What are Microsoft Cloud App Security data security and privacy practices?


This article provides steps for how to delete personal data from the device or service and can be used to support your obligations under the GDPR. If you’re looking for general info about GDPR, see the GDPR section of the Service Trust portal.

Microsoft Cloud App Security is a critical component of the Microsoft Cloud Security stack. It's a comprehensive solution that helps your organization take full advantage of the promise of cloud applications. Cloud App Security keeps you in control through comprehensive visibility, auditing, and granular controls over your sensitive data.

Cloud App Security has tools that help uncover shadow IT and assess risk while enabling you to enforce policies and investigate activities. It helps you control access in real time and stop threats so your organization can more safely move to the cloud.

Cloud App Security compliance

In a world where data breaches and attacks are daily occurrences, it's essential for organizations to choose a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) that makes every effort to protect their data. Cloud App Security, like all Microsoft cloud products and services, is built to address the rigorous security and privacy demands of our customers.

To help organizations comply with national, regional, and industry-specific requirements governing the collection and use of individuals' data, Cloud App Security provides a comprehensive set of compliance offerings. The compliance offerings include certifications and attestations.

Compliance framework and offerings

Cloud App Security meets many international and industry-specific compliance standards including, but not limited to:

Organization Title Description
logo csa attestation. CSA STAR Attestation Azure and Intune were awarded Cloud Security Alliance STAR Attestation based on an independent audit.
logo csa certification. CSA STAR Certification Azure, Intune, and Power BI were awarded Cloud Security Alliance STAR Certification at the Gold level.
logo EU model clauses. EU Model Clauses Microsoft offers EU Standard Contractual Clauses, guarantees for transfers of personal data.
logo HIPAA. HIPAA/HITECH Microsoft offers Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act Business Associate Agreements (BAAs).
logo iso 9001. ISO 9001 Microsoft is certified for its implementation of these quality management standards.
logo iso 27001. ISO/IEC 27001 Microsoft is certified for its implementation of these information security management standards.
logo iso 27018. ISO/IEC 27018 Microsoft was the first cloud provider to adhere to this code of practice for cloud privacy.
logo PCI. PCI DSS Azure complies with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards Level 1 version 3.1.
logo SOC. SOC 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 Reports Microsoft cloud services comply with Service Organization Controls standards for operational security.
logo SOC. SOC 3 Microsoft cloud services comply with Service Organization Controls standards for operational security.
logo g-cloud. UK G-Cloud The Crown Commercial Service renewed the Microsoft cloud services classification to Government Cloud v6.

For more information, go to Microsoft Compliance Offerings.


You're the owner of your data

  • In Cloud App Security, your administrators can view the identifiable personal data stored in the service from the portal using the Search bar.

  • Admins can search for a specific user's metadata or user's activity. Clicking on an entity opens the Users and accounts. The Users and accounts page provides you with comprehensive details about the entity that are pulled from connected cloud applications. It also provides the user's activity history and security alerts related to the user.

  • You own your data and can cancel subscriptions and request deletion of your data at any time. If you don't renew your subscription, your data will be deleted within the timeline specified in the Online Services Terms.

  • If you ever choose to terminate the service, you can take your data with you.

Cloud App Security is the processor of your data

  • Cloud App Security uses your data only for purposes that are consistent with providing the services to which you subscribe.

  • If a government approaches Microsoft for access to your data, Microsoft redirects the inquiry to you, the customer, whenever possible. Microsoft has challenged legal demands that weren't valid, which prohibited disclosure of a government request for customer data. Learn more about who can access your data and on what terms.

Privacy controls

  • Privacy controls help you configure who in your organization has access to the service and what they can access.

Updating personal data

Personal data about users is derived from the user's object in the SaaS applications used. Because of this, any changes made to the user profile in these applications are reflected in Cloud App Security.

Data location

Cloud App Security currently operates in datacenters in the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States (each a "Geo"). Customer data collected by the service is stored at rest as follows (a) for customers whose tenants are provisioned in the European Union or the United Kingdom, in either the European Union or the United Kingdom; (b) else, a data center in the Geo that is nearest to the location of where the customer's Azure Active Directory tenant has been provisioned; or (c) if Cloud App Security uses another Microsoft online service (such as Azure Active Directory or Azure CDN) to process such data, the data geolocation will be as defined by the data storage rules of that other online service.


