The Need For PDF Security Software For Corporate Data

Corporate data has never been so easy to exploit. Whether it is for inter-office communiqué, financial and statistical research, or online tutorials distributed as ebooks, file sharing and plagiarism can be a threat to one's livelihood. It is therefore critical that organisations educate their staff and recommend suitable handling procedures and the use of PDF security software for such documents.

In mission critical situations, sharing documents via email without taking precautions is not a viable option as it could result in data infringement, hacking, or unintentional leaks.

With regard to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a recent study shows that over 80% of small to medium sized businesses are unaware how the new legislation can hit them with large fines if they do not comply. The GDPR is new for data protection and privacy and it applies to everyone in the European Union (EU). It also deals with the transfer of personal information outside the EU and protecting EU citizens regardless of where they reside.

What then can organisations do about document security and sharing?

PDF security software for data protection Data sharing within an organisation requires robust strategies for the protection of documents that cannot be easily exploited. One technique is to encrypt documents and PDF files and for those documents that may find their way outside of an organisation, utilitise Document Rights Management, otherwise known as Digital Rights Management (DRM) to prevent sharing and unauthorised distribution.

DRM can refer to password protection in the weaker sense, or to user identification and verification of that user's privilege by a token or call-to-home. Either way, the intention is to limit access to the document's contents to those who have explicit permission to do so. Password protection is not a recommended process as passwords can be shared whereas user identification can be more specific and cannot be exploited.

In a highly regulated industry such as pharmaceutical companies, one needs to be assured that sensitive data about users and content specifications are most securely protected. All staff within the company must be mindful that although data needs to be shared, that it must be shared using the most secure procedures possible such as PDF security software and  image protect software.

Every organisation can benefit from document protection for data safety and compliance. There are many viable solutions available today and a common tendency is to adopt one that is user-friendly and supported across all operating systems including mobile devices. However that is a pitfall that too many make because in doing so one can be undermining the integrity of the protection solution that they hope will protect their livelihood. Because unfortunately, mobile devices utilise many different operating systems, but due to the nature of the beast, most of them can only utilise "apps" that are based upon simple code, namely HTML and JavaScript, which can be no more secure than a wet paper bag.

Where the greatest weakness is in that scenario, is that to protect anything it needs to firstly be encrypted at the point of origin and decrypted at its destination That means that the device requires the means of decrypting the document, usually in the form of a proprietary reader which if any else, is an "app" running on the device. However the app needs to know the decryption key and the way that it usually finds such a key is by looking inside the document.

Consequently, apps running on mobile devices, the aforesaid devices limited to simple HTML and JavaScript, can never be considered secure when the key to preventing unauthorised access is hiding in plain sight. Most organisations, especially the larger ones, still utilise Microsoft technology for both document creation and networked file servers, so using a Windows orientated document protection solution should be no mean feat, especially when considering that it can be the most secure option.

PDF security software that employs DRM for user identification can be used in-house or across the wide web. Such identification can use computer serial number for identification or it can use MAC address. However MAC address differs with each type of Internet connection, even on the same computer, and the user must be connected to the Internet for MAC address to be read. For offline DRM, encrypted token files can identify the user and specify their privileges such as extra conditions for print limitations, etc.

For in-house use such as a corporate network that has restricted access to the Internet, the DRM server will need to be installed within the home network. The only solution that comes to mind that satisfies all of these requirements is the DRM portal software developed by ArtistScope. Their DRM Server for CopySafe PDF Protection can be installed on any Windows based computer that runs Internet Information Services (IIS), including Windows Pro desktop versions.

So whether it be financial data, photographs or other intellectual property, using PDF security software can be the best all round solution for protecting shared data.

Author: William Kent
Date: 27th August 2019

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