Information rights management (IRM) is a discipline that involves managing, controling and securing content from unwanted access. IRM is a subset of digital rights management (DRM), which protects multimedia content, including video and music. While DRM focuses on protecting intellectual property from patent infringement and piracy, IRM focuses on protecting sensitive data, especially data that is exchanged with parties outside an organization (suppliers and partners, for example).
IRM is an important consideration when overseeing enterprise document files, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. IRM technologies use encryption to protect files from unauthorized actions such as viewing, copying, printing, forwarding, deleting or editing.