Comprehensive Guide to Azure Information Protection: Safeguard Your Data

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Data is one of your business’s most precious resources in today’s digital economy. With the aid of classification, labeling, and the implementation of permanent protection policies, Microsoft's Azure Information Protection (AIP) cloud-based service assists enterprises in safeguarding their sensitive data. This in-depth guide will go through Azure Information Protection's most important features step-by-step and how to use this service to protect your data.

What is Azure Information Protection?

What is Azure Information Protection

AIP is a subscription-based cloud service that helps businesses simplify administration tasks by labeling documents and emails to aid in the categorization, discovery, classification, and protection of those electronic assets. One component of the larger Microsoft Purview Information Protection system is AIP.

To add encryption security to an outgoing message, you can utilize AIP within Office 365. The solution protects Office suite programs, including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, by safeguarding digital files stored in the cloud.

The Benefits of Using Azure Information Protection

If your organization has a Microsoft 365 office environment, Azure Information Protection gives you a more in-depth understanding of where your content is being distributed and how it is being utilized and offers more granular control over it.

The increased visibility of organizational content provides the following benefits:

1. Addresses Limitations with Active Directory

Active Directory and user-level controls have some restrictions even though they work well.
For instance, adding a new cloud storage repository for users' files or adding new documents as attachments to incoming emails can cause issues.

These limitations raise the following questions:

  • What designations and rights should they have?
  • How can privileges and directories be manually assigned to thousands of daily incoming files?

These questions are answered by Azure Information Protection, which provides an additional layer of protection. This is most useful within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, including Microsoft Teams and SharePoint.

2. Helps Organizations Secure Their Data

The Azure Information Protection service protects data using encryption techniques, including AES-256, RSA 2048, and SHA-256. This ensures that your documents and files are secure and that only authorized users can access them.

To illustrate, you can set up a spreadsheet for a sales forecast or report such that only people in your company can view it. This determines whether a document can be updated, read-only, or barred from printing. Additionally, you can set up emails to restrict forwarding and 'Reply All' selections.

3. Provides Enhanced Compliance

Utilizing Azure Information Protection also aids businesses in complying with legal and regulatory standards. AIP complies with industry and governmental standards, including GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS. Organizations can classify and safeguard sensitive data in a way that complies with these criteria and upholds data privacy by utilizing AIP.

Organizations can develop and implement policies automatically, applying data protection labels and control thanks to AIP. This lowers the danger of human mistakes and data breaches, in addition to assisting in ensuring compliance with rules.

4. Provides Data Management Streamlining

Azure Information Protection offers a simplified data management method. Organizations can manage sensitive data across numerous platforms and devices with AIP’s help, making identifying, labeling, and securing sensitive data simple.

Thanks to AIP's integration with several Microsoft programs, including Office 365, SharePoint, and Exchange, you can easily add labels and protection to their documents and emails. The ability to design rules that automatically apply data protection labels and controls also makes it possible to streamline data management procedures and lessen the need for manual involvement.

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Key Components of Azure Information Protection

Components of Azure Information Protection

The following are the primary components of Azure Information Protection::

  1. AIP universal labeling client: To assist users in classifying, labeling, and protecting sensitive data, the AIP universal labeling client is a software program that can be installed on their devices. For users to easily add data protection labels and controls, the client connects with several Microsoft products, including the top productivity apps in Office 365.
  2. AIP labeling and classification: AIP offers a flexible and adaptable method for labeling and classifying items, enabling businesses to set their standards for both. Users can then apply the proper protection rules based on these classifications to classify and label data according to its sensitivity, such as confidential, personal, or public.
  3. AIP policies: Using AIP policies, businesses can specify the terms and circumstances under which data protection labels and restrictions will be automatically applied based on variables like file type or user identification. These regulations can be altered to satisfy certain company demands and legal constraints.
  4. AIP analytics: AIP offers reporting and analytics tools that let businesses keep tabs on how their data is used throughout the company. This promotes regulation compliance and aids in the identification of potential security risks.
  5. AIP integration: To give consumers seamless data security capabilities, AIP connects with several Microsoft programs, including Office 365, SharePoint, and Exchange. Through APIs, AIP can also connect to additional external apps.

How Azure Information Protection Works

Many businesses are moving toward a paradigm where a sizable portion of their personnel needs remote access to the corporate network. Businesses frequently store a large amount of their data in the cloud and thus require effective cloud security managed services like AIP.. No matter where a document was created, AIP safeguards it throughout its life.

There must be a means for organizations to prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. You don't want hackers to be able to access information that can jeopardize your firm's security system if an employee unintentionally leaves a company computer at a coffee shop.

Organizations can configure role-based access to sensitive information using AIP. You have complete control over everything, including who has access to see a given document and who can transmit it through email. You can withdraw a user's document permissions using AIP if they leave the firm or change roles.

Organizations can use AIP to prevent people from forging, storing, and disseminating important corporate data in documents and emails. Additionally, it prevents unauthorized users from accessing materials reserved for people with particular job functions. AIP assists businesses in adhering to any regulatory data protection requirements and compliance standards imposed by their sector.

Types of Data That Can Be Protected With Azure Information Protection

Azure Information Protection (AIP) can protect various data types, including:

  • Documents: AIP can safeguard various files, including text files, PDFs, and Microsoft Office documents. Users can label these papers with data to indicate their level of sensitivity, and AIP can implement security measures based on the labeling regulations.
  • Emails: Users of Microsoft Exchange can send and receive emails protected by AIP. To identify the level of sensitivity of emails, users can apply data labels, and AIP can implement protective rules based on the labeling policies.
  • Images: AIP can secure pictures and photos by adding watermarks or limiting user access. Users can label photographs with data to indicate their level of sensitivity, and AIP can implement security measures through labeling regulations.
  • Audio and Video Files: Audio and video files can be secured using AIP by encrypting or limiting access to the files. You can label these files with data to indicate their level of sensitivity, and AIP can implement security measures by the labeling regulations.
  • Data stored in cloud services: AIP can safeguard data in several cloud services, such as Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint. Data label users can indicate this data's sensitivity level, and AIP can implement protective mechanisms based on the labeling policies.

Azure Information Protection Scanner

With the help of the Azure Information Protection Scanner, businesses can find, categorize, and safeguard sensitive data kept on-site or in other cloud services. The table below outlines how this technology works by outlining its features and what they do:

Azure Information Protection Scanner Feature

How it works


Sensitive data is found by scanning on-premises and other cloud services with the AIP Scanner. This data includes documents, emails, photos, and other files.

Data Categorization

The AIP Scanner assigns data classification labels to newly discovered data by a set of specified policies. Sensitive data can be better identified and secured thanks to this classification.


The AIP Scanner can apply protection controls to sensitive data based on established policies. These safeguards could include data access restrictions, watermarking, or encryption.


The AIP Scanner offers reporting features that let businesses keep tabs on the status of their confidential information. This promotes regulatory compliance and aids in the identification of potential security risks.

Azure Information Protection Plans Comparison

Azure Information Protection Plans Comparison

Two separate Azure Information Protection (AIP) plans are available: AIP Plan 1 and AIP Plan 2. Here is a contrast between the two plans:

Azure Information Protection Plan 1

This plan provides businesses with essential features for labeling and classifying data. This allows organizations to categorize their data based on its sensitivity and importance effectively.

Additionally, Plan 1 offers fundamental security measures such as access limits and encryption, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access sensitive information. It seamlessly integrates with Windows, Office 365, and Azure Rights Management, enabling a unified and streamlined approach to data protection.

Azure Information Protection Plan 2

Azure Information Protection Plan 2 encompasses all the features of Plan 1 while introducing advanced protection controls for enhanced data security. It includes robust functionalities such as data loss prevention (DLP), allowing organizations to prevent unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information. The plan also facilitates the implementation of automatic and user-defined classification and labeling policies, ensuring consistent data protection across the organization.

Additionally, Plan 2 enables safe external user collaboration, enabling the secure sharing of protected documents with external partners. With the flexibility to integrate with custom applications and third-party data protection solutions through APIs, organizations can tailor their data protection strategies to meet specific needs.

Azure Information Protection P1 vs. P2

In addition to the AIP plans, there are two different licensing options: AIP P1 and AIP P2. Here's how they compare:




Advanced Classification and Labeling



Data Loss Prevention (DLP)



Secure External Collaboration



Third-Party Integration with APIs



Cloud App Security

Yes, with Microsoft Cloud App Security

Yes, with Microsoft Cloud App Security

Azure Active Directory Premium P1/P2

Azure Active Directory Premium P1

Azure Active Directory Premium P2

Conditional Access Policies



Identity and Access Management



Privileged Identity Management



Advanced Threat Protection



Information Protection for Third-Party Cloud Apps




$2-$6 per user per month

$5-$9 per user per month

Using Azure Information Protection

Using Azure Information Protection

Here's how you can use Azure Information Protection:

  1. Purchase an Azure subscription: You must have an Azure subscription to use Azure Information Protection. You can sign up for a free trial if you haven't already.
  2. Install the Azure Information Protection client: You can download the Azure Information Protection client from the Azure portal. The capabilities for classifying, tagging, and securing your documents and communications are provided by this client.
  3. Classify and label Your data: Using the Azure Information Protection client, you can categorize and identify your data according to its sensitivity and relevance. You can also build custom labels to meet your organization’s unique requirements.
  4. Apply protection policies: Once your data has been categorized and tagged, you can manage access and usage by applying protection policies. Policies that limit access based on user or group, place, or device can be implemented.
  5. Monitor and audit usage: Utilize reports and analytics provided by Azure Information Protection to track and verify how your protected data is being used. You can keep track of who, when, and where has accessed your data.
  6. Collaborate securely: Secure collaboration is possible with Azure Information Protection while working with external users. You can restrict access to and usage of protected documents and emails when sharing them with particular users or groups.

Different Ways to Use Azure Information Protection

You can utilize Azure Information Protection in various ways, including the following:

  • By categorizing and marking sensitive data according to its sensitivity level, you can protect it.
  • By appropriately labeling and securing sensitive data, you can ensure compliance with industry requirements and data protection legislation.
  • Securely communicate with outside collaborators and suppliers by exchanging password-protected files and emails with strict access restrictions.
  • With encryption and access control capabilities, you can safeguard intellectual property, including patents, trade secrets, and valuable company data.
  • As sensitive information moves inside and outside a business, it must be identified and protected. Additionally, usage must be tracked and monitored to identify and stop unwanted access or use.

Azure Information Protection Labels & Classification

With the help of a comprehensive labeling and classification system offered by Azure Information Protection, businesses can tag their sensitive data with metadata that specifies the level of secrecy or sensitivity. Labels can be used to enforce access, sharing, and retention policies and applied to files, emails, and other types of content.

Additionally, labels can automatically apply security measures such as encryption to sensitive data. With Microsoft Azure Information Protection, organizations can increase visibility and control over their sensitive data while guaranteeing compliance with industry standards and data protection requirements.

How to Monitor and Audit Data with Azure Information Protection

Here are the steps to monitor and audit data with AIP:

  • Use Azure Monitor for centralized monitoring: Use Azure Monitor to monitor and evaluate data consumption across your entire Azure infrastructure. Azure Monitor is a sophisticated tool that can centrally monitor and analyze data usage across your entire Azure infrastructure. Using Azure Monitor, you can immediately spot possible security incidents by tracking and analyzing data usage from various sources, such as Azure Information Protection.
  • Use Azure Log Analytics for advanced analytics: Azure Log Analytics is another effective tool that can be used to examine audit logs and discover more about data utilization. You can use advanced analytics and visualization techniques with Log Analytics to spot abnormalities and track important metrics while also analyzing and visualizing data usage trends.
  • Use Azure Sentinel to help You find security incidents: Azure Sentinel is a cloud-native security information and event management (SIEM) tool to find and react to security incidents. You can get real-time insight into data consumption and proactively identify and address security incidents by integrating Azure Information Protection with Azure Sentinel.
  • Use the Azure Information Protection Scanner for data discovery: The Azure Information Protection Scanner is a powerful tool that can scan an organization's file shares and identify sensitive data that needs to be protected. Using the scanner, you can ensure that all sensitive data is appropriately identified and safeguarded.

