Introduction to Communication Compliance
Introduction to Communication Compliance

This course explores communication compliance in Microsoft 365 and the benefits it can bring to your organization. We'll look at the phases that make up a communication compliance workflow and then move on to compliance policies.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what communication compliance is and what the workflow looks like
  • Learn about the pieces that make up communication compliance policies

Intended Audience

Anyone who wishes to learn about using communication compliance in Microsoft 365.


To get the most out of this course you should have a basic understanding of Microsoft 365 and compliance concepts.


Welcome to Communication Compliance in Microsoft 365! In this lesson, we’ll touch on what communication compliance is and what role it plays.

Communication compliance is a feature that’s included with Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance, and Microsoft 365 E5 Insider Risk Management. What it does is monitor both inbound and outbound communications in Exchange email, Microsoft Teams chats, Teams channels, and Skype for Business conversations. It can also monitor communications across third-party platforms like Facebook and Twitter. More specifically, communication compliance detects and captures inappropriate communications across these platforms. It then alerts you of these communications. As the admin, you get to define the policies that dictate what communication compliance tracks and reports as inappropriate.

Communication compliance offers pre-defined policies and the ability to create custom policies that you can use to scan communications. When a particular communication matches a policy you’ve defined, you can have reviewers take a look at it and take any actions as necessary.

Ultimately, communication compliance is a feature that allows you to ensure that your users are adhering to messaging standards that have been set forth by your organization. Reviewers can investigate scanned communications in your organization and take appropriate remediation actions to make sure they're compliant with your organization's messaging standards.

Organizations often use Communication compliance policies so they can more quickly identify and remediate common communications violations. For example, an organization might use communication compliance policies to scan employee communications for possible HR issues like offensive language or maybe even harassment. Organizations will also often use communication compliance policies for risk management. More specifically, they will often use them to scan messages for things like unauthorized communications about confidential projects, earnings calls, re-orgs, and the like. Basically, anything they don’t want to be disseminated to the general public. Regulatory compliance is another common use case for communication compliance. 

Virtually any scenario that involves communications that could damage an organization is a possible use case for communication compliance policies. 

Communication compliance in Microsoft 365 offers many slick features. It provides Intelligent and customizable templates that you can use to leverage machine learning to detect communication violations in your organization. 

Customizable pre-configured templates make it easier to create policies and to update them. For example, there are pre-defined anti-harassment templates, offensive language templates, sensitive information templates, and regulatory compliance templates that you can use and customize as needed.

Communication compliance also comes with built-in and custom threat, harassment, and profanity classifiers that help reduce false positives in scanned messages.

Communication compliance streamlines the configuration of policy conditions via a policy wizard, and remediation workflows allow you to take quick action on policy matches. There are also options to escalate messages to other reviewers and to send email notifications to users with policy matches. 

Other features of communication compliance include conversation threading, keyword highlighting, duplicate detection, and message filters.

Conversation threading visually groups messages by original message and all associated reply messages to provide better context during investigation and remediation.

Keyword highlighting does what it sounds like it does. It highlights terms that match your defined policy conditions. By highlighting matching terms in the message text view, communication compliance makes it easier to find what you are looking for.

Duplicate detection groups similar terms and messages together to help speed up the review process.

And message filters allow you to filter on different fields, like sender, recipient, date, domains, and many others. This feature further simplifies investigation and remediation of policy alerts.

Communication compliance offers interactive dashboards that you can use to view alerts, policy matches, actions, and trends.

Proactive intelligent alerts are also generated. These are alerts for policy matches that require immediate attention. 

Auditing support in communication compliance provides a log of policy and review activities that you can export right from the Microsoft 365 compliance center.

So, the key takeaway here is that communication compliance is a feature of Microsoft 365 that monitors both inbound and outbound communications in Exchange email, Microsoft Teams chats, Teams channels, and Skype for Business conversations. It can also monitor communications across third-party platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It’s typically used to detect and capture inappropriate communications across these platforms, and to alert you of these types of communications.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.

In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.