Plan for insider risk management

Before getting started with insider risk management in your organization, there are important planning activities and considerations that should be reviewed by your information technology and compliance management teams. Thoroughly understanding and planning for deployment in the following areas will help ensure that your implementation and use of insider risk management features goes smoothly and is aligned with the best practices for the solution.

Work with stakeholders in your organization

Identify the appropriate stakeholders in your organization to collaborate for taking actions on insider risk management alerts and cases. Some recommended stakeholders to consider including in initial planning and the end-to-end insider risk management workflow are people from the following areas of your organization:

  • Information technology
  • Compliance
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Human resources
  • Legal

Determine any regional compliance requirements

Different geographic and organizational areas may have compliance and privacy requirements that are different from other areas of your organization. Work with the stakeholders in these areas to ensure they understand the compliance and privacy controls in insider risk management and how they should be used across different areas of your organization. In some scenarios, compliance and privacy requirements might require policies that designate or restrict some stakeholders from investigations and cases based on the case for a user or regulatory or policy requirements for the area.

If you have requirements for specific stakeholders to be involved in case investigations that involve users in certain regions, roles, or divisions, you may want to implement separate (even if identical) insider risk management policies targeting the different regions and populations. This configuration will make it easier for the right stakeholders to triage and manage cases that are relevant to their roles and regions. Additionally, you may want to consider creating processes and policies for regions where investigators and reviewers speak the same language as the users to help streamline the escalation process for insider risk management alerts and cases.

Plan for the review and investigation workflow

Select dedicated stakeholders to monitor and review the alerts and cases on a regular cadence in the Microsoft 365 compliance center. Make sure understand how you will assign different stakeholders to the different role groups available in insider risk management.

Depending on the structure of your compliance management team, you have options to assign users to specific role groups to manage different sets of insider risk management features. Choose from these role group options when configuring insider risk management:

Role group Role permissions
Insider Risk Management Use this role group to manage insider risk management for your organization in a single group. By adding all user accounts for designated administrators, analysts, and investigators, you can configure insider risk management permissions in a single group. This role group contains all the insider risk management permission roles. This configuration is the easiest way to quickly get started with insider risk management and is a good fit for organizations that do not need separate permissions defined for separate groups of users.
Insider Risk Management Admin Use this role group to initially configure insider risk management and later to segregate insider risk administrators into a defined group. Users in this role group can create, read, update, and delete insider risk management policies, global settings, and role group assignments.
Insider Risk Management Analysts Use this group to assign permissions to users that will act as insider risk case analysts. Users in this role group can access to all insider risk management alerts, cases, and notices templates. They cannot access the insider risk Content Explorer.
Insider Risk Management Investigators Use this group to assign permissions to users that will act as insider risk data investigators. Users in this role group can access to all insider risk management alerts, cases, notices templates, and the Content Explorer for all cases.

Understand requirements and dependencies

Depending on how you plan to implement insider risk management policies, you need to have the proper Microsoft 365 licensing subscriptions and understand and plan for some solution prerequisites.

Licensing: Insider risk management is available as part of wide selection of Microsoft 365 licensing subscriptions. For details, see the Getting started with insider risk management article.

If you don't have an existing Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 plan and want to try insider risk management, you can add Microsoft 365 to your existing subscription or sign up for a trial of Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5.

Policy template requirements: Depending on the policy template you choose, there are requirements that you need to understand and plan for prior to configuring insider risk management in your organization:

  • When using the Data theft by departing users template, you must configure a Microsoft 365 HR connector to periodically import resignation and termination date information for users in your organization. See the Import data with the HR connector article for step-by-step guidance to configure the Microsoft 365 HR connector for your organization.
  • When using Data leaks templates, you must configure at least one Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy to define sensitive information in your organization and to receive insider risk alerts for High Severity DLP policy alerts. See the Create, test, and tune a DLP policy article for step-by-step guidance to configure DLP policies for your organization.
  • When using Security policy violation templates, you must enable Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for insider risk management integration in the Defender Security Center to import security violation alerts. See the Configure advanced features in Microsoft Defender article for step-by-step guidance to enable Defender for Endpoint integration with insider risk management.
  • When using Disgruntled user templates, you must configure a Microsoft 365 HR connector to periodically import performance or demotion status information for users in your organization. See the Import data with the HR connector article for step-by-step guidance to configure the Microsoft 365 HR connector for your organization.

Test with a small group of users in a production environment

Before enabling the solution broadly in your production environment, you may consider testing the policies with a small set of production users while conducting for the necessary compliance, privacy, and legal reviews in your organization. Evaluating insider risk management in a test environment would require that you generate simulated user actions and other signals to create alerts for triage and cases for processing. This approach isn't practical for most organizations, so testing insider risk management with a small group of users in a production environment is preferred.

Keep the anonymization feature in policy settings enabled to anonymize user display names in the insider risk management console during this testing to maintain privacy within the tool. This setting helps protect the privacy of users that have policy matches and can help promote objectivity in data investigation and analysis reviews for insider risk alerts.

If you don't see any alerts immediately after configuring an insider risk management policy, it may mean the minimum risk threshold has not been met yet. A good way to check if the policy is triggered and working as expected is to see if the user is in-scope for the policy on the Users page.

Resources for stakeholders

Share insider risk management documentation with the stakeholders in your organization that are included in your management and remediation workflow:

Ready to get started?

Ready to configure insider risk management for your organization? Review the following articles: