Do You Know Where Your Sensitive Data Has Been (And How It Got There)?

Posted by Ankur Panchbudhe on August 11 2015

No enterprise operates in isolation. A network of partners, vendors, customers and other third parties fuels the day-to-day operations, and many of those partners require access to enterprise data.Do You Know Where Your Sensitive Data Has Been?

Insurance brokers need access to personal health information (PHI), banks require financial data and other personally identifiable information (PII), while some firms may have to send confidential manufacturing specifications to develop a product. Regardless of the industry, all of this data is sensitive and must not fall into the wrong hands.

Any strong business relationship includes implicit trust that sensitive data will be protected and secured, but it’s in every enterprise’s best interest to take file security measures that go beyond the initial layer of trust.

Without proper enterprise digital rights management (DRM) protocols in place, the potential for data loss, leakage or theft is significant.

The reality is that it’s difficult (if not impossible) to force your business partners to take specific security measures. It’s also not feasible to conduct daily audits to monitor how these third parties handle your data.

Moreover, what if a partner falls victim to a data breach? You always want tools in place to ensure your data is secure when it’s with a third party.

Firewalls and data loss prevention (DLP) protocols keep data secure within your corporate network, but once data leaves your network perimeter, only DRM is able to keep it protected.

Enterprise DRM Protects Data At Rest, In Use And In Motion

When the IT department controls who accesses what data, when and where that data may be accessed, and how the data may be used — regardless of whether it’s at rest, in use or in motion — an enterprise is able to trust that its data is safe outside the corporate network.

Enterprise DRM empowers IT to do that by controlling file access, viewing, printing, copying/pasting, forwarding, downloading and other ways the data is shared. With solid enterprise DRM tools in place, IT teams always know where corporate data has been (and how it got there).

Sophisticated enterprise DRM suites embed encrypted access rights controls into the file itself, ensuring that even when a file leaves the corporate network, corporate IT controls how the file may be used. This allows the IT department to create a barrier to unauthorized access.

Plus, embedded DRM enables detailed tracking and auditing of shared files wherever they go – independent of location, device and user. For example, a bank that sends copies of monthly account statements to a third-party printing company could allow the files to be opened only once, rendering the data useless after the initial viewing or printing.

Other high-level enterprise DRM tools include audit trails, anytime rights revocation and password protection.

When end users know that files are being audited, they’re naturally more careful with how they handle the data. For instance, when a DRM’ed file is opened, a pop-up warning could notify the user that their actions are being tracked. Much like a closed-circuit television camera running in a jewelry store, the warning deters people from stealing.

Think about all the enterprise data that’s now available on WikiLeaks. Corporate data that’s leaked publicly is a worst-case scenario. Email chains from Sony Pictures and leaked memos from Barclays are among the scores of leaked documents now public record on WikiLeaks. Had these organizations used DRM technology on these files, IT may have possibly prevented the leaks or traced them back to their sources.

Don’t leave the integrity of your enterprise data to chance. Protect your organization by implementing the strongest enterprise DRM tools available today.

Learn more about how enterprise DRM enhances your information security by reading A Buyer’s Guide To Enterprise Digital Rights Management (DRM): 6 Essential Things To Consider.

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