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Office 365 can make it easier to comply with the new GPDR in EU

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Protect your information

Office 365 will make it easier to comply with the new GDPR in EU

In 2 years time all organisations who are active on the EU market will have to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation(GPDR). Personal identifiable data is not only a government issued number that can identify a person, it is a lot more and this blog post will not go into that definition. In this post you will read how to make use of features in Office 365 licenses of E3 and above.

In this post will I make you aware of a feature named Information Rights Management(IRM), it has been available for organisations that host their own Windows servers(On-prem). To activate and configure IRM On-prem is a costly task that will take some time, not many spend the time to activate it. In Office 365 most of the steps are easily performed by your administrator in less than 15 minutes for activating a single library of documents to use IRM.

I am not going into what you need to do when your organisation activates IRM, I will focus on the business benefit of using IRM.

With IRM the files you upload that comply with IRM are protected, all Office files and if you use a PDF-reader that is supporting IRM are even PDFs protected. The protection is not only to control what your staff is sending outside of the organisation, it also guides them how not to leak information. Many times are leakage of information unintentionally caused by employees whom by mistake emails a document to the wrong recipient and also as they were not aware that the document was containing company secrets.

With IRM your users can be blocked from opening documents unless they are signed-in with their Office 365 credentials. If they copy the document outside of Office 365 is the document still protected. You can enforce controls such as these

  • User has to use their credentials in Office 365 to open the document.
  • The user can be prevented from sending the document outside of your organisation.
  • The user can be prevented from copying the text in the document and even from printing.
  • A time-limit can be enforced for how long the document can be opened.

These are some of the security policies that can be applied to the users or to certain groups of users. Some of the businesses that can benefit from IRM are

  • Law firms
  • Auditors
  • Insurance agents
  • Companies with high amount of Intellectual property(IP)