While PDF protection software may be promoted as including DRM capabilities, at best, those DRM services will be provided by the vendor and out of your control, which may not be an ideal situation for larger corporations, especially those utilizing PDF security software within their corporate networks employing a restricted Internet policy or kept wholly as an intranet service.
One might hope that such DRM software might be available as a plugin or extension that can be installed on a CMS like WordPress. But while that may seem doable, it would in fact pose some problems with security and file validation. The security issue is due to the accessibility to WordPress plugin code which would give away the decryption methods used and their unlock keys, not to mention exposing the whole routine of DRM validation which would help any wanna-be hacker exploit your data protection.
File validation issues arise where the file name in the DRM server database does not match the file name of the protected PDF document. Because it is that file name that is submitted to the DRM server for validation of a user's access permissions, without a perfect match the DRM request will fail. Sure, the document author can be careful in naming the file but it needs to be idiot-proof and any variation, even as slight as a space or missing underscore will cause a mismatch.
Taking into account all possible scenarios, the file name of the protected document needs to follow strict rules. For example, non-alphanumerical characters need to be removed or replaced because they are illegal for file names delivered from most servers and will usually end up being truncated after being sanitized by the server or encoded by the web browser. Spaces are a definite no-no and will result in a 404 for their download on Apache web servers. As an email link the hyperlink will be broken and unusable.
An alternative form of identification, such as an ID number, would only make things difficult for both the author and end user by removing familiarity of what can be easy to identify and relate to. Besides, the file identifier needs to be embedded inside the encrypted portion of the protected PDF so that cannot be altered. Simply storing it in the file header will render it exploitable.
If you haven't already guessed by now, the best solution is to have the PDF security software installed and running on the DRM server to encrypt the PDF as it is uploaded, and while doing so check the filename, make any corrections if needed, and provide that file name to be included inside the file and also recorded as the file identifier in the DRM database. And now comes the crunch.
Forget Apache web servers because they cannot run desktop software as a network service. So which PDF security software can run as a service on a Windows server? The answer to that is almost any of them if they can provide an interface. But they don't because the cost would be prohibitive, and because they cannot provide a DRM solution except from their own web server. That is, except for the CopySafe PDF protection software.
CopySafe PDF Protection not only provides the most effective protection from all copy and the most secure DRM protection for the prevention of sharing and unauthorized distribution, but it is also available as DRM software that can be installed on your web server. At only $1,190 it is less than a quarter of the price of what others are selling their DRM service from a server that you cannot control. Pricing includes everything that you need and ready installed on your server by the expert team from ArtistScope.
For those with web development skills, the desktop version of the CopySafe PDF Protection software, which only costs $295, includes a special server executable for free. All that is left to do is create an interface between that EXE and your management pages.
Here you can upload your own PDF documents for the server-side version of the CopySafe PDF Protection software to encrypt and catalog it as a protected PDF. Of course, as a "demo" account you will not have full privileges such as being able to create new users or new groups, but you van upload an unlimited number of PDF documents, set a variety of permissions and limitations and test them as an authorized user, and then send them to another person (on a different computer) to test as a non-approved user.
The most outstanding feature of the CopySafe PDF DRM, as well as the many sophisticated options for group levels, expiration by date, hours or days and print limits with print count and view limit, is that as an author you have total control over all aspects with immediate effect on any changes made, even to protected PDF already saved to a user's computer or still out in the wild on disk.
Click to create a new demo account.
Author: William Kent
Date: 3rd March 2020
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