Many of us use cloud services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive to store our files and share them with colleagues or friends. Similarly, in recent years, part of enterprises’ digital transformation has included migration to cloud services. As enterprises embrace various cloud applications, new challenges arise in balancing information sharing and security which can lead to vulnerabilities such as cyber-attacks and data breaches.
File-sharing services like the aforementioned have some level of native security built into them, but it’s not enough to fully protect your data once it’s been shared. Stolen passwords, account takeovers, insiders with malicious intent, and just plain carelessness are part of the equation when it comes to cloud applications and security breaches. That’s why digital rights management (DRM) solutions are so important to maintain balance between information sharing and security. On one hand, you need to share information to do your job and collaborate with others, but on the other hand, you have to be wary of the inherent risks associated with cloud content-sharing services.
Balancing “Sharing” & “Security”
With the dispersed nature of cloud computing and the proliferation of various device types, it becomes crucial to manage digital rights effectively and provide persistent protection when there are so many vectors for bad actors to get at your sensitive data.
Having an effective digital rights management (DRM) solution helps ensure data remains safe, without sacrificing the ability to efficiently collaborate, share, and edit across various applications.
All good things start with authorization
The success of a data protection program often hinges on a well-designed strategy, seamless rollout, and rigorous monitoring and enforcement. Case in point: the role of dynamic authorization.
For those unfamiliar with the term, dynamic authorization is often the backbone of the most effective DRM solutions out there. Before you even reach the stage of assigning digital rights to specific files, you would be wise to first use dynamic authorization to determine in real-time whether someone even gets to access a document stored in, say, Box. User and environmental attributes such as group, department, device type, IP address, and many other factors, provide the granularity and context needed to determine if someone should have access to a particular file.
Smart Encryption – Secure File Sharing
Once authorization has occurred, the next step is to apply automated rights protection. This is where encryption comes into play. You can apply digital rights to the files being shared and can control what exact usage permissions the recipient gets to have. Functions such as Read, Edit, Print, Display Watermark, Download, and Setting Expiration Dates are all possible with DRM solutions. These rights stay with the file regardless of where those files are located ensuring persistent protection, whether they are inside or outside your network or in the cloud.
Ultimately, DRM coupled with dynamic authorization substantially augments the native security of file-sharing services, essentially extending data protection outside the corporate network, even if those files end up in unmanaged (e.g., BYOD) devices.