Azure Information Protection (AIP) and Boxcryptor – Comparing Security and Application
IT security inside a company is a very important and sensitive issue. Encryption solutions are an excellent way to enhance your data protection and security standards effectively. To help you choose a suitable encryption solution, we present a comparison between the file encryption solution Azure Information Protection and Boxcryptor.
Table of Contents
- What is Azure Information Protection?
- Comparison of Boxcryptor and Azure Information Protection
- Combining the Solutions for Both Zero-Knowledge Encryption and Labels.
- How does the integration of Boxcryptor with Azure Information Protection work?
- The Optimal Encryption Solution for Your Strategy
What is Azure Information Protection?
As part of the "Microsoft Universe", AIP serves as an extension the General Security Solution of Microsoft Information Protection, providing the additional features to help you classify and secure corporate documents and emails. The software is cloud-based, and all processes are run automatically in the background.
Comparison of Boxcryptor and Azure Information Protection
Azure Information Protection: Windows
Boxcryptor:: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Portable
Microsoft announced the sunset of their AIP mobile viewer App for iOS and Android from December 31st, 2022. After this date, files can only be viewed through the AIP viewer for Windows. Here you can find more information on the matter.
Supported File Formats
Azure Information Protection: AIP supports the file formats of all Windows programs on Windows. Generic file formats (JPEG, PNG, GIF, PDF, SVG, or MP4), however, can only be displayed in a viewer app and cannot be edited.
Boxcryptor:: Encryption works independently from file formats.
When choosing encryption software for your business, make sure it supports encryption of all file formats. Boxcryptor encryption works smoothly for all file formats and platforms, making it easier to implement in your existing workflow without limitations.
Supported Cloud Storages
Azure Information Protection: Specializes in the classification and protection of Microsoft Office files processed on a Windows machine and stored in OneDrive or SharePoint.
Boxcryptor: Supports more than 30 different cloud storage providers such as SharePoint, OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox.
Azure Information Protection: Emails with the label "Protect" can be sent and read via Outlook to people who use a Microsoft, Yahoo or Google account.
This Label offers further, optional security measures:
- Emails will be prevented from being forwarded
- The email can only be viewed, with the use of a unique identifier.
Boxcryptor: Currently, Boxcryptor does not offer any features for protected emails. However, you can securely encrypt attachments or send them via a download link with end-to-end encryption using our file sharing service Whisply.
Azure Information Protection: United States (Subject to the Cloud Act).
Boxcryptor: Germany (ISO/IEC 27001:2013-certified data center).
Companies based in the United States are required to disclose user data to government agencies under the Cloud Act, upon request.
Control Over Your Own Data
Azure Information Protection: The AIP scanner requires access to the stored data. Enterprise customers can use Double Key Encryption for individual files.
Boxcryptor: Zero-knowledge encryption by default.
When selecting suitable encryption solutions, ensure that the company providing the encryption does not have access to the sensitive data. Zero-knowledge providers can never gain access and literally have “no knowledge” about the contents of your files.
Azure Information Protection: AES with 128 or 256 bits and RSA with 2048 bits.
Boxcryptor: AES with 256 bits and RSA with 4096 bits.
The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) recommends a key length of at least 3000 bits to be used starting from 2023.
Combining the Solutions for Both Zero-Knowledge Encryption and Labels.
Did you know that Boxcryptor is compatible with Azure Information Protection? It’s possible to use Boxcryptor and AIP together: Boxcryptor encrypts all file contents and file names while AIP labels your files. The compatibility is technically possible thanks to the information about the AIP confidentiality classes of a document being stored in the document properties. Since Boxcryptor uses file-based encryption (unlike container solutions, for example), meaning that file properties (such as the AIP labels) are not affected by the encryption. Therefore, documents that have been encrypted with Boxcryptor can also be provided with a confidentiality class.
How does the integration of Boxcryptor with Azure Information Protection work?
Boxcryptor has the great advantage that it encrypts on a file-by-file basis and is therefore transparent to services such as Azure Information Protection.
AIP stores the labels ("Public", "General", "Confidential", "Strictly Confidential") in the file properties. "AIP Unified Labeling Client" can also be used to label entire folders or folder structures that have been encrypted with Boxcryptor. All this is also possible on mobile platforms.
In the following example, you can see the successful application of sensitivity labels in Microsoft PowerPoint. The file was stored in the Boxcryptor drive and is thus securely encrypted.
The Optimal Encryption Solution for Your Strategy
Organizations that primarily use Microsoft products and whose requirements are well met by Azure Information Protection will be satisfied with this solution. However, after having many conversations with organizations of all sizes, we have made a different experience. Most teams desire two things:
- Cross-platform flexibility
- Multi-cloud strategies
For these use cases, you can run into severe limitations with Azure Information Protection.
Boxcryptor structure accounts for the diversity of file formats and as a result, the whole company can use the same encryption software; be it the HR, marketing, or legal department. No matter the file content, file format or storage location – Boxcryptor can effectively protect all your data with end-to-end encryption.
The flexibility levels employees expect from their companies keeps increasing with time. They require mobile workplaces, want to be able to use a variety of devices as well as their preferred operating system. Modern businesses need data security solutions that offer a high level of data security but are also equally flexible, versatile, and user-friendly simultaneously. Boxcryptor hits the spot perfectly, offering apps for Android and iPhone, running on Windows and macOS, and natively encrypting more than 30 cloud storages.