Azure Rights Management: Features, Why & How it Works

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Is your company’s information safe? Nowadays, when everything is at stake, how will you ensure the safety of the organization’s information? Microsoft Azure Rights Management is the top pick these days.

Information is one of the most valuable fortes that any company may have, and it plays a key role in achieving its objectives and growth. As a result, its integrity and confidentiality can directly impact day-to-day corporate operations and, if leaked or broken, can result in irrevocable damage.

The topics covered in this blog are:

What is Azure Rights Management?

It is a cloud-based protection technology and is used by Azure Information Protection. Azure RMS uses encryption, identity, and authorization policies to safeguard files and emails across numerous devices, including phones, tablets, and PCs.

Azure Rights Management

For Example:
If an employee emails a document to a partner organization or saves a document to their cloud drive, Azure RMS’s continuous protection helps secure the information.

  • Your data’s protection settings are kept with it even after it leaves your organization’s boundaries, ensuring that your content is safe both within and outside your walls.
  • For compliance, legal discovery needs, or best practices for information management, one may all necessitate the use of Azure RMS.
  • Use Azure RMS with Microsoft 365 subscriptions or Azure Information Protection subscriptions. If you want to know more, refer to the Microsoft 365 licensing guidance for security and compliance page.

Azure Rights Management ensures that authorized individuals and services can continue to read and inspect the secured data, such as search and indexing.

Maintaining control of your organization’s data requires ensuring continuous access for authorized people and services, often known as “reasoning over data.” You may not efficiently accomplish it with other information protection solutions that utilize peer-to-peer encryption.

Why Microsoft Azure Rights Management?

1. Share Information in a Secure Manner

When users share a protected file, it can assure them that only authorized individuals will have access to files attached to emails or kept on a SharePoint shared link. Users can also secure the entire email message if the email body contains sensitive information and activate the “Do Not Forward” option form in Outlook. Even if the recipient forwards the email to someone else, the email or linked files cannot be seen by anybody other than the initial recipient.

2. Emphasize Business-to-Business Collaboration

Before sharing protected material, RMS eliminates the need to set up a secure manner of collaborating with other organizations. Collaboration between your firm and others is immediately supported if they utilize Office 365 or an Azure AD Directory.

Furthermore, suppose another organization does not use either of those platforms. In that case, they can join up for RMS using an individual membership for free or use a Microsoft account for Azure Information Protection applications that support this type of authentication.

3. Support for both On-Premises and Office 365 Services

On-premises services, including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Windows servers running the File Classification Service, can use Azure RMS (File Servers). Without a doubt, Office 365 services can and do integrate with Azure RMS.

4. Can Scale your Organization, if Needed

Microsoft Azure Rights Management is a cloud-based service that scales up and down automatically, eliminating the need for your firm to deploy more servers to handle the increased burden. So you can quickly extend information protection across your organization and benefit from a secure, shared environment, both internally and externally.

5. Monitoring and Auditing

The use of protected data can be audited and monitored by companies. It isn’t only restricted to files held within the company. The auditing and monitoring features provide the following benefits if company X shares a protected file with company Y (for example, if they’re working on the same project and need to share information with read-only permissions).

  • X will be able to see if and when authorized users at Y open the files.
  • X can check audit logs to identify whether non-authorized users have attempted to access any protected files (This can quickly occur by forwarding emails with attachments or saving protected files inside shared folders, accessible by external users).
  • X will get a notification immediately if protected files with read-only access have been modified or printed.
  • In addition, X will be able to track and cancel access to shared files and generate reports detailing how the files were shared and who accessed them.

Also check: Our blog post on Azure Certification Path

How does Azure RMS work?

As part of the protection process, this data protection service from Azure Information Protection does not see or keep your data. Unless you intentionally store information in Azure or use another cloud service that saves it in Azure, information that you safeguard is never transferred to or stored in Azure. Anyone other than authorized users and services can’t see the data in a document due to Azure RMS:

  • The data is encrypted at the application tier, and a policy that defines the document’s approved use is included.
  • The data in a protected document is decrypted. The rights defined in the policy are enforced when it is used by a legitimate user or processed by an authorized service.

