SharePoint Defense in Depth

A community site for SharePoint security and compliance issues

About this community

SharePoint Defense in Depth is an open community site and resource for those interested in security, defense in depth, compliance, and SharePoint. This community site provides a place to pose questions to experts, and to learn how best to tackle your SharePoint security challenges.

For access to resources including a SharePoint Content Scanner, and SharePoint Risk Assessment, please create a login. Note that to limit spam and non-useful content on this site, we require either a valid corporate e-mail domain, or a legitimate LinkedIn profile for registrants before approving access.

Our simple goal is to provide the SharePoint community with tools and resources that enable you to more effectively secure your SharePoint environments. We encourage you to engage, and post your own tips, tricks, and resource to help make SharePoint sites more secure. If you have ideas as to how we can make the SharePoint Defense in Depth site a better community resource, please contact us on:

Blog Posts

Video demonstration of the content scanner

Posted by Mike Fleck on July 18, 2016 at 9:53am 0 Comments

If you came to SharePointDefenseInDepth looking for complimentary access to the data discovery tool (Content Scanner), you can request your copy by reaching out to If you'd like to learn more about how to use the scanner and what it can locate check out this video on Vimeo. The first minutes minutes is background material so don't worry if you heard the audio but the video doesn't seem to be moving. …


Understanding file encryption in Office 365

Posted by Mike Fleck on March 8, 2016 at 12:01pm 0 Comments

In early 2015 Microsoft started rolling out per file encryption for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business in Office 365. Prior to that, the file encryption capability in Office 365 was simple BitLocker storage encryption. The newer approach, often referred to as Fort Knox, involved breaking files into fragments and encrypting each file fragment with a unique encryption key. Microsoft sometimes refers to this fragmenting of files as “shredded storage.” The fragment encryption keys (FEK)…


Reimagining a New Security Model for SharePoint

Posted by Peter Bradley on January 6, 2016 at 5:00pm 0 Comments

SharePoint's old security model was conceived in a different era. Let's imagine what a new security model might look like.

In my last post, we looked at the humble beginnings of SharePoint as Microsoft Tahoe, and pointed out that the security…


The free SharePoint Content Scanner is back

Posted by Mike Fleck on December 18, 2015 at 12:57pm 0 Comments

CipherPoint is once again providing free access to the content scanner.Yes, Office 365 has Data Loss Prevention but there are few reasons why you would be interested in this tool vs. the one from Microsoft.

  1. The CipherPoint scanner lets you create custom patterns to find.
  2. The CipherPoint scanner can search for sensitive content in on-premises AND Office 365 at the same time.
  3. The CipherPoint scanner is a lot easier to use.

To get the scanner you…





Take the CipherPoint's Annual State of Collaboration Security Survey

Started by Mike Fleck in General security topics Jul 14, 2014. 0 Replies

Each year, CipherPoint conducts a survey to understand businesses’ top security concerns relating to file…Continue

Government Agencies Deploying SharePoint Despite the Lack of FIPS 140-2 Level Validation

Started by K Nahbrha in Industry compliance. Last reply by Mike Fleck Dec 6, 2013. 1 Reply

How are government agencies deploying SharePoint 2010 despite the fact that SharePoint does not support FIPS 140-2 level validation as required by NIST?The operating system that hosts SharePoint must…Continue

Tags: DISA, Cryptography, NIST, 2010, SharePoint

Securing SharePoint

Started by Site Admin in General security topics Aug 16, 2013. 0 Replies

A reader posted this response to a blog we posted on the Snowden breach, and the SharePoint connection. What do you think...can SharePoint be securely deployed?JimOur blog is here:…Continue

Is anyone using RMS and SharePoint 2013?

Started by Mike Fleck in General security topics. Last reply by Kirk Hasty Jul 22, 2013. 1 Reply

One of our members just posted the above question in his status. Is anyone here using Windows Rights Management (or third party RMS provider) with *any* version of SharePoint? If so, please post your…Continue

Tags: 2013, sharepoint, management, rights

False negatives when using the Content Scanner

Here's a question and suggestion we got today about the Content Scanner. I'll post our team's response in the comments section.


I have downloaded your free tool Content Scanner for SharePoint and I have a couple of questions for you.

While performing scans, Content Scanner does not find any credit card #’s that I have entered into test documents. I have created custom strings and the scanner found those documents that contained the custom string.

But none of the predefined entries for Master Card, Visa, American Express or Discover card find any credit card #’s. I have created test documents with entries such as :

Amber’s Visa Card# - 1234-1234-1234-1243

Tiffany’s card# - 0987-6543-0987-6543

Also, the other questions I have – Is there a way to configure which web application the scanner runs against as opposed to the entire farm. My production system is multiple web apps with close to 2tb of content so I would like to break up the scans for scheduling. 

Views: 134

Comment by Mike Fleck on May 18, 2012 at 11:46am

Addressing the false negatives on searching your credit card numbers, there are certain patterns that each credit card type follows. See this excellent writeup:

For example, a Visa card will always start with the number ‘4’. If you break down the regular expression we use to find Visa numbers (“4\d{3}.*\d{4}.*\d{4}.*\d{4}") it goes a little like this:

The initial ‘4’ is just that. The string of numbers must start with a ‘4’, then have 3 digits (\d{3}) immediately following.

The ‘.*’ part says to ignore zero or more characters until you see ‘\d{4}’ which is 4 digits in a row. That pattern repeats.

To put it all together, the Visa regular expression will hit on any string of numbers that is 16 digits long, with some sort of break every four digits (or not), that starts with the number ‘4’.

Some of the cards have more complex rules, such as a Diners Club card (3[08]\d{2}.*\d{6}.*\d{4})

This means that it must start with a ‘3’. Next, the ‘[08]’ means the next character must be either a ‘0’ or an ‘8’, followed by 2 more digits (\d{2}). Then we have the break (.*) then 6 digits (\d{6}), and so on. Remember the ‘.*’ is zero or more characters, so a “valid” Diners Club card number can be the following:

3012 123456 1234 or 3812-123456-1234 or even 30121234561234.

If you would rather not mess with the specific card restrictions, please feel free to create your own pattern. Something like “\d{4}.*\d{4}.*\d{4}.*\d{4}” should work great to find the numbers you have in your test files.

We like the idea of allowing partial searches. All of our developers are heads-down on the next release of our SharePoint protection suite, CipherPointSP and CipherPointKM (we’ve added some exciting and challenging new features in this release). This effort is wrapping up, and we will be looking at integrating customer requested features and fixes into the content scanner soon after that.


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