Secure your SharePoint Documents using IRM

Information Rights Management (IRM):

As we all know, content can travel across the web but the Protection is persisted with the data for this the solution we have is IRM with which we can securely share data with individuals.
IRM is all about protecting the documents and it content by providing them with the access rights. Usually the sensitive information was protected by granting the limited access to the computers and networks. Previously the user was not able to decide which user can do what activity with the available files.
With the Release of SharePoint 2010, IRM was made available which enabled the users to add information rights over the file and its content. IRM helps to limit the user actions on the files that can be downloaded from the SharePoint Lists & Libraries, even we can limit the distribution of the highly sensitive content. Once you have shared the documents you can even set IRM rights to make sure to prevent further sharing of those documents. The protection is done on the document and resides in the document itself, so the protection lasts with the document even if it has reached the unintended user.

IRM can be applied in two ways:

  1. To the whole list or library: This helps to maintain the consistent level of protection to the entire group of documents & files present in document library.

  2. To the individual files and document: This helps to set the individual control over the documents & files present in list and library.

Functionalities provided by IRM:

  1. The expiry date can be set for the document to make the document available for particular time span.

  2. Prevent the unauthorized viewer send the document in mail even after downloading it from the server.

  3. Prevent the unauthorized user to print or fax the document.

  4. Prevent the unauthorized user to copy and paste the content of the document.

  5. Prevent the unauthorized user to modify the content of the document.

  6. Prevent the unauthorized user to view the content after specific time span and provide the credential if he needs to view the document content after the allowed time span.

  7. Prevent the unauthorized user to copy the document using print screen.

  8. Protecting the document for the particular time after that users will be able to view the document.

  9. Prevent the users to browse the documents in the web browsers.

  10. Allowing users to upload only predefined file formats by IRM.

  11. Protect the document for a group.

  12. Protect the document forwarding in emails.


Working of IRM:

Library and list level protection can be applied by the IRM. After enabling the IRM for library & list, all the files that are supported by the protector installed on all the front-end web servers. Encryption & Decryption of the content is controlled by the protector for the rights managed files of a specific format. Any addition file format protection needs the protector of that file type to be installed on the server.
All the files which are protected by IRM are in encrypted form with issuance licence, so only authorized user can have the access over the content of file. Protection includes the file from getting saved locally, restrict copy of text, read only. All the restrictions are based on individual’s user permissions.

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