The image below will give you a deep understanding of how it works at a high level. An authorized user or service successfully opens a document containing the secret formula after it has been secured. A content key protects the document (the green key in this picture). It is unique to each document and is stored in the file header, where your Azure Information Protection tenant root key protects it (the red key in this picture). Microsoft can develop and manage your tenant key, or you can create and manage your own tenancy key.

The secret formula is not sent to Microsoft Azure during the protection process when Azure RMS encrypts and decrypts, authorizes, and enforces restrictions.

How does Azure RMS work

Check Out: Azure Data Factory interview questions

Microsoft Azure Rights Management Features

  • With Azure Rights Management, you can safeguard any form of material. There are no limits on the file type in general.
  • Individual subscriptions are available to sign up for the free Azure Rights Management plan.
  • If someone tries to print a document that Azure Rights Management protects, you will receive a notification immediately.
  • In the case of On-premises RMS services, you will have the option of getting personalized assistance.

How to Activate Azure Rights Management

You may not need to enable Azure Rights Management if you have a service plan that includes it:

  • If you purchased a Microsoft Azure Rights Management or Azure Information Protection subscription after February 28, 2018, the service would automatically activate. Unless you or another global administrator for your organization discontinued Azure Rights Management, you do not need to activate the service.
  • If you purchased an Azure Rights Management or Azure Information Protection subscription before or during February 2018, you must: If your tenant uses Exchange Online, Microsoft activates the Azure Rights Management service for these subscriptions. Unless you observe that AutomaticServiceUpdateEnabled is set to false when you run Get-IRMConfiguration for these subscriptions, it will activate the service for you.

You must manually activate the protection service if neither of the circumstances above applies to you.

All users in your company can apply information protection to their documents and emails once the service is active. All users can open (consume) documents and emails that the Azure Rights Management service has protected. If you choose, you can use onboarding controls for a phased deployment to limit who can apply for information protection.


Various computer businesses produce data encryption programs and algorithms, ensuring that they may give sophisticated means for restricting access to sensitive data. Although the main element of the information protection process is to use suitable techniques and technology to preserve information, the first stage is to classify and rate the data depending on their security sensitivity. Microsoft Azure Rights Management is serving protection at its best.

FAQs About Azure RMS

Q1. What is Azure Rights Management used for?

Azure RMS is the cloud-based protection technology used by AIP. It protects your files and emails across multiple devices including smartphones, tablets, and computers using different encryption, identity, and authorization policies.

Q2. How can Azure RMS help protect your content?

Azure RMS (Azure Rights Management Services) is a cloud-based encryption technology that is used to protect individual files and emails. It allows users to protect their documents by applying different access permissions and expiry dates. users can also use this service with other security measures to protect their files such as O drive permissions.

Q3. Is Microsoft Azure RMS free?

Azure RMS for individuals provides a self-service subscription that is free for users who want to access files protected by Azure Information Protection. If these users cannot be authenticated by Azure AD, this free sign-up service can create an account in Azure Active Directory for a user.

Q4. What is the difference between Azure RMS and AIP?

The main difference between Azure Rights Management (RMS) and Azure Information Protection (AIP) lies in their scope and functionality. Azure RMS is a data protection solution that provides persistent protection to files and emails, while AIP is a comprehensive information protection solution that includes RMS capabilities along with classification, labeling, and enhanced data protection features.

Q5. What is Azure Rights Management used for?

Azure Rights Management is used for protecting sensitive data by applying persistent encryption and access controls to files and emails. It helps organizations maintain control over their sensitive information even when shared with external parties, ensuring data confidentiality and compliance.

Q6. What file types are supported by Azure Rights management?

Azure Rights Management supports a wide range of file types, including Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), PDF files, image files (JPEG, PNG), text files (TXT), and more. The supported file types may vary based on the specific configuration and version of the RMS/AIP solution.


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Sonali Jain is a highly accomplished Microsoft Certified Trainer, with over 6 certifications to her name. With 4 years of experience at Microsoft, she brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to her role. She is a dynamic and engaging presenter, always seeking new ways to connect with her audience and make complex concepts accessible to all.


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