves data to which a user already has access. This maintains the existing permission structure within the organization.


Although IT departments enable Copilot, they don't own the documents and data within M365. They can produce reports on data access but determining appropriate access levels is often beyond their scope. Involving business stakeholders and utilizing Azure Access Reviews is a more effective strategy.

Through access reviews, SharePoint site owners can take responsibility for user permissions. Ideally, each site should have at least two owners for redundancy and better management.


After configuring access reviews, attention can be shifted to critical sites such as HR and Finance for a manual audit. Access reviews allow for a thorough check of permissions through the SharePoint admin center.


Utilizing labels in M365 is also recommended to categorize and protect data. These labels can be used to classify sensitive information and manage access, bolstering data security.

Automatic labeling, available with certain M365 licenses, ensures that only authorized users can access encrypted documents, further securing access through tools like Copilot.


It's essential to test the security measures in place. By conducting penetration tests or asking probing questions during the pilot phase, you can identify any vulnerabilities in the system and address them accordingly.

Combining robust SharePoint permissions and labels can help close any security gaps before a wider rollout of the tool.


Reports within the M365 admin center can be used to track data access and sharing activities. PowerShell can also be employed to audit SharePoint sites, although explicit instructions from the original blog text have been omitted.


With careful preparation, organizations can integrate Microsoft M365 Copilot into their workflow securely. Keeping track of permissions and access, utilizing labels, and thorough pilot testing are key steps in safeguarding the workplace against unauthorized data exposure.

Read the full article Microsoft M365 Copilot – Here’s how to enable it safely

Microsoft Copilot - Enable Microsoft 365 Copilot Safely - Quick Guide



People also ask

Can I use 365 Copilot now?

As of the current date, the availability of 365 Copilot would depend on Microsoft's official release and update schedules. Users interested in using 365 Copilot should check Microsoft's official website or their service updates for information on current accessibility.

How do I enable Microsoft Copilot in Windows 11?

To enable Microsoft Copilot in Windows 11, assuming it is officially released and made available by Microsoft, users would typically need to follow a series of steps. This could involve updating their Windows 11 system, accessing their Microsoft 365 dashboard, and configuring the necessary settings to integrate Copilot with their applications. Detailed instructions would be provided by Microsoft along with the release of the feature.

Can I use Microsoft Copilot for free?

The cost structure of Microsoft Copilot would hinge on the Microsoft 365 subscription plan that it is part of. It's likely that it could be included in some of the subscription tiers without additional charges, while other tiers might require an upgrade. Users should consult the pricing details on the Microsoft 365 subscription page for accurate information.

Who has access to Microsoft 365 Copilot?

Access to Microsoft 365 Copilot is typically restricted to users with an active Microsoft 365 subscription. The specific level of access might vary based on the subscription tier and the policies set by Microsoft. Business and enterprise users usually have broader access to such features, but educational or personal plan users might also have limited access based on their subscription details.



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