What does Microsoft Information Protection do?

As a security breach is one of the worst things that can happen to a business, it should be a top priority that the business keeps company information and sensitive documents safe to prevent this; Microsoft has developed a series of features that can help businesses stay on track.

Microsoft Information Protection is a large group of features, technologies, and policies that enable the safekeeping and categorization of data and secure information. It can help the business classify and label data by the level of sensitivity.

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What does Microsoft Information Protection do?

Although it is now known as Microsoft Purview Information Protection, which now focuses more on Azure, Microsoft Information Protection is a large number of features, technologies, and policies for businesses to take advantage of if they know what they are looking for. This set of features helps the business label and input classifications on its data based on sensitivity and security.

There are a few different ways that labeling and classifying data can help a business; these include:

  • Allowing a business to know how critical safekeeping certain information is.
  • Allowing Compliance administration to discover the different levels of sensitivity of their data.
  • Allowing Security administrators to price data access and policies for data loss prevention which depend on the information label.

The different types of Data Protection

Microsoft has many different terminologies when talking about data and technology policies, so they came up with a way to split some of them into different segments and sections to simplify things for people and admins.

For this article, I will put these into four sections and talk a little about what they contain; these are “Know Your Data,” “Protect Your Data,” “Prevent Data Loss,” and “Govern Your Data.”

Know Your Data

Know Your Data – This lets an organization have more of an understanding of the data on their system; this allows admins to identify specific data and documents that are essential and more sensitive to the business that is located on the cloud or on-site; it allows the business to label essential data so it can be transferred safely and in regulation.

Protect Your Data

Protect Your Data – This lets an organization encrypt their data which will protect it; this can be done using “Information Protection Labelling” by Microsoft Keys, “Double Key Encryption” (DKE), or “Bring Your Own Keys” (BYOK), “Office Message Encryption,” as well as “configure access restrictions” and “configure visual markings.” These can all be applied using Microsoft Azure; there is also “Extending Information Protection to Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, located in Microsoft Defender.

Prevent Data Loss

Prevent Data Loss – This is about ways that businesses can prevent loss of data; it involves the creation and editing of policies involving data loss prevention for “Data-at-Rest,” “Data-in-Use,” and “Data-in-Transit,” this is to stop accidents about sensitive data being shared.

Govern Your Data

Govern Your Data – This is about ways a business can keep data secure with labels and policies, allowing for defensive strategies to be used and data stored in the cloud. There are some regulatory requirements that the business can follow, such as the option to label certain items “immutable,” meaning that the item cannot be changed over time.

Source – Microsoft

Microsoft Information Protection Labelling

Sensitivity Labelling for Files and Folders

One of the first things I will cover is sensitivity labeling; this is used for files and folders. Businesses can use this to protect their corporate data and classify it; this is known as labeling taxonomy to Microsoft. The issue with this is it can be very time-consuming to go through everything and label things correctly according to the taxonomy document. Also, businesses that are still labeling before making the document may find it more difficult without the baseline taxonomy. There are times when a business may set auto labeling, but this could be an issue if the data has different sensitivity levels.

Container Labelling for Groups and Sites

Another thing to cover is “Container labeling,” this allows businesses to use a Sensitivity label on things like Microsoft 365 groups, SharePoint Sites, and Teams channels. There is a chance it will be already enabled, but if it isn’t, you should go to the Information Protection Section of the Compliance Portal on an admin account. You should see a banner saying, “Setting up container level labeling for your organization,” turn it on, and it will be running in the background; you can then configure it, and it should give you a link to sync the labels. You may need to wait for 24 hours for changes to occur; then, users should be able to apply labels to sites and groups once they view the labels.

Auto-Labelling Service-Side & Cloud Data Discovery & Labelling Enforcement 

The Autolabeling solution service side is labeling when content has already been saved in OneDrive or SharePoint; this gives businesses the option to apply Sensitivity labels automatically, which would be based on data and information that is matched from a Sensitive Information Type. It also gives a scanning mode option that the business can use for a Cloud Data Discovery Tool. After the business has made a Custom Sensitive Information Type or picked a Default Sensitive Information Type, the service can scan that type of data in the places you have configured. After it has been completed, it will provide a landscape of the data that will show where the sensitive data and items are found. It also can give recommendations for when data can be enforced with the suitable Sensitivity Label to items in the Cloud.


MIP or Microsoft Information Protection is a large group of features, technologies, and policies that a business can enforce and enable to maintain data safekeeping and allow businesses to categorize this data.

While researching this topic, I asked people on the Microsoft Community Forums about Information Protection; this is what an individual advisor had to say about this.

Thank you for posting on Microsoft Forum.

Microsoft Information Protection (Currently Microsoft Purview Information Protection) features help you identify, classify, and protect sensitive information while ensuring that your organization’s productivity and collaboration are not impacted.

Contrary to common belief, MIP (Microsoft Information Protection) is not a single product but a collection of technologies that are integrated into several components of the Microsoft 365 environment. Microsoft 365 compliance includes MIP capabilities, which provide you with the tools to know your data, protect it, and prevent data loss.

De Paul N. Kwizera

Keeping up with the required regulations and policies over their data would allow businesses to keep their sensitive documents and corporate data secure, and by using these, it can help the business avoid security breaches as that would be a massive financial blow to the business.

Siddra Afzal

Siddra Afzal has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Siddra formerly wrote newsletters for the NHS and was a PR and Communications Officer. She now combines her passion for photography and video editing with her knowledge of communications, writing, and research to the art of crafting the perfect tech guides for BTP. You can connect with Siddra on LinkedIn.

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