In today’s business world, information security, regulatory compliance and data governance requirements are driving a top to bottom change in how we manage corporate data. As the walls of an organization blur, new business models make the definition of employee, business partner and corporate information difficult to define.
Many companies allow employees to work from any location at anytime using any device. Outsourced functions today range from design to manufacturing to finance and human resources. If I outsource manufacturing or finance to a third party, how do I define my corporate boundary for data, since my sensitive information is in the hands of a business partner? Add to this the real threat of external hackers and insider threats from employees, contractors and the third parties I use for key business functions.
How do you protect the most important information in your business?
Here are 4 reasons why you should seriously consider enterprise digital rights management (EDRM) as part of your file security, data governance and compliance strategy.
Protect Intellectual Property
Intellectual property (IP) is a critical asset for your business. It lets you create unique products and services that drive your revenue. It differentiates you from the competition and keeps your customers coming back. If this information accidentally or deliberately leaks, you can suffer financial loss and possibly go out of business.
EDRM protects your intellectual property from unauthorized access and controls what an authorized user can do with it. You can enable or prevent the ability to view, edit, print, copy and even take a screen capture of the information. You can control derivatives of documents, since people share IP in PDF or other common formats with both internal and external recipients. Since you have a complete audit trail of user and document activity, you know if someone accessed the documents inside or outside your network. You can also revoke access or change permissions after you distribute a document, if the sensitivity of information changes or those who should have access to it.
Protect Third-party Data
Any business that takes credit cards or deals with personal information must protect it from unauthorized access. Regulations such as HIPAA, PCI and numerous data breach laws mandate that third-party data is under strict control and only authorized people can access it. Violations can result in hefty fines and cause major legal and business problems.
Enterprise digital rights management controls how employees and business partners use this sensitive information. It can prevent sharing the data with unauthorized users by controlling access, screen captures and adding visible watermarks to both printed documents and those viewed on a screen or mobile device. The person sharing the sensitive content can restrict access to a trusted browser-based viewer, which prevents a user from downloading it. Since third-party data may have a shelf life, you can limit access to a specific time and revoke access to any distributed files immediately, regardless of location.
Protect Employee Privacy
HR and other departments have a lot of sensitive employee data, including social security numbers, health information, and the results of drug tests or criminal background checks. Controlling its access and distribution is part of the social and legal compact any employee has with her or his employer.
Enterprise digital rights management can limit access to private information by controlling the users and groups that can see it. You can control access dynamically through your internal access management system so that as roles change in your company, so do access rights.
Provide Audit Trails
Regulatory compliance is a requirement for many businesses to prove they can manage critical information in a way that ensures change of custody and proof that only authorized users had access. Compliance is not just a matter of the law, but is generally considered good business practice. Compliant companies can prove they take information security and management seriously and can use this as a selling point to their customers.
Enterprise digital rights management provides an audit trail of all user and file activities to ensure chain of custody of information for electronic discovery. This helps your organization understand the flow of important information and simplifies eDiscovery in the event of litigation.
Enterprise DRM can help you meet information security, regulatory compliance and data governance objectives, ensure privacy, and protect the digital assets of your company. It is the best way to protect your most important business information and get a good night’s sleep.
Photo credit Jason Baker