Due to an abundance of new devices, collaborating and sharing documents has become extremely effortless, making them available more than ever to clients, partners and users. Document collaboration makes employees more efficient and gives organizations the flexibility to help them accomplish goals in a diverse, high-powered, and disseminated business domain. But, these recent approaches of collaboration, through online or other electronic mediums, have exposed a dangerous security issue.
How can an enterprise exploit the benefits of online document collaboration without compromising privacy, integrity, and accessibility of vital business data? There are major security problems and compliance risks involved as data present in electronic documents and PDFs becomes distributed around the Internet. It is seen that in most cases, IT security responds in a reactive manner, and often does not address how data can be prevented from being tampered with in the first place. Meanwhile, enterprises are continuing to transfer documents from one place to another using online collaboration platforms. But while this may help increase their efficiency, it can easily expose their data to unauthorized users.
Some dangerous risks and compliance issues related to data sharing are:
- Intellectual property (IP) and trade information: Either through accidental exposure or deliberate disclosure, IP can be put at risk because of collaboration and technology licensing. For instance, one area where potential applicants assess product dossiers, known as biopharmaceutical out-licensing, is extremely vulnerable to trade secret leakages and IP violation.
- Confidential customer data: Electronic discussion with clients, partners, external comptrollers and key business associates need to be safeguarded, not only to secure sensitive customer data, but also to carry out the organisation’s contractual and service-level responsibilities to its clients.
- Strategic collaboration: Associating with management advisors, members of governing boards, and shareholders calls for distributing data on business manoeuvres, implementation, and contracts. As a matter of fact, the more classified a document is, the greater is its risk of being exposed, especially if it has to be shared outside the organization.
- Private details: Personal information concerning employees, management, directors etc. must be protected securely within an organization, as its disclosure could compromise the integrity of its members and the structure of the organization.
- Legal and compliance difficulties: Organizations must have total authority and saliency over its data containing legal, financial and contract-related information, and must be aware of who is accessing it at all times.
Leaked data: There is an overall concern that covers all these points – that is data getting out of secured places or getting into the wrong hands, either intentionally or accidentally. Any individual employed by an organization, who gets access to classified data can place the company at risk by disseminating classified information via email, through unsafe online collaboration applications, or via offline communications such as physically handing out printed documents, or transferring them onto CDs and USB drives.
Unfortunately, orthodox and conventional infrastructure approaches to security such as firewalls, password protection, end-point security etc. are no longer able to safeguard collaboration in a dynamic and extended enterprise. In most cases, companies look at security as an afterthought; the primary focus is just getting a job done.
The Good News: Organizations today have the option of providing their staff with a secure collaboration environment through Enterprise DRM.
Enterprise Rights Management from LockLizard offers a host of security functionalities, from: forbidding the duplication of PDFs, preventing distributing to unauthorized parties, blocking documents from being printed, preventing screenshots, enforcing document expiration, applying dynamic digital watermarks, and many more additional security features that can be further customized, depending on the company’s requirements. Importantly, LockLizard also offers digital Enterprise DRM security without the need for passwords, and empowers organizations to trace who is using their documents, and in what manner.
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