Embedded DRM Solutions Gaining Traction in the Effort to Secure Information

robert palmerby Robert Palmer | 1/14/15

Content security has become a major concern as businesses strive toward a fully connected office environment. In today’s business world, users demand 24/7 access to information, and content is expected to move freely inside and outside the corporate firewall, and from device to device. Balancing the need for information access with the obvious requirement to secure data and protect content integrity is a growing challenge among IT professionals.

Because of these factors, Digital Rights Management (DRM) has moved to the forefront of the discussion when it comes to content management. Many hardware and software providers are seeking to embed DRM solutions into their offerings to extend security measures and offer extended protection for sensitive corporate information. One recent example comes from Vaultize, the Singapore-based firm that provides enterprise file sharing and mobile content management solutions across multiple business segments. On January 13, Vaultize announced that it will embed Digital Rights Management technology, based on patent-pending micro-containerization technology into its enterprise mobility solutions.

Vaultize claims that its DRM solution will allow IT departments to maintain control of their information well beyond the corporate firewall by ensuring that access rights travel within the documents themselves. In other words, the document owner or corporate IT department can manage permissions to open, view, download, print, copy, paste, or forward content from the document, even if it has been downloaded by a device not under the company’s control. In addition to data protection, the embedded DRM solution enables detailed tracking and auditing of shared files wherever they go, independent of location, device, and user.

Our Take

The uncontrolled nature of business information means that security measures must be extended well beyond access to content. Many content security solutions focus on issues such as data encryption and device restriction. These are important measures, but they do not necessarily address all the critical and long-term issues. Document encryption, for example, can protect content while it is on the way to the recipient but that protection usually stops once the document has been opened.

The threat posed by the growing amount of uncontrolled information is significant on a number of fronts. Most importantly, businesses must safeguard against unwanted disclosure and usage of sensitive material. In today’s environment, it is no longer prudent to assume that content is being used solely by those for whom it was originally intended.

As these issues become more prevalent it will place increasing emphasis on the need for DRM solutions—particularly embedded solutions. Some off-the-shelf DRM packages provide top-level control but are often restricted to certain file formats, and may not necessarily integrate well with existing workflow. As a result, users often invest time and resources to develop workarounds or to avoid using the controls altogether, which obviously defeats the purpose. As Vaultize is demonstrating, by integrating DRM into the workflow solution, security controls can be embedded within the document itself, providing a more seamless and effective user experience. 


Robert Palmer is chief analyst and a managing partner for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. He is an independent market analyst and industry consultant with more than 25 years experience in the printing industry covering technology and business sectors for prominent market research firms such as Lyra Research and InfoTrends. In December 2012 he formed Palmer Consulting as an independent consultancy focused on transformation, mobility, MPS, and the entire imaging market. Palmer is a popular speaker and presents regularly at industry conferences and trade events in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. He is also active in a variety of imaging industry forums and currently serves on the board of directors for the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA). Contact him at robert@bpomedia.com.