In the rapidly evolving landscape of cybersecurity, businesses face an ever-increasing threat of data leakage. Recognizing the critical need for robust protection, Microsoft introduced Windows Information Protection (WIP) as a groundbreaking feature in Windows 10. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the capabilities of WIP and its pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive information on Windows devices.
Understanding the Need for Data Protection
Data leakage remains a significant concern, with 60 to 80 percent attributed to accidental incidents. Despite substantial investments—$93 billion globally—in security features, there was a 29 percent increase in data leakage from 2016 to 2017. WIP emerges as a timely solution to address this growing problem, providing automatic data leakage prevention for work files and data on Windows 10.
Key Features of Windows Information Protection
1. Automatic Protection for Work Files
WIP offers out-of-the-box data leakage prevention by automatically applying protection to work files and data. This prevents accidental data leakage through common avenues such as copy-and-paste, drag-and-drop, removable storage, and unauthorized applications.
2. Seamless Integration with Windows 10
Designed for both fully managed and personal devices, WIP is deployable on PCs and mobile devices running Windows 10. It caters to organizations of all sizes, providing scalable solutions to prevent accidental data leakage for end users.
3. Policy Enforcement Modes
WIP offers three policy enforcement modes, allowing administrators to customize the user experience in clipboard, save dialog, and data-sharing scenarios. This flexibility enables organizations to fine-tune their approach based on specific needs.
4. Selective Wipe Capability
In the event of unenrolling a work account from a personal device, WIP facilitates selective wipe of business information while preserving personal data. This ensures that work data becomes inaccessible upon account unenrollment.
Deploying and Managing WIP
WIP policy deployment is streamlined through Microsoft Intune for Mobile Application Management (MAM-only), Mobile Device Management (MDM), or a combination of both. The flexibility of MAM-only policy enables organizations to embrace Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in situations where fully managing personal devices is not viable.
Enhanced Security Measures
1. Automatic Encryption of Corporate Files
WIP ensures that corporate files downloaded to WIP-managed devices are automatically encrypted with a local key. This is achieved by configuring the corporate network boundary, identifying LAN and corporate cloud resources for optimal security.
2. Network Isolation Policies
By implementing network isolation policies, organizations can enhance security further. These policies, combined with Conditional Access controls on Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, restrict data access to managed devices only.
3. WIP Learning for App Discovery
WIP Learning provides insights into applications accessing work data, allowing administrators to fine-tune app policies. This, combined with Silent mode, facilitates selective wipe control and auditing, optimizing the protection of work data.
Integration with Azure Information Protection (AIP)
WIP seamlessly integrates with Azure Information Protection, offering application-level access control capabilities. This combination prevents unauthorized applications from accessing business information at rest and in transit, ensuring a comprehensive data security strategy.
Continuous Improvement and Industry Support
Since its inception, WIP has undergone continuous improvement, with support extended to Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft Teams, and various third-party applications. The collaboration with industry leaders like Citrix, Dropbox, Foxit, and WinZip ensures broad compatibility and ease of deployment.
Windows Information Protection emerges as a cornerstone in Microsoft's commitment to addressing the escalating challenges of data leakage. With its robust features, seamless integration, and continuous enhancements, WIP stands as a formidable solution to fortify data security on Windows 10 devices. As organizations strive for a more secure future, embracing WIP becomes a strategic imperative in the realm of cybersecurity.