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Enable Information Rights Management

A SharePoint Online tutorial by Peter Kalmström

SharePoint iconFiles and e-mails are often the weakest security points in an organization's security system. When documents without any inside protection are sent as e-mail attachments or shared on memory sticks, they are accessible to aggressors, and e-mails without protection can be forwarded outside the organization and constitute a risk. That is why you need Information Rights Management, or IRM.

If you enable IRM in Office 365, you can limit the actions users will be allowed to take on as well e-mails as files that have been downloaded from SharePoint libraries. The IRM settings can for example allow users to read files but not print or copy them.

IRM is an important Office 365 selling point, because it is much easier to implement IRM on Office 365 than it is for on-premise installations. In the first demo below Peter Kalmstrom, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, shows how to enable basic IRM for Office 365. In the second demo he shows how to enable IRM in a SharePoint document library.

Enable Basic Information Rights Management for Office 365

  1. Open the Office 365 Admin Center.
  2. In the left pane, open the Settings and select Services & add-ins.
  3. Click on the link Microsoft Azure Information Protection. Now you will be directed to the Azure management site, where you can find links to more information about IRM.
  4. Click on the link Manage Microsoft Azure Information Protection settings.
  5. Click on the first Activate button to activate Basic IRM.
  6. Confirm the activation.

Now IRM has been activated, and in the demo below Peter shows how to enable IRM for SharePoint and for a document library.

Enable Basic Information Rights Management for SharePoint

  1. Open the SharePoint Admin Center.
  2. Click on the 'settings' link in the left panel.
  3. At Information Rights Management (IRM), Enable the radio button for Use the IRM settings.
  4. Click on the Refresh IRM Settings button.
  5. Click OK when the IRM settings have been refreshed.
Next step is to open a SharePoint site and enable IRM for a document library. It is done in the same way whether you use the new or classic experience:
  1. Open a SharePoint site and a library where you want to use IRM.
  2. Open the library settings.
  3. Click on the Information Rights Management link in the Permissions and Management group.
  4. Check the box for permission restriction on download.
  5. Enter a title and a description.
  6. Click on SHOW OPTIONS.
  7. Check the boxes for the restrictions you want to set.

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