Organisations used to have a security perimeter. However, as employees have become more mobile, it has become more difficult to protect confidential data, particularly outside the confines of your organisation. While mobile device management solutions like Microsoft Intune address this issue, sensitive information still needs to be transmitted beyond the ‘safety net’ of your company walls every day.
Earlier this year Microsoft announced that a new key component of its renamed Enterprise Mobility plus Security suite (EM+S), is Azure Information Protection (AIP). AIP, which builds on Microsoft Azure Rights Management (RMS), helps you classify, label, and protect any documents and emails that you share outside your organisation.
You can classify documents to understand what is sensitive, and what isn’t, and label the documents so other systems can see their classification. It is then easier to protect the data and monitor it for possible abuse.
This can all be done automatically by administrators who define rules and conditions, manually by users, or a combination where users are given recommendations. (The controls are integrated into Microsoft Office applications – including in-product notifications – so users can secure the data they’re working on with a single click.)
This means you can share data safely with co-workers as well as your customers and partners. You are able to define who can access the data and what they can do with it—such as allowing them to view and edit files but not print or forward.
In addition, your IT team can also track activities on shared data and revoke access if necessary with a powerful logging and reporting tool to monitor, analyse and reason over data.
“Mobile working, or working across multiple sites, combined with the enterprise’s increasing use of cloud-based applications, such as Office 365 and Salesforce.com, and public cloud platforms such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure, means that company documents can be freely accessed from almost any device, on any network,” commented Cobweb managing director, Michael Frisby.
“Azure Information Protection helps organisations keep their data protected at all times, regardless of where it is stored, with whom it is shared, and how it is accessed. It is a vital part of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility plus Security suite, which puts security first in this ‘mobile-first, cloud-first’ era.”
The AIP client is now available for Office 2010/13/16 on Windows 7/8/10. Microsoft has also introduced new AIP apps for iOS and Android so you can open protect email and PDFs. These replace the existing RMS Sharing apps that are in the store, and users will receive an automatic update.