Cloud App Security uses Azure Data Centers around the world to provide optimized performance through geolocation. This means that a user's session may be hosted outside of a particular region, depending on traffic patterns and their location. However, to protect your privacy, no session data is stored in these data centers.

Learn more about privacy


Microsoft provides transparency about its practices:

  • Sharing with you where your data is stored.
  • Affirming that your data is used only to deliver agreed-upon services.
  • Specifying how Microsoft engineers and approved subcontractors use this data to provide services.

Microsoft uses strict controls to govern access to customer data, granting the lowest level of access required to complete key tasks and revoking access when it's no longer needed.

Data protection

Cloud App Security enforces data protection during content inspection. File content isn't stored in the Cloud App Security datacenter. Only the metadata of the file records and any matches that were identified are stored.

Data retention

Cloud App Security retains data as follows:

  • Activity log: 180 days
  • Discovery data: 90 days
  • Alerts: 180 days
  • Governance log: 120 days

You can learn more about Microsoft data practices by reading the Online Service Terms.

Learn more about transparency

Deleting personal data

After a user's account is deleted from a connected cloud application, Cloud App Security will automatically delete the copy of the data within two years.

Exporting personal data

Cloud App Security provides you with the ability to export to CSV all user activity and security alert information.

Data flow

Cloud App Security provides you with the convenience of working with some data, such as alerts and activities, without disrupting your usual security workflow. For example, SecOps may prefer to view alerts in their preferred SIEM product such as Azure Sentinel. To enable such workflows, when integrating with Microsoft or third-party products, Cloud App Security exposes some data through them.

The following table show what data is surfaced for each product integration:

Microsoft products

Product Exposed data Configuration
Microsoft 365 Defender Alerts and user activities Enabled automatically on Microsoft 365 Defender upon onboarding
Azure Sentinel Alerts and discovery data Enabled in Cloud App Security and configured in Azure Sentinel
Office Security and Compliance Center Alerts for Office 365 Automatically streamed to Office Security and Compliance Center
Azure Security Center Alerts for Azure Enabled by default in Cloud App Security; can be disabled in Azure Security Center
Microsoft Graph Security API Alerts Available via Microsoft Graph Security API
Microsoft Power Automate Alerts sent to trigger an automated flow Configured in Cloud App Security

Third-party products

Integration type Exposed data Configuration
Using a SIEM agent Alerts and events Enabled and configured in Cloud App Security
Using Cloud App Security's REST API Alerts and events Enabled and configured in Cloud App Security
ICAP connector File for DLP scan Enabled and configured in Cloud App Security


Other products may not enforce Cloud App Security role-based security permissions to control who has access to what data. Therefore, before integrating with other products, make sure you understand what data is sent to the product you want to use and who has access to it.



Microsoft uses encryption technology to protect your data while at rest in a Microsoft database and when it travels between user devices and Cloud App Security datacenters. Additionally, all communication between Cloud App Security and connected apps is encrypted using HTTPS.


Cloud App security leverages Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols 1.2+ to provide best-in class encryption. Native client applications and browsers that do not support TLS 1.2+, will not be accessible when configured with session control. However, SaaS apps that use TLS 1.1 or lower will appear in the browser as using TLS 1.2+ when configured with Cloud App Security.

Identity and access management

Cloud App Security enables you to limit access of administrators to the portal based on geolocation using Azure Active Directory. It's possible to require multi-factor authentication to access the Cloud App Security portal by using Azure Active Directory.


Cloud App Security supports role-based access control. Office 365 and Azure Active Directory Global admin and Security admin roles have full access to Cloud App Security, and Security readers have read access. For more information.

Customer controls for organizational compliance

Scoped deployment

Cloud App Security enables you to scope your deployment. Scoping enables you to govern only specific groups using Cloud App Security, or to exclude specific groups from Cloud App Security governance. For more information, see Scoped deployment.


You can choose to keep Cloud Discovery reports anonymous. After your log files are uploaded to Microsoft Cloud App Security, all username information is replaced with encrypted usernames. For specific security investigations, you can resolve the real username. Private data is encrypted using AES-128 with a dedicated key per tenant. For more information.

Security and Privacy for Cloud App Security US Government GCC High customers

For information on Cloud App Security compliance standards and the location of data for US Government GCC High customers, see Enterprise Mobility + Security for US Government service description.

Next steps

Get a free trial of Cloud App Security, and see how it meets your business challenges.