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Rights Management Services (RMS)

Published: 28 July 2021 Last updated: 16 February 2022

IT Service

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What is RMS?

Rights Management Services (RMS) is an encryption technology that can be used to protect individual files and emails. It is designed to work in conjunction with other security measures, such as O drive permissions.

One of the benefits of RMS is that unlike O drive permissions which must be configured by ICT, any member of staff can apply RMS protection to a document or email. Also, once a file is RMS protected even if that file is moved or copied the protection remains in place.

RMS is now available for all staff to use. It is intended to be used with highly sensitive documents and where granular permissions and document expiry dates must be applied. However, it is important that RMS protection is applied only when necessary, as overuse of this technology could result in legitimate access to documents being accidentally denied.

The following applications support native RMS protection:

  • Word 2010/2013
  • Excel 2010/2013
  • PowerPoint 2010/2013
  • Outlook 2010/2013
  • Word 2011 for Mac
  • Excel 2011 for Mac
  • PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
  • Outlook 2011 for Mac
  • Microsoft XPS Viewer > Restricted Access.

Protecting Microsoft Office documents

To protect Microsoft Office documents open the file you want to protect, click File then select the Info tab.

Select Restrict Access > Connect to Rights Managers Servers and get templates. Once the templates are downloaded click Protect Document > Restrict Access.

You can now restrict access to specific people, to University staff (editable) or University staff view only.

Check “Restrict permission to this document”
and enter the names of the people you want to
have “Read” and “Change” permission. You can
enter their name or email address, or select
them from the global email directory. You can
also grant particular permission to “Everyone”
by clicking.

You can click “More Options” to grant additional
permissions (such as allowing users to print)
and to set an expiry date on the document.

When someone accesses a protected document for the first time they must be connected to the University staff network in order to authenticate. If they are offsite they will need to be using VPN. Once they have accessed the document once on a particular computer they will be able to access it repeatedly without needing to be connected to the staff network, as long as the “Require a connection to verify a user’s permission” checkbox isn’t ticked in “More Options”.

Protecting emails

You can apply RMS protection to emails to prevent recipients from forwarding or printing them. Note that this will only work with emails sent to internal recipients.

To protect an email that you have just composed click File > Set Permissions. Then click Do Not Forward.

Outlook Web Access has full support for reading and composing RMS protected emails. We have not yet enabled RMS to work when using your University email account on mobile phones and tablets but this is planned for the future.

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