What is Azure Rights Management

Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) is a powerful cloud-based solution offered by Microsoft Azure, designed to safeguard digital assets by encrypting and controlling access to files and emails. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore Azure Rights Management, its features, use cases, and best practices for securing confidential data in the cloud.

Understanding Azure Rights Management:

Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) is a cloud-based information protection solution that helps organizations secure their sensitive data by applying encryption, access controls, and usage policies. By leveraging Azure RMS, organizations can protect their digital assets, including documents, emails, and images, both within and outside their corporate network.

Key Features of Azure Rights Management:

  1. Data Encryption: Azure RMS encrypts protected files and emails, ensuring that only authorized users can access and view the content. Encryption keys are managed centrally in Azure Key Vault, providing strong protection against data breaches and unauthorized access.
  2. Access Controls: Azure RMS enables organizations to define granular access controls and usage rights for protected content. Administrators can specify who can view, edit, print, and share documents, ensuring that sensitive information remains secure at all times.
  3. Policy Enforcement: Azure RMS allows organizations to create and enforce information protection policies based on predefined templates or custom requirements. Policies can be applied automatically to sensitive content, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and internal security policies.
  4. Integration with Microsoft 365: Azure RMS seamlessly integrates with Microsoft 365 applications, including Office apps, Outlook, and SharePoint Online. This enables users to apply protection to documents and emails directly from familiar productivity tools, without interrupting their workflow.
  5. Auditing and Reporting: Azure RMS provides comprehensive auditing and reporting capabilities, allowing organizations to track usage, monitor access, and generate compliance reports. This enables organizations to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements and internal security policies.

Uses of Azure Rights Management:

  1. Protecting Confidential Documents: Azure RMS is used to protect confidential documents containing sensitive information, such as financial reports, customer data, and intellectual property. By applying encryption and access controls, organizations can prevent unauthorized access and data leaks.
  2. Securing Email Communications: Azure RMS helps organizations secure email communications by encrypting sensitive emails and controlling access to attachments. This ensures that only intended recipients can view and interact with the content, reducing the risk of data exposure.
  3. Ensuring Regulatory Compliance: Azure RMS enables organizations to enforce information protection policies to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA. By applying encryption and access controls, organizations can protect personal data and sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure.
  4. Collaborating Securely: Azure RMS facilitates secure collaboration by enabling organizations to share protected documents and collaborate with external partners, contractors, and customers. By controlling access and usage rights, organizations can ensure that sensitive information remains confidential and secure.
  5. Preventing Data Loss: Azure RMS helps organizations prevent data loss by applying protection to files and emails containing sensitive information. In the event of a data breach or unauthorized access, the encrypted content remains protected, mitigating the risk of data exposure and financial loss.

Best Practices for Azure Rights Management:

  1. Classify Data: Classify data based on its sensitivity and importance to the organization. Apply appropriate protection policies based on data classification to ensure that sensitive information receives adequate protection.
  2. Educate Users: Educate users about the importance of data security and their responsibilities in safeguarding confidential information. Provide training on how to apply protection to documents and emails using Azure RMS and Microsoft 365 applications.
  3. Enforce Policies: Enforce information protection policies consistently across the organization to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and internal security policies. Monitor policy enforcement and audit usage regularly to identify potential security risks and compliance issues.
  4. Monitor Access: Monitor access to protected content and track usage to identify unauthorized access attempts or suspicious activities. Implement alerts and notifications to notify administrators of potential security incidents or policy violations.
  5. Regularly Review Policies: Regularly review and update information protection policies to adapt to changing business requirements, regulatory changes, and emerging security threats. Ensure that policies remain effective and aligned with organizational goals and objectives.

How to enable azure rights management

To enable Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS), follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal: Go to https://portal.azure.com and sign in with your Azure account.
  2. Navigate to Azure Active Directory: In the Azure portal, click on “Azure Active Directory” from the left-hand navigation menu.
  3. Select Azure Information Protection: Under the “Security” section, select “Azure Information Protection.”
  4. Activate Azure Rights Management: In the Azure Information Protection pane, click on “Activate” to begin the activation process for Azure Rights Management.
  5. Confirm Activation: Review the information provided and click on “Activate” to confirm the activation of Azure Rights Management for your organization.
  6. Wait for Activation: It may take some time for Azure RMS to be fully activated for your organization. Once activated, you will receive a confirmation message.
  7. Configure Azure RMS Policies: After activation, you can configure Azure RMS policies to define encryption, access controls, and usage rights for protected content.
  8. Apply Azure RMS Labels: You can also apply Azure RMS labels to documents and emails to specify protection settings and enforce information protection policies.
  9. Train Users: Educate users on how to apply protection to their documents and emails using Azure RMS features in Microsoft 365 applications like Word, Excel, Outlook, and SharePoint.
  10. Monitor Usage: Monitor the usage of Azure RMS to track protected content, audit access, and ensure compliance with organizational policies and regulatory requirements.

By following these steps, you can enable Azure Rights Management to protect sensitive data and enhance security in your organization’s Azure environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the difference between Azure Rights Management and Azure Information Protection?

Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) is the underlying technology that provides information protection capabilities, while Azure Information Protection (AIP) is the comprehensive solution that includes Azure RMS as well as additional features for data classification, labeling, and tracking.

Can Azure Rights Management be integrated with third-party applications?

ns and workflows.

Is Azure Rights Management included in Microsoft 365 subscriptions?

Yes, Azure Rights Management is included in certain Microsoft 365 subscriptions, such as Microsoft 365 E3 and E5. Organizations can also purchase Azure Rights Management as a standalone subscription.

Can Azure Rights Management be used to protect data stored on-premises?

Yes, Azure Rights Management can be used to protect data stored on-premises by integrating with Azure Information Protection and deploying Azure RMS connectors. This extends information protection capabilities to on-premises environments and legacy systems.

Does Azure Rights Management support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) scenarios?

Yes, Azure Rights Management supports BYOD scenarios by enabling organizations to apply protection to documents and emails accessed from personal devices. This ensures that sensitive information remains protected regardless of the device or location.


Azure Rights Management is a vital component of Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to data protection and information security. By leveraging encryption, access controls, and policy enforcement, organizations can safeguard their sensitive data, ensure regulatory compliance, and mitigate the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access. By understanding the features, use cases, and best practices for Azure Rights Management, organizations can enhance their data security posture and protect their most valuable assets in the cloud.

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