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Azure Information Protection

Do you ever worry about who is reading your confidential business proposals, emails from HR, or a spreadsheet with details about all your clients? With the current pandemic forcing much of the US workforce to remain in a work-from-home environment, keeping track of important and confidential documents and emails is more difficult than ever. Due to the increased mobility of workers and staff working remotely, more businesses are relying on cloud services to ensure their workforce can access the files needed to do their job in a timely manner. With this increased availability, however, comes increased risk. Azure Information Protection – also known as AIP – provides a way to label and protect files and emails no matter where they are stored, change access rights after a document has left the security of your network, and see who has been accessing your confidential files. A security solution for a distributed world.

AIP Labels

When AIP is installed it adds labels to your files that appear as a footer, header or a watermark. The labels are applied to files or emails by administrator-defined templates. Labeling the documents can be done by creating rules that apply classification based on the content of the file. For example, a rule can be defined that looks for Social Security Numbers and applies a confidential label any time it detects numbers in the XXX-XX-XXXX format. Or the rule could suggest to the user, based on the content of the file, that the user apply a label. You can also use a combination of these methods to meet your needs.

The AIP labels are not just for classifying your documents, but also include security settings defined by you. A security setting can be applied to all files labeled “confidential” that will then prevent those files from being opened by anyone outside your company. You can also restrict the file from being emailed outside the company, or even restrict who can print the file. AIP uses Azure Rights Management for security, the same technology integrated into Microsoft cloud services such as Office 365 and Azure Active Directory. Every time a file is accessed after having a label applied AIP checks with the Azure Rights Management server to see if the person opening the file has permission. Once a file is secured by AIP it cannot be opened without this permission check, limiting access to only those you have given access.

AIP Admin Console

The final piece that ties these features together and gives you control of all of you AIP labeled files is the AIP console. From the admin console you can see exactly who is accessing your labeled files, when the files where accessed and from where in the world they are accessed. As an example, let’s say you have given access to a confidential word document to an employee named Jim and Jim lives in New York City. You open the console and see that Jim has accessed the file in NYC at 10 am and again at 10:30 in Los Angeles. Knowing that Jim could not possibly be in NYC at 10 and LA at 10:30 you know that someone else is using Jim’s account to access the file. With just a couple of clicks you can revoke Jim’s access to the file and prevent him or anyone else with his account from opening it. From the console you can also change labels and security setting for any file that AIP has been applied to without physical access to the file.

AIP gives you back control over your digital files no matter where in the world your workers are, or where your files end up. You are no longer left to wonder who is accessing your files. That information is at your fingertips. When an employee leaves your company, you also no longer have to worry what files they have access to, because you have the ability to revoke access even to files they might have saved to their personal computer. Azure Information Protection gives you peace of mind when it comes to the security of your data in our modern distributed world.

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