Microsoft is adopting technology from EMC's RSA security division for Windows to police data and prevent loss and theft of information.
The companies announced Thursday Microsoft will license RSA's data loss prevention (DLP) engine for future versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and "similar" products.
Microsoft would not be drawn on whether the DLP engine will be built into Office or the forthcoming Windows 7. Office would be logical move given it features the Outlook client used by Exchange and is where potentially sensitive documents can be created in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Neither would Microsoft be drawn on when DLP engine will work with its client-side identity management system CardSpace or the Geneva authentication and authorization system, released to its first beta last month.
What Microsoft was willing to say was RSA's DLP Suite 6.5 will be "integrated tightly" with its Active Directory rights management services (RMS) in Windows Server 2008 later this month.
RSA's suite finds data and lets you monitor and control its use across networks and on devices.
The companies said they are working together so customers don't need to buy different rights management point products for use with "infrastructure" software, such as Windows.
Also, they want to make it easier for organizations to implement security according to domain instead of device - i.e. establish a security policy for use in healthcare or financial services instead of simply setting access rights according to the importance of a given database.
In licensing RSA's core engine, it seems Microsoft will rely on RSA's expertise in finding information and putting it in it's context. The classification engine will identify information in file systems, databases, data centers, and devices and pass it on to Active Directory RMS. Active Directory will then trigger enforcement - such as not allowing a person lacking access rights the ability to open or print a protected document. ®