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Microsoft to Preview Azure Information Protection Service: Classification-Based File Protection Beyond your Perimeter

by Dann Anthony Maurno
Assistant Editor, MSDW

The grand-scale ideas of Microsoft Azure Information Protection are fairly simple: prevent data loss at the file level wherever the file sits, including on a device outside your company's firewall. Then, give the document's creator a GPS-like knowledge of where it resides and how it has been used.

Microsoft announced a public preview (due in July) of the new Azure Information Protection service on the company's Enterprise and Mobility blog. The service builds upon on both Microsoft Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) and the company's acquisition of Secure Islands, a data classification and labeling technology provider. That acquisition was announced in just November of 2015, but Microsoft was eager to unleash Secure Islands technology. As Microsoft's Dan Plastina, director of program management for Azure Security, described in the announcement:

To date, our engineering teams have made incredible progress in combining Secure Islands' industry-leading data classification and labeling technology with Azure RMS, and we expect to have a public preview of Azure Information Protection available next month.

Presumably, these capabilities will be extended to document management for enterprise systems like Dynamics ERP and CRM, but Microsoft has yet to describe how.

Microsoft promotes industry standard classifications

With Microsoft Azure Information Protection, protection begins with a simple classification - nothing new or extraordinary, but the first step in protecting a document on Azure. Classification is leveraged to automate sharing capabilities, even the ability to print.

Microsoft's stance seems to be that file classification is overly complex, prone to error and hard to enforce. The company is collaborating industry-wide to standardize labeling and classification ...

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About Dann Anthony Maurno

Dann Anthony Maurno is a seasoned business journalist who began his career as International Marketing Manager with Lilly Software, then moved on as a freelancer to write for such prestigious clients as CFO Magazine; Compliance Week;Manufacturing Business Technology; Decision Resources, Inc.; The Economist Intelligence Unit; and corporate clients such as Iron Mountain, Microsoft and SAP. He is the co-author of Thin Air: How Wireless Technology Supports Lean Initiatives(CRC/Productivity Press, 2010).