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What is Azure Information Protection?

When it comes to business data, robust security is imperative. It can be a challenge to manage and control how data is being shared in files and emails, especially when the need to do so is an integral part of your business operations. This increases the risk of data being compromised.

Data breaches remain a constant threat for businesses, with no industry or organisation immune from the risks. As more data is being used online, it’s never been so important to understand the ways to protect this sensitive information. Azure Information Protection is a part of the wider Microsoft Information Protection framework and one of the ways you can protect your internal and external business information.

Azure Information Protection basics

Microsoft Azure is a platform of cloud-based services that includes Azure Information Protection (AIP). This solution offers organisations the ability to classify and protect data, documents, and emails with labels. This improves Microsoft Azure’s existing capabilities, to ensure sensitive and protected information isn’t compromised. AIP is an additional safeguard, ensuring the integrity, protection, and regulatory compliance of data, as well as improving document management and access controls.

How does Azure Information Protection work?

Azure Information Protection capabilities allow businesses to label documents and emails, either manually or with set rules generating automated labels, to determine who can access and view this information. The protection attached by applying labels to the document or email persists regardless of where it is sent, on any devices, and to any system internally or externally. Files can be set to be viewable only to specific individuals even if they are sent to someone outside the organisation. This maintains data protection and encryption even if the document is copied.

Label and classify – AIP classification distinguishes information by sensitivity to the user. This can help to determine where it is kept within your organisation and who can view the data, such as confidential, public, official use only, or classified. AIP allows automated labelling to be set up, with rules outlining which labels to attached to specific types of files or documents. This to ensure files aren’t being left unprotected when being saved, and only authorised users will be able to access them.

On-premise scanner – this allows administrators to scan on-premise files and identify those stored locally that require classification and protection. The scanner shows the file creator, how the file is accessed (read only, classified), and whether the files can be shared and how. With this information, administrators can determine if the files need further classification and protection.

Sharing protected content – AIP prevents protected documents from being copied directly or shared via email. Administrators are notified via the Azure portal if a user attempts to email a protected document.

Control over document sharing – labelling documents give users permission to share files to external parties if required, with the ability to allow editing privileges, print, etc. There is also the option to revoke access to the file at any time, even if the file has already been opened.

Can your business benefit from Azure Information Protection?

Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Enterprise subscribers can access all the benefits of Azure Information Protection. It fully integrates with other apps in the Microsoft Office ecosystem, including Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint. This integration makes it much easier for businesses to protect information from employee negligence, one of the biggest causes of data breaches. AIP ensures all employees properly label and protect their files and emails, by use of automation such as one-time codes. This reduces the chances that a rushed employee will accidentally allow sensitive information to be compromised.

Cloud-based solutions are used by businesses everywhere, and sharing data is a function of cloud-based computing that has increased efficiency and productivity exponentially. So, it’s incredibly important to ensure this file sharing doesn’t lead to sensitive and important data being compromised, which can have devastating consequences for businesses. Azure Information Protection is one of the simplest and efficient ways to create another layer of security around mission critical business data.

Talk to the Azure experts at INTELLIWORX today about how to access the benefits of Azure Information Protection and ensure your business is protected at all levels.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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