Information Rights Management (IRM) provides the world of Office 365 with far more control over the degree of document access and security allowed. For example, one workaround used by users to extract data from a confidential, view only document, is to open the document in read mode and then use the print screen option to save a copy of the data. This workaround can be prevented when IRM is enabled in Office 365 content and can:
Microsoft has two methods to enable IRM within the Office 365 productivity suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). The first is to install the IRM services on a Windows 2003 or 2008 server, which enables integration within a corporate Windows domain. This integration allows a content author to select which users and groups from Active Directory have access to their content. The second method is to use a Windows Live ID. This enables companies without an Active Directory environment to restrict user access based on a user's email address. Once the IRM services or the Windows Live ID certificate has been installed, the steps to dictate the IRM permissions for each user is the same for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2010:
When Restricted Access is selected, the Permission dialog box will appear. There are three permission levels that can be set: Read, Change and Full Control. Full Control is available when the More Options button is selected.
Each permission level works as follows:
Users with Read permission can read a document, workbook or presentation, but cannot edit, print or copy it.
Users with Change permission can read, edit and save changes to a document, workbook or presentation, but cannot print it.
Users with Full Control permission can do anything with the document, workbook or presentation that an author can. For example, any user with Full Control can set expiration dates for content, prevent printing, and give permissions to users.
Clicking on the More Options button will enable the content author to give another user the Full Control permission and other types of content access.
The more options dialog box has several options that enables users to:
Once you have set the appropriate access, click on OK twice to apply your information rights setting. Now when the document, spreadsheet or presentation is accessed, a Message Bar will appear to let users know that the content is rights-managed. Only the author or users with Full Control will be able to change the permissions.
The Office 365 Information Rights Management implementation is a useful component for providing additional protection to content created in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. However, it cannot prevent: