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GP&C Secures Intellectual Property

General Plastics & Composites (GP&C) manufactures and machines composite materials for hostile environments.

Company

General Plastics & Composites (GP&C) manufactures and machines composite materials for hostile environments, specializing in composite products and solutions for the oil and gas industry. Founded in 1967 in Houston, TX, the company is a leading manufacturer of components for oilfield service companies worldwide.

Challenges

GP&C manufactures customized components for the energy industry and wanted to make sure that information for one customer could not be shared accidentally or deliberately with another customer or competitor. Its intellectual property is the mainstay of its business in a highly competitive industry and protecting it from unauthorized use was a critical component of its business strategy. The company president understood that the current way of protecting CAD files using security on Windows file shares was inadequate, since a user with access to the file could share it with other internal or external users easily. There was no way to control file access and usage once the file was removed from the file server. The president wanted to limit file access and use to specific users regardless of the location of the file. Permission controls were needed to control what a user could do when the file was open. Engineers should be able to Edit documents, for example, while other authorized users could only View them.

Solutions

The company implemented Fasoo EDRM on engineering drawings that encrypted the files and automatically assigned predefined permissions to them as engineers created them. Once other departments saw the value of protecting these files, the company implemented it to control all sensitive files, including Microsoft Office, PDFs, text and image files. This met the requirements to protect and control all intellectual property and other sensitive information, including HR, Finance, QA, Manufacturing and Sales information at all times, regardless of location or who was accessing it. GP&C could control who could View, Edit, Print or take a Screen Capture of any file. Security is dynamic so an administrator or department head can change file permissions after a document is shared, including to mobile devices. Select managers could remove the file protection for files that were no longer sensitive. The security was extended to printed files by adding dynamic watermarks showing company information and details of the user printing the file. Exceptions were implemented so that watermarks were not put on shipping labels and certain customer printouts. Administrators could prevent printing to PDFs for some people, since this could be a source of losing confidential information.

Benefits

The Fasoo security solution protects GP&C’s revenue by ensuring only authorized users can access sensitive files. It allows them to use this as a marketing tool, since they can guarantee that their customer’s intellectual property will not get into the hands of a competitor or other customers. It provides insight into file usage, including unauthorized access and ensures that if an unauthorized user got access to a file, they couldn’t access the information inside. The complete audit trail of all file activity provides a chain of custody of all sensitive information, simplifying data governance. Dynamic usage policies control View, Edit, Copy & Paste, Print and Screen Capture for authorized users. Time sensitive files can expire automatically to simplify version control. Department heads, administrators or executives can even revoke access to any file, if they suspect a data breach or an authorized user doing something they shouldn’t. The Fasoo solution met the president’s requirement to ensure that existing or former employees could not take intellectual property from the company or accidentally share sensitive information with unauthorized internal and external people. It helped GP&C’s bottom line by protecting and controlling access to all its intellectual property.

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