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Microsoft Information Compliance Adds Adaptive Policy Scopes Feature

Microsoft recently announced an “adaptive policy scopes” capability for organizations using Microsoft Information Compliance solutions with Microsoft 365 applications.

Adaptive policy scopes can be used to enforce policies for data retention when using Microsoft 365 applications, such as SharePoint sites, Microsoft 356 Groups and Microsoft Teams. Policies are said to get dynamically enforced as people join or leave an organization.

The adaptive policy scopes approach promises to ease some pain for organizations that need to apply information compliance policies in a nuanced ways, such as specifying policies specifically for a branch office based in Germany, per Microsoft’s example. The adaptive policy scopes approach contrasts with Microsoft’s earlier, more static approach, which required some organizations to build customized solutions.

“Previously, organizations had to manually maintain these policies and customers were building complex PowerShell scripts to manage these static scopes at scale,” explained Erica Toelle, a senior product marketing manager on the Microsoft compliance product team, in the announcement.

The static approach was based on content locations. The adaptive policy scopes approach is based more on attributes or properties associated with Microsoft 365 users, groups or sites. Here’s how that distinction was described:




[The adaptive scope] consists of attributes or properties, e.g., Department or country, that define the users, groups, or sites in your organization. You will choose supported locations containing the content you want to retain. The policy will automatically update to match the criteria defined in the scope.

Creating adaptive scope policies is like creating Azure Active Directory dynamic group memberships.

“For those familiar with Azure Active Directory dynamic group membership, adaptive policy scopes work in a similar way,” Toelle explained.

Likely, top-tier E5-type licensing is required to use the new adaptive policy scopes feature. Toelle pointed interested organizations to “an E5 Compliance trial or purchase licenses here.”

Microsoft describes the licenses that apply to its various information compliance services and capabilities in this Oct. 19-dated document. The document is rather confusing, though, and the adaptive policy scopes feature wasn’t mentioned in it at press time.

About the Author



Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media’s Converge360 group.



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