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Dynamics 365 Security Best Practices

The primary concern most companies have when deciding their move to the cloud is security. Storing all your data in a remote server does impose an implied security vulnerability. According to a Statista report, about 94% of organizations are concerned about cloud security, and around 33% of such organizations are overly worried about public cloud security.  Hence, cloud solutions are allocating a huge chunk of their budget to strengthening their security models and keeping their systems up to date with no known vulnerabilities unpatched.

Needless to say, the Microsoft 365 CRM too employs a robust security model ensuring your data is safe, secure, backed up, and compliant to the data regulations. Here is an overview of the Dynamics 365 security model to help you understand how your data is protected in the platform.

Defining Dynamics 365 Security Model

All Microsoft cloud solutions, inclusive of the Dynamics 365, make use of the Azure cloud platform and integrate the in-built security model used. Every year around $1 billion is spent on ensuring the Azure platform security with a top-notch Microsoft Cyber Defense Operations Center. The entire network is under constant monitoring round the clock to detect and safeguard any threats or attempt to breach data.

In general, the Dynamics 365 security model follows the same architecture of the Azure security platform, which consists of various layers such as:

  • Encryption
  • Secure Virtual Network Gateway
  • Key logs
  • Malware protection and threat detection
  • Access management via authentication and authorization mechanisms. Dynamics 365 security models use the multi-factor authentication service that includes two verification steps to validate a user.

As for authorization, the Dynamics 365 security model allows users to define the various user roles and assign the data access rights corresponding to the role assigned. This helps avoid unauthorized data access and defines a well-established data hierarchy that reflects the organization’s structural hierarchy.

On top of these security layers, the Dynamics 365 security model also uses the Azure security center to perform advanced threat detection and network monitoring.

Goals Of The Model

The primary goal of the Dynamics 365 security model is to ensure data integrity, privacy and manage data access and collaboration among the various users. Here are the primary objectives envisioned by the Dynamics 365 security model.

  • Allow users to access only the data required for their particular job or task. Company data can be classified into various access levels, and only users with the right level of authorization will be allowed to access data.
  • Classify user roles and define the authorization levels depending on the user roles.
  • Support collaborative data sharing and allow high-level users to grant data access rights to low-level users as and when required.
  • Allow you to implement fine-grained access control and ensure confidential data is not mishandled by people who should not have access to it in the first place.
  • The Dynamics 365 security allows you to simulate your existing organizational structure and define user roles accordingly. You can create several business units, teams, and user groups and define the data ownership and access rights accordingly. By specifying access grants and making data shareable with specified user groups, collaboration is also made possible in a safe and access controlled manner.

Dynamics 365 Security Best Practices: Some Definitions

You need to get a full understanding of the various terms and methods used by the Dynamics 365 security model to take advantage of it.


A role is assigned to each user and can be something that relates to their actual position or job role within the organization. You can create various roles like manager, sales representative., customer service professional, IT admin, marketing team member, and so on. The level of security privileges provided for each role can vary and can be assigned as per their data requirements.


Entity refers to any data object stored in the Dynamics 365 database. It can be a data field, customer record, a user account, and more.

Access Levels

Access rights denote the level of security privileges granted to a particular user role or user account. For instance, a sales manager will be given ownership of his team’s data, whereas his team members can only have read access to the same data. Likewise, the access rights to the various entities under the Dynamics 365 database could vary for each business unit in the organization.

User Privileges

User privileges specify the rights the particular user has on the data entity.


Security dependencies specify the interrelations among entities with respect to the access privileges provided to each user. For instance, if a user is designated the right to create a new entity, they would automatically read the entity values. Similarly, if a user holds ownership of an entity, they would also have the right to share it with another user and grant access rights to other users.

Dynamics 365 Security Best Practices: Types Of Security

Role-Based Security

As mentioned earlier, this type of security framework allows you to create user roles, assign the corresponding data security privileges. You can mandate the exact data access rights and make sure users can access data only on a need basis. Unnecessary use of data and data mishandling can be curtailed, thus ensuring better data confidentiality.

Access rights can be assigned depending on the user’s role and their corresponding business unit and team affiliation. The various access levels available are

  • None – No data access granted
  • Basic – Access to data entities that are owned by the user and can be shared within their team
  • Local – Access to data available within the business unit and typically granted to managers of the business unit
  • Deep – Access to data within the business unit and the related subordinate business units.
  • Global – Organizational level data access that includes privileges of deep, basic, and local access rights. Assigned to admin-level users only.

Record-Based Security

Record-based security defines the particular security privilege associated with each data record within the organization. Users can be granted the privileges that allow them to create, read, write, delete, append, append to, assign and share.

The privileges can be assigned depending on the user role and as required by their task requirements.

Field-Based Security

Field-based security defines the security permissions granted to each specific data field within a record. For instance, for a customer data record, the sales representatives may be allowed to have write access only to the last interaction field while read-only access to the rest of the fields.

Dynamics 365 Security Best Practices: Security Tips

As anyone proficient in IT security would know, the best security is not all about the tools you use but how well you use them. Here are some tips to help you make use of the Dynamics 365 platform better.

Try not to meddle with the existing common role privileges and data access rights. These are specified in correspondence to careful research recommendations and are often quite adequate for most business units. If you want to add custom privileges, create new roles rather than manipulating existing out of the box security roles.

  • Do maintenance considerations

An excellent way to maintain your security principles is to assign security roles to a team instead of directly giving them to an individual user.

You can also try to combine the security roles based on both the user role and their position.

Consider mapping Teams to field level security profiles for easy access management.

  • Others

Remember to plan for the long term and create business units and team entries with a clear understanding of your security model.

Audit your systems for any potential security breaches and deal with them as soon as possible.


The efficiency of a security model depends largely on the correct implementation. The Dynamics 365 security models allow for various features that can help you build a strong and secure CRM platform when adequately utilized. But as the first step, you need to hone your understanding of the various user roles within your organization unit structure to tailor the implementation to your needs and make it successful.

You also need to employ the best practices to stay protected in an increasingly competitive and evolving cyberspace. Get expert help from Gestisoft. We can guide you with the right implementation and understand the nuances of establishing a robust security framework for your organization. Call us today for any queries you have about using the Dynamics 365 security model.

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February 19, 2021 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization