Technology

Securely Sharing Sensitive Business Documents

Guest-Post

Thousands of businesses around the world fail every year. Sometimes, that is due to a lack of strategy
and bad business practices. It can also be because the competition has an unfair advantage.
For example, if the competition is always aware of another business’s business strategies, then they can
put measures in place to counter that and in so doing put you at a disadvantage. Unfortunately, that is
exactly how some companies conduct their trade. They embed people in your staff to learn what you
will be doing and when. Alternatively, they approach your current workforce with incentives to spy on
you. Also, you or your staff may make mistakes, while sharing sensitive business documents that make
you vulnerable to data theft.
It is for these reasons that you need Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection. With a DRM solution,
you will not have to worry about any of the scenarios mentioned above. Below we discuss why DRM is
the most ideal solution for securely sharing sensitive business documents.

Track Document Usage

People are used to sharing a document once and leaving it at that. They often do no follow up on how
the document was used or even if it was deleted on a specified end of use date. Document DRM systems
enable you to know when a document was opened if the user printed copies and, if so, how many, the

location where these actions occurred, and so on. If you monitor this information well enough, you are
bound to come across some shady dealings by some of your staff. But, document DRM does not just
stop there; it also gives you the tools to deal with such realizations accordingly.

Revoke Document Access

Information, such as the data provided by document tracking, maybe useless if there is nothing you can
do with it. Fortunately, a document DRM solution enables you to instantly revoke access for a single
person, a single document for all persons, and even all documents for all persons if there is a need for
you to do so. In addition, you can set expiry dates for each individual at the distribution center so
everybody can have their access revoked at different times. It all depends on their position in the
company and how long each individual needs to use a particular document.

Restrict Location Use

Things sometimes go awry when you allow business documents to go outside of corporate locations. Of
course, now that people use smartphones and take thumb drives with them to work, you cannot stop
them from taking documents home with them. However, you can prevent them from using the
documents anywhere other than at your offices. To do this, you can restrict document usage either by
location or by IP address, where you specify your office IP address as the only allowed one.

Control Document Printing

As mentioned before, you can track how electronic documents are used. The same cannot be said about
hard copies. As such, you should do all you can to manage paper files, including not allowing them to
exist at all. Yet, you might need to enable printing, which brings with it some complications. However, a
document DRM solution allows you to limit the damage by limiting the number of high-quality print
copies a user can make as a small quantity is easier to manage. Furthermore, you can use this measure
in conjunction with the watermarks control discussed below.

Incorporate Dynamic Watermarks

Dynamic watermarks should be visible on the screen when a user opens a document as well as on paper
when a file is printed. In this way, even if someone takes a photo of the document on their screen and
tries to collate it later, it will still contain their details and they can thus be pursued for distributing your
data without permission. In the same way, if the file is printed, the user’s details will appear on the hard
copy and can be used to identify the source of the leak. Given the legal ramifications that may follow,
many people would not be willing to take the risk to leak your documents.

Stop Document Sharing by Recipients

To retain control, make sure you have full control over who can share your sensitive business documents. This involves DRM incorporation where documents are locked to specific devices along with the keys that open them. The file cannot be opened without the key and the fact that the users do not know what the key is makes sharing a protected file useless. As such, your documents become theft-proof.

Final Say

As a business owner, you alone know the struggle that got you to where you are. Do not allow
document insecurity to be the reason your empire topples. Document DRM enables organizations to
securely share sensitive business documents without the worry that they will be misused. So take
affirmative action and incorporate a document DRM solution today.

About the author

Cullen

Software developer and tech enthusiast.