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Securing Documents that You Want to Share

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In today’s global economy, enterprises are sharing and making information available to both their internal and external teams. Sensitive information resides on mobile devices, in the cloud, and with partners and stakeholders who require access anytime, anywhere. Therefore, sharing documents securely is a priority for businesses to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences.

THE CHALLENGE: HOW TO SECURE BUSINESS CRITICAL DATA WHEREVER IT TRAVELS AND REGARDLESS OF WHERE IT IS STORED However, secure sharing of data is not the only problem. In addition to sharing files, your employees are also opening and editing them. Those documents are often exposed to unseen threats of a data breach or information leakage. Therefore, secure document sharing must employ digital rights management (DRM) to protect data confidentiality ‘before, during, and after’ the file is accessed .

DRM: Maintaining the balance between document sharing and security

On one hand, you need to collaborate and share documents to do your job. On the other hand, you have to be cautious of the inherent risks associated with sharing your documents with internal and external team members. File-sharing services such as DropBox and OneDrive have some level of security built into them, but that may not be enough to protect your documents once they are shared.

This is where DRM solutions will help you maintain the balance between document sharing and security. Here are five ways a document DRM system will help you securely share documents:

1. CONTROL EDITING RIGHTS

If you do not want business-critical information to be modified, printed, or duplicated without your permission, you can retain this control even after the user has downloaded the document. When a sensitive document about your business strategy is shared, the last thing you want is someone making unapproved changes and forwarding it to others. By managing the editing rights of your documents, you will ensure that false information is not shared- and more importantly- that it does not end up in the wrong hands.

2. MONITOR DOWNLOADS

Being informed about when a document is downloaded will give you insight into how teams are collaborating on an urgent project. You will no longer have to email back and forth to make sure your teams can access the document, as you will get confirmation notifications. In addition to knowing that documents are being downloaded by authorized users, you will also know when unauthorized downloads occur. This can be a significant advantage when you are trying to keep confidential data secure.

3. GRANT AND CANCEL ACCESS RIGHTS

When you grant someone the rights to access or edit a document, it is rarely a permanent transaction. With DRM, you can modify access rights as quickly as you grant them. You will not have to worry about the access rights still being available to a recipient long after a project has come to an end. Even changes in organizational structure may prompt permission adjustments. Ex-employees can be locked out of sensitive information, while recently promoted employees can promptly be given access to the relevant information.

4. CONTROL AND TRACK PRINTING

Controlling and tracking printing is an integral aspect of secure document sharing as it ensures printed copies cannot be forwarded to unauthorized users. However, if you want authorized users to be able to print the documents, you can either limit the number of prints allowed, or watermark printed copies with identifiable user information to discourage subsequent distribution. Watermarking is a popular practice to discourage printing of documents. At the time of printing, system and user information are automatically inserted into the document to identify the user printing it.  You need to make sure that the document DRM system prevents printing to file drivers (i.e. virtual printers) so users cannot readily print a document directly to PDF or other unprotected document formats.

5. GRANT LOCATION-SPECIFIC ACCESS

You can allow or block your critical documents from being opened in specific locations and countries. You can apply this rule to stop employees from accessing sensitive information from outside the office, but enable a particular group to access certain documents if they are traveling on business. This also ensures that users using mobile devices cannot open secure documents outside an office location, or in places or countries where access is forbidden. You can also securely share certain documents with third-parties from specific locations. The advanced DRM solutions are capable of automatically picking up the user’s location when they activate their license, so you do not have to worry about manually entering this information.

Conclusion

The only way to take advantage of these benefits is to utilize the best in class DRM software. With an advanced document DRM system, you can keep your business-critical data private and safe, while inspiring collaboration, increasing productivity, and opening doors to partnerships.

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