Providing access to only privileged or trusted users can be critical to safeguarding the integrity of your documents, but just because they are trusted does not mean they don’t pose a serious security issue. For one, compliance can be a problem, but just as crucial is staying secure from misuse of content, malware, cyber-attacks, and more.
Here we look into the weaknesses found in traditional document security solutions where access is given to privileged users.
Issue one: Document misuse
You don’t know for sure if a trusted user will gain access to documents that they do not have permission to access.
Typically, privileged user access to documents is done by access control; this is why they are regarded as privileged. They have the authority to access specific files, documents, and secured servers to perform the task they have to do. However, how can one ensure that such users will not violate a password-protected document? Once the user gains access to the system, they can find ways to move around and open any documents they want. A password-protected document thus becomes useless and the classified content is now exposed.
With a document DRM solution, you can ensure that even a trusted or privileged user is not given complete control over a document, even though they have been given access to it. For instance, you can observe and monitor their activity in a specific document, restrict use such as editing, copying, and printing so it cannot be shared or tampered with. You can even stop users from using screen-grabbing tools to take high-quality screenshots.
Issue two: Tracking use
You cannot establish what transpired on your server based only on your log entries.
Just as in issue one, your server is not secured in spite of security software such as a firewall protecting it. If a privileged user has the key to open the gates, not only is the content on the server at their mercy but there may be no controls in place to ensure the privileged user is monitored or that they are every step is recorded.
Document DRM solutions can alert you of suspicious activities or the misuse of your documents in any form. It can be highly detrimental if a data breach takes place in your organization, in spite of your existing data security solution. And this can be attributed to issues one and two. A DRM solution can ensure that your documents are secured by preventing even privileged users from having holistic access.
Issue three: secure document sharing & distribution
You are not aware of the identity of your privileged user.
If you outsource specific tasks to a remote vendor or a third-party contractor, they are typically provided privileged user information. In return, they are likely to share a single account with all of their internal and development staff that can access your documents with the one user ID. Thus, you may not be able to identify the exact individual accessing your information. Given that the validity and accuracy of internal username databases are inadequate, the anonymity of your privileged users can impact your document security. This hazard could result in an audit failure and leave your system wholly exposed to an anonymous privileged user that can tamper with your information without any form of real detection. This unapproved and unrecorded activity can leave you at a loss in the event of a data breach.
Moreover, internal staff in third-party vendors may know that they are and can remain anonymous. And hence, if a data breach takes place, you may not know who did what; when; where; why, and how. In the event that a data leak takes place, it takes an average of 70 days to detect the incident (based on Data Breach Investigations Reports) so it could be too late to figure out the culprit.
A digital rights management solution offers you the unique features of user activity monitoring and document controls. If you invest in a document DRM solution that locks documents to devices it is much easier to track individual users by limiting use to a single device. A good document DRM software should also let you lock use to locations so you can limit access to specific locations for third parties and stop them from viewing sensitive information in potentially insecure locations.
With DRM, no individual can access your information anonymously. All activities performed are recorded, and the individual who accesses it can be held accountable with every document access. You can improve your organization’s document security with DRM’s identity management and access control features.