Ideally, company data should only be seen by authorized eyes. Business would be much simpler if information can circulate exclusively within your network, but firms must also communicate with customers, suppliers, partners, and government regulators. All of them are entities that are outside of your firewalls.
By connecting with external parties, companies run the following risks:
● Stolen data – Hackers can exfiltrate confidential files once they breach your defenses. ● Unintentional disclosure – Staff members can send electronic messages to the wrong recipients. ● Intentional dissemination – Corporate spies or employees bearing grudges against the company can take company files and release these to the world at large.
What can you do to mitigate those risks? Microsoft has a solution: Azure Information Protection (AIP).
What is AIP?
AIP is a cloud-based service that encrypts company data so that only those with decryption keys can access it. With AIP, administrators can also limit what users can do to the data. You can allow some staff members read-only access to files while allowing others to comment and edit these. Other actions such as email forwarding and printing can also be restricted, and you can even impose access expiration dates to keep windows of risk as small as possible.
How does AIP work?
AIP allows permissions to be set while files are made or edited, but such granular control sounds like a lot of manual work for managers and IT admins. Thankfully, AIP features AI technology that can recognize potentially sensitive data in a file you’re working on and can automatically prompt you to decide the rules you want to impose on it.
For instance, it can detect credit card numbers and ask if you want to partially redact these as recommended in payment card information policies. By helping admins set rules for classifying and tagging data within company files, AI aids with the sorting function of AIP.
Next, AIP fulfills its protective protocols by implementing the sensitivity classification, encryption, rights management rules, and authentication procedures you’ve set on your files. And last but not least, the program helps you control how company data is shared across the entire organization and beyond.
In fact, AIP even provides persistent protection to your documents and emails. For instance, the program can alert admins if files are being transmitted to out-of-the-norm locations. If exfiltration of company data is suspected, the admins can restrict all access to those files regardless of where these are kept or who gets hold of them.
AIP helps you comply with data regulations
Many states, nations, and economic regions are now implementing their own laws regarding private data, adding layers of complexity for companies that reach consumers across many regions.
As a tool for data security, AIP can help you comply with them all. For instance, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires data to be identifiable and secured, and AIP fulfills this via its data classification, labeling, and encryption functions.
Do you need to be an existing Microsoft user to use AIP?
The short answer to this is no — you can subscribe to AIP on its own, though it seamlessly augments Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security accounts.
To learn more about how AIP can benefit your company, consult with our experts at SimplyClouds. Allow us to examine your needs closely to determine the cloud security solutions that will work best for you.