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Information Rights Management (IRM) Service for Staff Email

Dear Colleagues,

1. Protecting personal data and other confidential/sensitive information from security breaches is an important requirement that we need to assure.  On the other hand, proper management of the keys for deciphering encrypted data under protection generally would involve considerable extra effort and inconvenience.  In tackling this problem, ITS is now implementing a new Information Rights Management (“IRM”) solution so as to facilitate departments and individual staff members in mitigating the risks of information leakage in the processes of email exchange, and document retention and sharing. 

2.The IRM solution provides the information owner the following controls of the information (through encryption) so that it will only be accessible by the designated persons in restricted ways:

  • restrict documents from copy, edit or print
  • in-place protect files on disk
  • set expiry date on document access
  • track usage on shared documents
  • revoke access granted on shared documents

3. Professoriate staff and other staff members who are on Band E or above (or equivalent) are initially assigned the licenses so that they can use the IRM service readily from now.  (The IRM usage settings for those colleagues who do not use the service from now until end of May 2017 will be nullified and the associated licenses will then be reclaimed.)  The IRM usage settings for other staff members would be enabled upon requests of their departments/offices on need basis. 

4. A staff member using the IRM service should ensure that the following prerequisites are met, in addition to the eligibility as stated in (3):

  • using an “@hku.hk” email account;
  • using Microsoft Office 2013 or 2016 (Windows); and
  • using PCs installed with RMS sharing application (or mobile phones installed with Azure Information Protection Viewer ("AIP Viewer App"))        

*Important Note: The IRM service that we are implementing does not support the use of public email accounts, such as those of @gmail.com or @yahoo.com.  It is therefore recommended to confine the use of the IRM service for document exchange/sharing among staff members of the University.

5. Full features of the IRM service are supported on Windows platform. The features supported on the Macintosh and iOS/Android mobile phone platforms are generally limited to viewing of the protected documents. 

6. From now to June 2017, we have scheduled a number of training workshops to help staff members in understanding the IRM service and its usage, as shown below. I would be obliged if you would help in drawing the attention of your staff to participate in any of the sessions. 

Date/Time

Venue

Medium of instruction

Registration link

16 Feb 2017 (Thur)
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

KB-110

Cantonese

Course Description and Registration

1 Mar 2017 (Wed)

2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Cantonese

Course Description and Registration

15 Mar 2017 (Wed)
9:30 am – 11:30 am

English

Course Description and Registration

19 Apr 2017 (Wed)
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Cantonese

Course Description and Registration

15 May 2017 (Mon)
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

English

Course Description and Registration

15 Jun 2017 (Thur)
9:30 am – 11:30 am

Cantonese

Course Description and Registration

7. Upon request, we are happy to arrange separate training sessions for departments which are prepared to deploy the IRM solution across their staff members for improved information/data protection.

8. For more details about the features and use of IRM, please visit the website:  http://www.its.hku.hk/documentation/guide/communication/irm.

9. Please feel free to contact my colleague Mr K C Chang (email: kcchang@hku.hk; phone: 3917 7972) for any queries on the above.  

Thank you.

Yours sincerely

 

P T Ho
Director of IT Services
Information Technology Services