Secure Your Organization’s Offline Content with OneDrive

Working Remotely

Secure Your Organization’s Offline Content with OneDrive

By Alistair Pugin | June 14, 2017

Imagine you’re at the local grocery store drinking from a pre-purchased can of soda while you’re shopping. Now, let’s say you mistakenly toss the soda can into the trash before you had the chance to pay for it. Does this constitute ignorance or theft?

Enter the digital world, where we open a proverbial can of worms for every piece of data you intentionally (or unintentionally) consume, share, or create. Though it’s easy to argue that enjoying soda that’s yet to be purchased is illegal, there’s a more broad definition to what users should or shouldn’t do with sensitive content.

Read on to learn more about Microsoft’s security features and how you can secure your organization’s offline content with OneDrive.

Understand the Importance of Setting Proper Protection Policies

OneDrive allows its users to walk away with content from their repositories. If you’re part of an organization that permits remote work and access to confidential information outside of the office, then you may understand how crucial it is to set proper protection policies on content.

Historically, users would be able to print documents, store them safely within the company’s registry, and rest assured that compliance and information sharing would be managed. However, with the onset of smartphones, tablets, and external storage devices, the secure world that organizations depended on has become compromised.

Consider the ramifications of storing PII data on your smartphone and accidentally sharing it with your contact list. Disastrous, right?

What are Rights Management Services?

To combat incidental data breaches and insider threats, Microsoft introduced Rights Management Services with Windows Server 2003 to provide organizations with a security solution. They ensured the safety of sensitive content in the following ways:

  • No printing.
  • No copying and pasting.
  • No screenshots.
  • No forwarding of content via email.

Rights Management Service features grew as organization workforces became more mobile and susceptible to leaking sensitive content—especially if they were not managed with necessary infrastructure. It gave peace of mind to organizations whose users work remotely, ensuring that all information is secured and that access to sensitive content is tightly governed.

Introducing Azure Information Protection

However, being able to sync content offline posed another security risk for organizations around the world. With OneDrive, users could sync and store content for offline consumption, standardizing remote work and increasing the possibility of exposure risk.

With Azure Information Protection, which encompasses all the other Rights Management Services that Microsoft has built over the last decade, users are able to share content both internally and externally with the confidence of knowing that their content is managed centrally.

Even more, the proper classification, protection, and referential integrity of their content promotes industry-leading security measures.

Classification labels can be applied to an object as such:

  • Directly to the Office document through the Azure Information Protection Client.
  • Through policies applied to Exchange.
  • Enabling Information Rights Management in SharePoint.

Working Towards 100% Secure Content

To accommodate for the shift in technologies that have introduced a new spectrum of security risks, organizations can now classify, protect, and lock down sensitive content at the creation or consumption stages of the lifecycle of the document. With OneDrive, organizations can confidently sync documents across multiple mobile platforms and ensure that data breaches are an antiquated risk.

Ironically, the only thing that Microsoft has yet to do is figure out the proper naming conventions for their products, as this is still the most confusing and complex component of sharing content.


In 2016 alone, nearly 12.7 million records were exposed as a result of a data breaches, demonstrating that organizations were still at risk for leaks despite the giant advances in cloud security and information governance.

Regardless of whether these breaches were a result of ignorance or insider threat, there are convenient ways to double down on your organization’s security. Check out a free trial of Essentials for Office 365 and see how Metalogix makes it easy for you to secure your organization’s offline content.

Too Long, Didn’t Read?

  • Assess what your users should and shouldn’t do with sensitive content.
  • Eliminate the risk of potential data breaches.
  • Be on your way to a risk-free future with Metalogix.
  • Always pay for pre-consumed cans of soda at the checkout aisle.

Leave a Comment

Add new comment


Alistair Pugin

Alistair Pugin is an Office Servers MVP based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has worked in various capacities in multiple verticals spanning between 50 to 50,000 users utilizing all aspects of pure Enterprise Information Management. His current position provides him with a mechanism to assist companies with designing their Microsoft productivity stack using “best of breed” proven methodologies to foster innovation and growth through an ECM framework, while incorporating a Knowledge Management strategy. With this vision, he strives to provide customers with a platform for Business Productivity Enrichment, establishing communities of practice through proper analysis and building a knowledge economy that is both quantifiable and achievable.

Written By: Alistair Pugin