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Home » Hacking News » Tighter security in Office 2003

Tighter security in Office 2003

by Nikola Strahija on March 7th, 2003 Microsoft's next version of Office will offer help to companies and government departments that have fallen foul of malicious leaks of information. Microsoft Office 2003 (formerly Office 11) will include Information Rights Management, a feature that allows firms to manage and enforce document management and corporate data security policy.

It will also allow authorised staff to apply data controls on a per-document basis.

Information Rights Management is not being pitched as a fully secure mechanism for safeguarding data but rather as a means to apply policy-based regulation companywide.

The software - due for launch later this year - will include the ability to disable individual documents; prevent or limit access to a file; restrict the number of times a document can be copied or printed; prevent the sending of a file as an attachment and prevent the forwarding of email to unauthorised users.

'Organisations have started expressing a clear desire to start controlling the flow of information and suppressing leaks' said Jason Cahill, lead program manager for Information Rights Management at Microsoft.

'Leaking data to friends or to rival organisations, it has become a real problem.'

But companies looking to deploy Information Rights Management within their organisations face problems when dealing with users, customers, suppliers and agents who are still using earlier versions of Office or older versions of Internet Explorer for remote access.

The features are only supported in Office 2003, meaning that controlled files are likely to be unreadable in earlier versions.

'There will be instances where users without Office 2003 will not be able to access a document or email that has had Information Rights Management applied to it' said Cahill.

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