SharePoint, Security & Records Retention Enforcement

by | Nov 14, 2016 | Collaboration | 0 comments

SharePoint has powerful tools “underneath the covers” that can help organizations enforce and manage access to sensitive business data. Here are 5 tools in the SharePoint arsenal:

1. In Place Records

Why does this matter to me? Many organizations need a method to quickly secure specific documents that they want to retain as business records. In many cases these documents go through a series of collaborative steps that change the document prior to becoming the “final” record.  Consequently it becomes imperative that the record is protected from inadvertent changes.

How does it work? In Place Records is a configuration that can be applied automatically or manually. Documents designated as “Records” in SharePoint can have separate retention and access configuration than similar documents in the same library or with the same content type. In a typical configuration, record designation changes the document security.  As a result, it can no longer be changed or deleted except by a specific administrative group.

 2. Information Management Policies

Why does this matter to me? One of the biggest challenges in successful content management is enforcing periodic review and approval of business information. Most organizations have identified rules to review and approve existing content as it ages.  However, many struggle to make sure these rules are enforced. Information Management Policies provide the automation needed to notify and assist users in period content review.

How does it work? Information Management Policies (IMP) consist of a “timer” and the ability to take a series of actions. The timer is driven from a date column associated with a document. Accordingly, when the designated time frame is reached, a workflow can initiate to move documents to other libraries, move documents to the recycle bin and other activities.

3. Content Audit Logs

Why does this matter to me? Many organizations want to have visibility to who has been opening or editing certain types of documents.  The Content Audit Logging provides a mechanism for Administrators to record the activities of users when they access documents and items stored in SharePoint.

How does it Work? Content Logging is configured on a Site Collection and site level. The Administrator chooses what events the logs capture.  Additionally, a variety of pre-built logs are deployed, and conveniently provided as Excel files for additional analysis.

4. Compliance Center

Why does this matter to me? One way to reduce potential liability to an organization is to enforce automated policies in the background to remove unneeded content. The Compliance Center provides a tool to create and enforce policies across entire site collections.

How does it work? The Compliance Center is a new feature in SharePoint 2016. It allows administrators to create content deletion policies that can cascade down through site collections to hold and delete content that meets the policy guidelines. This functionality includes the ability to enforce deletion policies in user OneDrives.

5. Information Rights Management

Why does this matter to me? You may need to protect certain types of documents from being easily copied. By restricting the ability for users to print or download, or limiting a user to temporary access, important Intellectual Property is protected.

How does it work? Information Rights Management (IRM) is a subset of Microsoft’s Data Protection Management functionality available in SharePoint. IRM provides features to restrict user’s capabilities to copy documents from a document library. This includes the ability to restrict printing, download or long-term access. IRM can be deployed at a document library level or at a Content Type level. Content Type deployment makes it possible to enforce restricted access across multiple sites and libraries with a single policy.

How Peters & Associates can help

Peters & Associates has been assisting organizations in solving business problems since 1981.  We can help you:

  • Identify the data you need to run your business process
  • Document your existing work process and design how SharePoint can support your Information Architecture and content Governance rules
  • Assist your implementation of Content Governance and Security
  • Provide training and assist in user adoption
  • Provide on-going technical support for your Microsoft applications

Need help to evaluate your work processes and determine what solutions can work for you?  Email us at