The New Rights Management Service

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in aadrm, active directory, certificates, cloud, compliance, dirsync, exchange, exchange online, https, hybrid, journal, journaling, mcm, mcsm, microsoft, Office 365, Outlook, pki, policy, rms, smarthost, transport, unified messaging, voicemail

This blog is the start of a series of articles I will write over the next few months on how to ensure that your data is encrypted and secured to only the people you want to access it, and only for the level of rights you want to give them.

The technology that we will look at to do this is Microsoft’s recently released Windows Azure Active Directory Rights Management product, also known as AADRM or Microsoft Rights Management, or “the new RMS”.

In this series of articles we will look at the following:

The items above will get lit up as the article is released – so check back or leave a comment to this post and I will let you know when new content is added to this series.

What is “rights management”

Simply this is the ability to ensure that your content is only used by whom you want it to be used by and only for what you grant. Its known in various guises, and the most common guise is Digital Rights Management (DRM) as applied to the music and films you have been downloading for years.

With the increase in sharing music and other mp3 content in the last ten plus years, the recording companies and music sellers started to protect music. It did not go down well, and I would say this is mainly because the content was bought and so the owner wanted to do with it as they liked – even if what they liked was legal they were limited from doing so. I have music I bought that I cannot use because the music retailer is out of business or I tried to transfer it too many times. I now buy all my music DRM free.

But if the content is something I created and sold, rather than something I bought I see it very differently. When the program was running I was one of the instructors for the Microsoft Certified Master program. I wrote and delivered part of the Exchange Server training. And following the reuse of my and other peoples content outside of the classroom, the content was rights protected – it could be read only by those who I had taught. Those I taught think differently about this, but usually because the management of getting a new copy of the content when it expires!

But this is what rights management is, and this series of articles will look at enabling Azure Active Directory Rights Management, a piece of Office 365 that if you are an E3 or E4 subscriber then you already have, and if you have a lower level of subscription or none at all you can buy for £2/user/month and this will allow you to protect the content that you create, that it can be used by only those you want to read it (regardless of where you or they put it) and if you want it can expire after a given time.

In this series we will look at enabling the service and connecting various technologies to it, from our smartphones to PC’s to servers and then distributing our protected content to whom needs to see it. Those who receive it will be able to use the content for free. You only pay to create protected content. We will also look at protecting content automatically, for example content that is classified in a given way by Windows Server or emails that match certain conditions (for example they contain credit cards or other personally identifiable information (PII) information such as passport or tax IDs) and though I am not a SharePoint guru, we will look at protecting content downloaded from SharePoint document libraries.

Finally we will look at users protecting their own content – either the photographs they take on their phones of information they need to share (documents, aka using the phones camera as a scanner) or taking photos of whiteboards in meetings where the contents on the board should not be shared too widely.

Stick around – its a new technology and its going to have a big impact on the way we share data, regardless of whether we share it with Dropbox or the like or email or whatever comes next.

Journal Alternative Mailbox and No Inbox Rules

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in 2013, compliance, exchange, exchange online, journal, journaling, mcm, mcsm, ndr, Office 365, rules, transport, transport agent

In the event of your journal mailbox going offline, any journal reports destined for these mailboxes will queue. After two days (though this time is the expiry time for messages in your Exchange organization, so may be different) the message will expire and an NDR sent to the sender of the journal report. The problem is that the journal report was not sent by anyone – the From address is <>. So no NDR is generated and the journal report is lost.

There is the JournalReportNdrTo property of TransportConfig that allows you to set who will receive these NDR’s.

Set-TransportConfig -JournalingReportNdrTo journalndr@mcmemail.co.uk

Once this value is set this mailbox should be monitored occasionally and any NDR’s opened and the containing message (the journal report) resent so that it goes back to the (now working) journal mailbox.

In Exchange 2013 this NDR mailbox is never the subject of journaling nor do any inbox rules run against this mailbox – even if this mailbox is mentioned in a journal rule of if the mailbox has inbox rules associated with it. When you set this value in your Exchange 2013 organization you get the following warning:

WARNING: Any mail to JournalingReportNdrTo mailbox will not be journaled and it will not honor transport and mailbox rules settings. It is recommended to create a dedicated mailbox for JournalingReportNdrTo setting or set it to an external address.

Or if you set it in Exchange Control Panel then the following popup appears:

image

The warning also mentions that Transport Rules do not fire for this mailbox, but that is not what I have seen – though it might be that specific transport rules do not get actioned, but others do. Inbox rules and Journal Rules are not processed.

Therefore it is very important that you do not use a standard mailbox as the target for JournalReportNdrTo, as this mailbox will have all its outbound emails missing from any journal it should be stored it (and this would be a compliance issue) and the user will get bothered that their email rules in Outlook are not working.

The problem is that this is not the case in Exchange 2010, so if you have set the JournalReportNdrTo property in the past on a mailbox, and then migrated that mailbox to 2013 you will not be warned, but you will find that upon migration to 2013 your inbox rules stop working and if you look in the journal mailbox you will not find messages send from this mailbox. Therefore create a mailbox specifically for journal NDR’s before you migrate to Exchange 2013.