Many business documents need protection from the prying eyes of the general public. One reason for this would be the potential losses a company could suffer if confidential information was in the public domain.
Such documents include those for presentation to a company’s board (for example, competitive studies, strategy documents, and market analyses). Of course, these have to be protected throughout the process of making them. It makes little sense to only start protecting them in their final compilation stages since the damage could already have been done. Other documents could include those containing trade secrets and any crucial information that would give competitors an advantage or affect share price.
Protecting such documents is not a simple matter of encrypting them and burying heads in the sand as some organizations have been known to do; instead, it involves both encryption and document control. It is about protecting documents during the creation process, while they are being distributed, and when they are in the hands of the authorized users. Bear in mind that authorized users could be company staff or individuals not in your employment.
To assist you in the protection of your confidential documents from start to finish we discuss the essential factors to consider when contemplating the safety and confidentiality of your documents. Read on.
Table of Contents
In the document security sense, administration means controlling who gets access to certain documents, when they can access them, and how they do it. If you can manage this, you are well on your way to achieving business document security. However, not many document protection systems offer such control. Luckily, a document DRM system will enable an administrator to give access to a specific user, control the freedom and capability of what that user can do with the said document, and, if need be, revoke access.
In some cases, information needs departmentalization. In other words, no two departments or workgroups should have access to the same information. An administrator can preset such conditions early enough and only has to publish documents to the said groups for each member to receive a copy. Before this, however, they might need to curate all the employees’ emails and sort them according to their workgroups. If an employee is a member in more than one workgroup, then it would also be allowed. In this way, whenever a new document comes in for a specific group, only those who are meant to have a copy get it and no one else can view the document.
Also, it is possible to remove people from certain groups when they have moved groups or from the access database altogether if they leave the organization.
Use Restrictions – Allowed and Disallowed
Restrictions include whether the users can print a document, from which locations they can access a document, and whether users are allowed to edit the content in a document. Other restrictions you may want to apply can be to enable or disable the copy and paste function. More often than not the ability to copy and paste, print, and use screen grabbing mechanisms (such as screenshots) is disabled across the board and only in exceptional circumstances will some of these features be enabled. Also, dynamic watermarks with user identifying information will be added whenever printing is allowed so that, if a leak occurs, the source will be visible for all to see.
Need for External Use
Assuming you need to provide legal access, as a company, this opens you up to a lot of risk. The people to whom you give access are not part of your organization and so do not follow your rules and are not aware of your ethos. It is, therefore, a dangerous affair if your controls do not extend that far.
Fortunately, a document DRM system gives you options to control document usage at this level which may spare you countless headaches and offer you peace of mind.
Users with access do not have to have administrator privileges to protect documents with DRM software. The administrator can preset rules that run as DOS commands. This translates to automatic file protection, using the DRM system, when a user saves a file in a folder designated by the admin for this purpose.
Remote versus Internal Servers
Generally, it would be wiser to use internal servers as opposed to the more public option where you share servers with other apps. This will lock out external users and external influences on your document security system.
Protecting your documents could be the difference between a thriving business or a collapsing one. So, it is a matter to be taken with all the seriousness it deserves. How are you tackling the issue?
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