Who Needs To Know? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Feature
News
6/5/2003
03:16 PM
50%
50%

Who Needs To Know?

Businesses are looking at digital-rights management software to prevent the costly loss of confidential information.

Businesses lose billions of dollars every year to theft of information and intellectual property. Rebecca Burr wanted to make sure that her company, Xilinx Inc., a $1.2 billion-a-year maker of programmable logic devices, didn't join that group.

Xilinx planned to move to digital price books and eliminate the costly paper price lists it distributed to resellers. But it needed a way to keep the price lists secure. Burr, Xilinx's director of market analysis, started using Authentica Inc.'s PageRecall application to add protection to and retain control over the digital price books. PageRecall lets Xilinx control whether the pricing data can be saved locally, forwarded, or viewed after it's sent. For example, if a channel partner stops selling Xilinx products, Xilinx can revoke its right to access the price information. And if a price list is printed, the software watermarks the page with the name of the user who printed the document.

"We recognize that you have to put some barriers in place to protect certain types of information," Burr says. The problem isn't just malicious insiders. "Sometimes it's really unintentional," she says. "Maybe they're not aware of the sensitivity of the information or that one click on the wrong name in their address book and the information ends up in bad hands."

Rebecca Burr, director of market anaysis at Xilinx. Photo by Angela Wyant.

Protecting Xilinx's price lists when they went to a digital format was key, says Burr, director of market analysis.
Burr and other business-technology professionals know how difficult it can be to share private or proprietary information in a secure fashion. Once a file or document is sent outside a company, it's hard to know who's looking at it or what they're doing with it. But software known as post-delivery protection, or digital-rights management, is gaining ground with some businesses that want to impose restrictions on what happens to their information once it leaves the house.

Digital-rights management is best known as the technology that protects movies, songs, and E-books from being copied. However, businesses and government agencies use DRM technologies to protect confidential information. DRM applications create persistent access rights, meaning rights that travel with the document. It places limits on whether a document or an E-mail can be forwarded, printed, copied, or altered, and how many times and for how long it can be viewed.

These types of applications are increasing in importance as the government imposes more regulations on what information can be shared and what must be kept confidential. Regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which require that certain information be kept confidential and that records be kept to show who had access to that data, have increased the need to protect documents.

For years, businesses tried to impose restrictions on the use of documents, files, and E-mails with a variety of applications that had some built-in rights-management capabilities. But those capabilities were limited. Today, many software developers such as IBM and Microsoft are building stronger and more extensive DRM features into the fabric of their applications. Smaller vendors such as Authentica, Liquid Machines, and Sealed Media are enhancing their apps to enforce persistent document-security policies. And document-management vendors, who often build strict access rights and policies into their software, are increasing their partnerships with enterprise DRM vendors to add persistent protection to documents that are exported from their systems.

Big money is involved. Businesses lost between $53 billion and $59 billion to intellectual-property theft from July 1, 2000, to June 30, 2001, according to a survey of 138 business-technology managers conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Chamber of Commerce, and ASIS International.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll