Azure Information Protection and the Information Protection Modernization Journey

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This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

Microsoft Purview’s goal is to provide a built-in, intelligent, unified, and extensible solution to protect sensitive data across your digital estate. This includes Microsoft clouds such as Microsoft 365 and Azure, as well as on-premises, hybrid and third-party clouds, and SaaS applications. With Microsoft Purview Information Protection, we are building a unified set of capabilities for data classification, labeling, and protection for our customers’ multi-cloud and multi-platform IT landscape.

 

Azure Information Protection (AIP) has been on a multi-year modernization and integration journey with the goal of providing a cohesive and coherent classification, labeling, and protection stack for our customers. Over the years, we have:

  • Merged the AIP label and label policy management experience into the Microsoft Purview compliance portal.
  • Built sensitivity labeling directly into Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise on various platforms (Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android), going beyond the capabilities that the AIP add-in provides only for Windows.

 

At this year’s Ignite, we announced the next set of modernization updates:

  • The AIP Scanner will be renamed the Microsoft Purview Information Protection scanner. The admin experience will be moving to the Microsoft Purview compliance portal. System admins will benefit from being able to use a single compliance portal to configure scans of on-premises repositories, have the results be displayed in Activity explorer and Content explorer for analysis, and configure DLP and label policies for the Information Protection scanner.
  • Label auditing features have been integrated into Microsoft Purview Audit, replacing AIP Analytics as described in this blog, with even more improvements coming up.
  • Built-in labeling provided by Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise on Windows is adding more feature to close the feature parity gap with the AIP add-in. 

 

The AIP modernization strategy

Sensitivity labeling, which started in 2015 with AIP, has grown under the umbrella offering of Microsoft Purview Information Protection. Sensitivity labels have matured across Microsoft offerings with highly visible user experiences in Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, but also with deep service integrations like Power BI, SQL, SharePoint, Exchange, and more. Our end goal over time is to fully integrate our current AIP capabilities with the Microsoft 365 Purview compliance portal and the Information Protection platform, providing a modern unified and cohesive experience for Microsoft first-party apps and third-party integrations [like PDFs with Adobe Acrobat].

 

Over the next 12 months, we are accelerating the modernization of AIP – focused on admin experiences and the AIP add-in. In this blog, we’re sharing our strategy for this modernization effort to help you plan your long-term investments in information protection.

 

Capability

Previous status

(2021 blog)

New Status

Strategy

AIP add-in for Office on Windows

Maintenance mode

Maintenance mode (no change).

 

We’re continuing down the path of built-in labeling in Office apps. Over time, customers will get cross-platform labeling with Office apps, have better performance and reliability, and will have one less deployment to do.

AIP scanner

Maintenance mode

Not in maintenance mode. Will continue to be supported and modernized.

We have taken the first step towards modernization by moving the AIP scanner configuration to the Purview compliance portal with additional capabilities listed above.

AIP tools on Windows:

-    Classify & Protect

-    Viewer

-    PowerShell extension

Maintenance mode

Not in maintenance mode. Will continue to be supported and modernized.

Over time we will rebrand these tools under Microsoft Purview. We continue to recommend these tools to cover your labeling scenarios outside of Office apps.

AIP Viewer for iOS,

AIP Viewer for Android

To be sunset on 12/31/22

Will continue to be supported

Long-term alternatives will be announced later.

AIP portal

-

Will be merged into the Microsoft Purview compliance portal by January 2023.

This completes the integration of admin experiences into a single portal.

 

We continue to make deep investments into the MIP SDK for a consistent app development experience and to the Azure Rights Management Service to enhance our already strong data protection story. The labeling and protection value delivered at-scale through SDKs, PowerShell, and the Scanner along with support for non-Office filetypes is the cornerstone of our strategy to help our customers achieve the information protection value in a heterogeneous environment. In short, we encourage you to continue “business as usual” with AIP, especially for labeling and protection for scenarios outside of Office.

 

More cohesive, more coherent, more integrated

In the context of Office apps, built-in labels benefit from more stability and better performance because they don't use an Office add-in. There are a number of benefits for admins and end-users that make the switch from the AIP add-in to Office built-in sensitivity labels a valuable change for administrators to consider in the next 6-12 months. Check out a short video below to see these features in action or review our latest blog for the updates to sensitivity labeling available only in the built-in labeling client.

 

Picture1.png

Figure 1. Video and narrative created by Lisa Bizgan, product manager

 

Please join us on the journey to a modern labeling and information protection experience.

 

Resources:

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