Following June's announcement of the Azure Protection service, Microsoft has officially released a public preview. The release follows Microsoft's November 2015 acquisition of Secure Islands for $77.5 million.
It offers improved, more flexible protection and meets compliance requirements more efficiently. Combined with Windows and Office 365 the new service adds a more robust data protection solution.
The new release offers key capabilities to clients, including the ability to classify, label and protect data at the time of creation. These labels provide an intuitive system based on source, content, and context, and can be fully automized for maximum efficiency.
The control is offered straight from Office and other popular applications, creating a simple one click option to choose the level of security. Simultaneously, the user is given in-product notifications that provide recommendations to make protection decisions easier.
All of the classification and protection information travels with the data, ensuring it's protected regardless of where it is located or what operating system it's stored on. Document owners can define who has access to the data and specify whether it can be edited, printed or forwarded by recipients. They can also choose how encryption keys are managed with Bring Your Own Key options.
This is all combined with a new visibility and control interface that lets the document owner track activities on shared documents and revoke access if needed. It also gives IT the ability to monitor and analyze the data.
Pricing and Installation
The pricing plans for Azure Information Protection are still not known and are likely to be announced closer to its general release later in the year. However, the preview can currently be downloaded and installed for free from their website.