Integrating Azure Information Protection With Other Microsoft Tools

Data protection can be improved, and new capabilities can be introduced by integrating Azure Information Protection with other Microsoft technologies. Examples of how Azure Information Protection can be combined with other Microsoft solutions are shown below:

  • Microsoft Office 365 (now Microsoft 365): Azure Information Protection can be connected with Office 365 to label and secure emails and documents automatically. Users can manually apply labels and document protection using the Azure Information Protection add-in for Office programs. However, it’s important to note that the AIP add-in for Office will be depreciated as of April 2024. Microsoft recommends that you the labels functionality that is built into various Office 365 apps and services in its place.
  • Microsoft SharePoint: Azure Information Protection can be integrated with SharePoint to apply labels and secure sensitive documents in SharePoint sites automatically. Access to protected documents can be tracked and denied using this integration.
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security: Azure Information Protection can be connected with Cloud App Security to enable more visibility and control over data usage in cloud applications. Administrators can use this interface to find and categorize sensitive data in cloud services and to implement data protection laws.
  • Microsoft Intune: Azure Information Protection and Intune can be combined to apply security policies to mobile devices and guarantee the protection of sensitive data.
  • Microsoft Endpoint Manager: Azure Information Protection can be combined with Endpoint Manager to deploy protection policies to desktop and laptop computers and guarantee the security of sensitive data stored on those devices.

How Azure Information Protection Integrates With Office 365

To automatically categorize and secure sensitive information in emails and documents, Office 365 can be connected with Azure Information Protection. Through this integration, access to restricted content can be automatically and manually labeled, safeguarded, tracked, and revoked.

It also enforces data protection regulations while enabling secure cooperation with outside users. Organizations can guarantee uniform and efficient data protection throughout their email and document operations by integrating Azure Information Protection with Office 365.

How Azure Information Protection Integrates With Azure Rights Management

Azure Information Protection interfaces with Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) to add encryption and access controls for sensitive data. Through this integration, it is possible to provide policy-based security, safe teamwork, and compliance reporting features. By integrating these two solutions, organizations can provide comprehensive protection for their sensitive data, implement data protection policies, and adhere to legal obligations.

Using The Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) SDK with Third-Party Apps and Services

The MIP SDK extends sensitivity labeling to third-party applications and services. It is available within Microsoft Purview Information Protection. Developers can use the SDK as a way to add sensitive labeling functionality to various apps and services to ensure they are recognized appropriately and can benefit from effective data governance.

Examples of how you might use the MIP SDK include:

  • When files are exported from a specific program or application, a sensitivity label is automatically applied.
  • To add built-in labeling functionality for Computer-Aided Design applications
  • A cloud access security broker or data loss prevention solution reasons over data encrypted with Azure Information Protection.

Azure Information Protection Pricing

Azure Information Protection Pricing

Two plans are available for Azure Information Protection: Plan 1 and Plan 2.

While Plan 2 offers more sophisticated features, including cloud-based file tracking and revocation, document fingerprinting, and connection with other Microsoft services. Plan 1 only offers basic data classification and protection measures.

These plans are priced per-user, per-month basis and can have regional and currency variations. Azure Information Protection might also be included without additional charge under some Microsoft license agreements.


Azure Information Protection is a strong tool that can assist enterprises in classifying, labeling, and protecting sensitive data. It offers a complete data protection solution thanks to its connection with other Microsoft solutions, including Office 365, and Azure Rights Management.

Consider contacting Amaxra to learn more about Azure Information Protection and how it can help your business. Our team of professionals can assist you in determining your needs for data protection and offer a tailored solution that satisfies those demands. To find out more, contact Amaxra right away.

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