Microsoft Copilot Readiness: Understand Your Risk (3 Levels)

May 20th, 2024 | AI, Microsoft 365

Protecting your data is vital, and businesses are always looking for ways to boost productivity while also staying secure. Microsoft Copilot could be the solution, but only if you implement it according to your risk profile. Businesses without much risk can just turn it on and figure it out afterwards, whereas businesses in regulated industries need to be more thoughtful in their approach. 

Microsoft Copilot Readiness: Understand Your Risk (3 Levels) 

From a readiness and risk management perspective, the first step is self-analysis: what type of organization are you, and what’s your operating environment?  

  1. Low Concern: If your organization operates in a low-concern environment with minimal sensitive data exposure, embracing Copilot might seem like an easy transition. Consider turning on Copilot for your leadership team, who likely already have access to the majority of organizational information, poses minimal risk. 
  2. Conscientious: Most businesses fall into this category, characterized by a heightened awareness of sensitive data stored in platforms like Microsoft 365. Before integrating Copilot, ensuring that sensitive information, such as HR data or business strategies, are securely stored and organized. 
  3. Regulated or Compliance-Based Industries: For organizations operating in regulated industries, where compliance mandates dictate data security measures, Copilot adoption requires meticulous planning. Prioritize strict security protocols to safeguard sensitive information and ensure regulatory compliance. 

Mitigating Risks with Copilot 

Microsoft Copilot, by itself, doesn’t introduce new security vulnerabilities…
but it does make it easier to exploit existing gaps in your cybersecurity approach. Copilot’s implementation must align with security measures to mitigate potential risks: 

  • User Security Controls: A strong cybersecurity posture relies on rigorous user security controls. Safeguarding user accounts against threats like social engineering attacks or business email compromise is crucial. Copilot’s ease of access could accidentally amplify risks if not defended with comprehensive security protocols. 
  • Data Hygiene Assessment: Before harnessing Copilot’s capabilities, conduct a thorough data hygiene assessment. Understand what data is stored where and evaluate its security posture. This proactive approach ensures that Copilot doesn’t inadvertently expose sensitive information but facilitates efficient access to existing data assets. 

Copilot Implementation 

When starting your Copilot implementation journey, adopt a strategic approach that balances innovation with risk mitigation: 

  1. Copilot Readiness Assessment: Evaluate your organization’s current usage of Microsoft 365 to determine the immediate value proposition of Copilot. Find out if your organization is ready to start using Copilot with a copilot readiness assessment 
  2. Cybersecurity Posture Assessment: Strengthen your cybersecurity defenses to secure user accounts against potential threats facilitated by Copilot’s accessibility. Implement robust detection, response, and recovery mechanisms to prevent malicious activities and safeguard organizational integrity. 
  3. Data Hygiene Evaluation: Prioritize data hygiene to ensure that Copilot’s accessibility doesn’t compromise data security. Implement rigorous access controls and encryption protocols to safeguard sensitive information and uphold regulatory compliance standards. 

By adopting a strategic approach that aligns Copilot implementation with organizational readiness and risk management imperatives, businesses can unlock its full potential while safeguarding against potential pitfalls. 


Learn about Microsoft’s new integrated AI tool, Copilot. You’ll learn how to get Copilot, what it can do, and how to implement it the right way. We’ve been experimenting with Copilot within our own business – we’ll share our own experience working with Copilot and the pros and cons so you can determine if it makes sense for your business. Watch the full webinar to learn more.