Data ownership and access

Some vendors have developed proprietary viewers for files to protect their information in use -- a version of "security by obscurity" -- while others implement extensions for browsers or productivity tools, such as document editors and electronic spreadsheets, which are able to decrypt file content as needed. Many of these solutions have additional features allowing data owners to apply centralized policies or user rights to individual files, where each file can have permissions setup for "view-only," "view and print" or "disable printscreen" and combinations of those functions.

In the best of these solutions, the encryption keys and permissions are stored on a proprietary server and get securely downloaded on demand. Those permissions can be removed even after the document has left the enterprise perimeter and changes take effect immediately, allowing the owners to maintain control of the content.


However, IRM alone does not provide protection from data thieves who use video equipment or screen capturing techniques to get illegal copies of documents. IRM needs to be combined with robust watermarks where it can enforce read-only access to the file content. This type of digital watermarking has proven to be an effective deterrent against data theft with in-house as well as SaaS solutions.


Other vendors have recently started offering technologies that obscure the document view so only a small area around the mouse cursor is visible. This type of functionality might also close a curtain over the browser when the focus is lost to protect from screen capture or what some call "shoulder surfing."

While the curtain is useful against older screen capture technologies and is not as intrusive, it does not always protect from newer screen capture products that have built-in capturing delays. From a user perspective, curtain technology obfuscates your view to the point it is either annoying or even unusable (in the case of complex diagrams). This kind of protection often punishes legitimate users and is doing very little to protect the data, so it should be implemented with care and at least be configurable.

In conclusion, good IRM deployment will protect against all accidental document leaks both inside and outside the enterprise with on-the-fly decryption of files. Robust watermarking combined with granular access control and auditing capabilities will deter most data thieves.


Previous Page   

1  2  3  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)


Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More