4 Data Protection Horror Stories And How Azure Can Help

4 Data Protection Horror Stories – And How Azure Can Help

Arraya Insights | October 16, 2015

How about getting into the Halloween spirit with a few scary stories? Only these aren’t about vampires or zombies, they’re about a real business fear: keeping control over data. While the undead DSC_6178-2317 (2)may be enough for some, seasoned IT pros know the threat of sensitive data falling in the wrong hands is where the real scares lie. After all, only one of those can end in hefty fines, upset customers or employees and mountains of bad PR.

But first, let’s set the scene. Traditionally, many companies relied on NTFS security to protect their data. They would format a disk with NTFS and set permissions based on Active Directory so only certain groups could access certain files. The problem with NTFS? As soon as that file was emailed, the security vanished. The same thing happens with SharePoint. Once, it’s out there, you can’t control it.

In comparison, Azure Rights Management Services (Azure RMS) provide file-level protection. Data is secured by way of encryption, identity and authorization policies. The protection doesn’t disappear when a file changes hands either. It travels on the file from device to device and location to location. This persistent security makes certain only the right people are able to access or edit a file. Not only is this a valuable feature, in some industries it may be a legally-mandated for compliance or legal discovery.

Azure RMS at work

Let’s take a closer look at Azure RMS by using four specific scenarios – or scary stories, if you will – to show what it can do:

Scenario #1: A low-level manager prints off a list of his/her direct reports’ salaries, but then forgets to pick it up from the printer. Now those salaries are office gossip.

How Azure RMS Could Have Prevented This: With Azure RMS, a document’s owner can set a policy which prevents a document from being printed. In this scenario, the low-level manager’s boss or the Finance team can lock that list of salaries down so that it can’t be printed. Even if that low-level manager emailed it to him or herself, the lock on printing would still be there. In addition, Azure RMS can also be used to encrypt a file so it can’t be copy and pasted and screen shots can’t be taken, providing even greater security.

Scenario #2: An IT staffer at a healthcare organization unknowingly uploads a number of files containing patient records from a traditional file server onto a SharePoint site which can be accessed by the entire organization. That information is suddenly available to employees from multiple departments.

How Azure RMS Could Have Prevented This: IT can set policies to protect documents which contain certain information types. For example, a healthcare provider might want to protect patient records. Now, say all of those patient records are marked with a specific sequence of numbers. Azure RMS could be set to recognize that sequence in a document and apply the necessary policies to any file containing it – keeping them from ending up in the wrong hands.

Scenario #3: A restaurant houses all of its recipes in Word. These recipes are its intellectual property and if they fall into the wrong hands, there goes one of its primary advantages over the competition.

How Azure RMS Could Have Prevented This: In order to protect the recipes, the restaurant’s IT team can create a folder on a file server and set it so only one group of users, its chefs, can access it. Even if someone were to email that file out, it would be useless since the receiver likely wasn’t included in that original group of chefs.    

Scenario #4: A company processes its new direct deposit enrollments quarterly through a third party. Once a quarter, the company’s HR group emails bank account info to that outside Payroll management provider.

How Azure RMS Could Have Prevented This: Azure RMS allows the company sending this sensitive info to put an expiration date on it. Once that limit is reached, the file will self-destruct. It will be completely unusable to the external Payroll processor or whoever the recipient was. This keeps data from sitting forever in a potentially unsafe location.

See the benefits of Azure RMS for yourself

These are just some of the ways in which Azure RMS can ensure greater data security. If you’d like to learn more about it or are ready to put it to work at your facility, Arraya’s Microsoft team stands ready to help. Azure RMS is part of a larger suite of products called the Enterprise Mobility Suite, which you can learn about here. Our experts are well-versed in the many features and components of Azure, including RMS, and will work closely you to ensure Azure is fine-tuned to meet your specific needs.

To begin a conversation with Arraya and our Microsoft team, visit us at www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us. Also, you can follow us on Twitter, @ArrayaSolutions, to gain access to our latest special offers, company news and insights.