Data loss prevention policies for Power BI (preview)
To help organizations detect and protect their sensitive data, Power BI supports Microsoft 365 data loss prevention (DLP) polices. When a DLP policy for Power BI detects a sensitive dataset, a policy tip can be attached to the dataset in the Power BI service that explains the nature of the sensitive content, and an alert can be registered in the data loss prevention Alerts tab in the Microsoft compliance portal for monitoring and management by administrators. In addition, email alerts can be sent to administrators and specified users.
Considerations and limitations
- DLP policies for Power BI are defined in the Microsoft 365 compliance portal.
- DLP policies apply to workspaces. Only workspaces hosted in Premium Gen2 capacities are supported.
- DLP dataset evaluation workloads impact capacity. Metering for DLP evaluation workloads is not yet supported.
- Both classic and new experience workspaces are supported, provided that they are hosted in Premium Gen2 capacities.
- DLP policy templates are not yet supported for Power BI DLP policies. When creating a DLP policy for Power BI, choose the "custom policy" option.
- Power BI DLP policy rules currently support sensitivity labels and sensitive info types as conditions.
- DLP policies for Power BI are not supported for sample datasets, streaming datasets, or datasets that connect to their data source via DirectQuery or live connection.
- DLP policies for Power BI are not supported in sovereign clouds.
Licensing and permissions
Before you get started with DLP for Power BI, you should confirm your Microsoft 365 subscription. The admin account that sets up the DLP rules must be assigned one of the following licenses:
- Microsoft 365 E5
- Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance
- Microsoft 365 E5 Information Protection & Governance
Data from DLP for Power BI can be viewed in Activity explorer. There are four roles that grant permission to activity explorer; the account you use for accessing the data must be a member of any one of them.
- Global administrator
- Compliance administrator
- Security administrator
- Compliance data administrator
How do DLP policies for Power BI work
You define a DLP policy in the data loss prevention section of the compliance portal. In the policy, you specify the sensitivity labels and/or sensitive info types you want to detect. You also specify the actions that will happen when the policy detects a dataset that contains sensitive data of the kind you specified. DLP policies for Power BI support two actions:
- User notification via policy tips.
- Alerts. Alerts can be sent by email to administrators and users. Additionally, administrators can monitor and manage alerts on the Alerts tab in the compliance center.
When a dataset is evaluated by DLP policies, if it matches the conditions specified in a DLP policy, the actions specified in the policy occur. A dataset is evaluated against DLP policies whenever one of the following events occurs:
- On-demand refresh
- Scheduled refresh
DLP evaluation of the dataset does not occur if either of the following is true:
- The initiator of the event is a service principal.
- The dataset owner is either a service principal or a B2B user.
What happens when a dataset is flagged by a Power BI DLP policy
When a DLP policy detects an issue with a dataset:
If "user notification" is enabled in the policy, the dataset will be marked in the Power BI service with a shield that indicates that a DLP policy has detected an issue with the dataset.
Open the dataset details page to see a policy tip that explains the policy violation and how the detected type of sensitive information should be handled.
If you hide the policy tip, it doesn’t get deleted. It will appear the next time you visit the page.
If alerts are enabled in the policy, an alert will be recorded on the data loss prevention Alerts tab in the compliance center, and (if configured) an email will be sent to administrators and/or specified users. The following image shows the Alerts tab in the data loss prevention section of the compliance center.
Configure a DLP policy for Power BI
Log into the Microsoft 365 compliance portal.
Choose the Data loss prevention solution in the navigation pane, select the Policies tab, choose Create policy.
Choose the Custom category and then the Custom policy template.
No other categories or templates are currently supported.
When done, click Next.
Name the policy and provide a meaningful description.
When done, click Next.
Enable Power BI as a location for the DLP policy. Disable all other locations. Currently, DLP policies for Power BI must specify Power BI as the sole location.
By default the policy will apply to all workspaces. Alternatively, you can specify particular workspaces to include in the policy as well as workspaces to exclude from the policy.
DLP actions are supported only for workspaces hosted in Premium Gen2 capacities.
If you select Choose workspaces or Exclude workspaces, a dialog will allow you to create a list of included (or excluded) workspaces. You must specify workspaces by workspace object ID. Click the info icon for information about how to find workspace object IDs.
After enabling Power BI as a DLP location for the policy and choosing which workspaces the policy will apply to, click Next.
The Define policy settings page appears. Choose Create or customize advanced DLP rules to begin defining your policy.
When done, click Next.
On the Customize advanced DLP rules page, you can either start creating a new rule or choose an existing rule to edit. Click Create rule.
The Create rule page appears. On the create rule page, provide a name and description for the rule, and then configure the other sections, which are described following the image below.
In the condition section, you define the conditions under which the policy will apply to a dataset. Conditions are created in groups. Groups make it possible to construct complex conditions.
Open the conditions section, choose Add condition and then Content contains.
This opens the first group (named Default – you can change this).
Choose Add, and then chose either Sensitive info types or Sensitivity labels.
When you choose either Sensitive info types or Sensitivity labels, you will be able to choose the particular sensitivity labels or sensitive info types you want to detect from a list that will appear in a sidebar.
When you select a sensitive info type as a condition, you then need to specify how many instances of that type must be detected in order for the condition to be considered as met. You can specify from 1 to 500 instances. If you want to detect 500 or more unique instances, enter a range of '500' to 'Any'. You also can select the degree of confidence in the matching algorithm. Click the info button next to the confidence level to see the definition of each level.
You can add additional sensitivity labels or sensitive info types to the group. To the right of the group name, you can specify Any of these or All of these. This determines whether matches on all or any of the items in the group is required for the condition to hold. If you specified more than one sensitivity label, you will only be able to choose Any of these, since datasets can’t have more than one label applied.
The image below shows a group (Default) that contains two sensitivity label conditions. The logic Any of these means that a match on any one of the sensitivity labels in the group constitutes “true” for that group.
You can create more than one group, and you can control the logic between the groups with AND or OR logic.
The image below shows a rule containing two groups, joined by OR logic.
If the dataset has a sensitivity label or sensitive info type that matches any of the defined exceptions, the rule won’t be applied to the dataset.
Exceptions are configured in the same way as conditions, described above.
Protection actions are currently unavailable for Power BI DLP policies.
The user notifications section is where you configure your policy tip. Turn on the toggle, select the Notify users in Office 365 service with a policy tip and Policy tips checkboxes, and write your policy tip in the text box.
User overrides are currently unavailable for Power BI DLP policies.
Assign a severity level that will be shown in alerts generated from this policy. Enable (default) or disable email notification to admins, specify users or groups for email notification, and configure the details about when notification will occur.
Monitor and manage policy alerts
Log into the Microsoft 365 compliance portal and navigate to Data loss prevention > Alerts.
Click on an alert to start drilling down to its details and to see management options.
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