July 2, 2023

In today’s dynamic digital landscape, it is crucial to secure assets, whether it be inside or outside the organization. Chasing dynamic data with static security models will not support a fast-moving company. As more data is shared across enterprise networks, file servers, and cloud environments, organizations need a solution to not only protect data within the enterprise but also when shared. This brings about the question, how do you continuously protect data once the file has been shared?

Persistent File Protection

Enter persistent protection—persistent file protection ensures sensitive documents are protected regardless of where the document travels and who it is shared with. This is achieved through Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies, which are used to manage, control, and secure data. When introducing persistent file protection to an enterprise, the objective is to protect business-critical data from unauthorized access, use, and distribution.

To achieve this, policies in the enterprise’s system can be written to selectively prevent file recipients from completing specific activities, such as copying, printing, forwarding, or cut and paste. This allows enterprises to balance their need to share and protect information, increasing efficiency when sharing data. Through this, data is persistently protected when being shared across supply chains, global business units, and partners.

Why do you need persistent file protection?

Persistent file protection provides the stability required in our volatile digital environment, where business-critical data can be easily reproduced in numerous copies and shared without knowledge. If not overseen with caution, the spread and transmission of data can quickly spiral out of control, taking unpredictable routes into untrusted environments.

Traditional security models, which prioritize protecting the network perimeter, place responsibility in the hands of users to secure and monitor their data, facing higher risks of unauthorized access and distribution of sensitive data. In contrast, persistent file protection applied with data-centric security in mind, alleviates the burden from users and enforces security within the unstructured data itself, diminishing security risks in collaborative, dynamic environments. This provides a higher level of security than traditional file protection methods such as password protection and access control.

Persistent File Protection

Written policies enable authors to ensure consistent and persistent protection across the data’s lifecycle, regardless of where it is stored or who it is handled by. By ensuring only authorized users have access- persistent file protection helps to mitigate business, legal, and regulatory risks of collaboration and information exchanges within the organization, with partners, and customers.

Why is it important for Digital Rights Management to be Persistent?

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a technology that is used to protect digital content from unauthorized access and distribution. DRM is used in a wide range of industries, including publishing, music, and film. However, DRM on its own may not be enough to protect digital content. This is where a DRM solution that offers persistent protection, Enterprise Digital Rights Management, is needed.

Enterprise DRM (E-DRM) is a type of persistent DRM that is designed to provide long-term protection for digital content. Unlike traditional DRM, which can be easily circumvented, E-DRM is designed to remain in place even after the content has been distributed. This means that the content can still be protected even if it is shared or copied.

E-DRM offers several benefits over traditional DRM. Some of these benefits include:

  • Prevents unauthorized access to protected content: E-DRM ensures that only authorized users have access to protected content. This helps to prevent piracy and unauthorized distribution.
  • Allows for tracking and control of protected content even after it has been shared: With E–DRM, file owners can track and control their content even after it has been shared. This allows them to monitor how their content is being used and to revoke access if necessary.

How does Persistent File Protection Protect Data on the Move?

Persistent file protection works by using several techniques to ensure the security of data during transfer. These techniques include encryption, watermarking, and authentication.

  • Encryption is the process of converting data into a code that can only be deciphered by authorized users. With persistent file protection, encryption is used to protect data during transfer. This means that even if the data is intercepted, it cannot be read by unauthorized users.
  • Watermarking is a technique used to embed a unique identifier into a file. With persistent file protection, watermarking is used to track and control files even after they have been shared. This enables content creators to monitor how their content is being used and to revoke access if necessary.
  • Authentication is a technique used to verify the identity of a user or device. With persistent file protection, authentication is used to ensure that only authorized users have access to protected files. This helps to prevent unauthorized access and theft.

Best Practices for Implementing Document Security using DRM and Persistent File Protection

When it comes to document security, implementing a well-planned and strategic approach is key. This includes identifying sensitive data, determining who needs access, and defining the level of protection needed. Additionally, choosing the right DRM and persistent file protection solutions, and ensuring proper implementation and training of employees on best practices for protecting sensitive data are all critical steps.

Identifying sensitive data is the first step towards implementing effective document security. This involves identifying all documents containing sensitive information, such as personal or financial data, and determining who needs access to each document. Based on the level of sensitivity and the importance of the information, the level of protection needed can then be defined.

Choosing the right DRM and persistent file protection solutions is important. Different DRM solutions offer different features, such as access control, expiration dates, and copy protection. Comparing and selecting the appropriate DRM solution that fits the needs of your organization is an important step towards ensuring the security of your sensitive documents. Similarly, choosing the right persistent file protection solutions that provide robust encryption, watermarking, and authentication is also crucial.

To learn more about NextLabs SkyDRM Digital Rights Management solution, read our SkyDRM datasheet or talk to an Expert.

Once the appropriate DRM and persistent file protection solutions have been selected, proper implementation is necessary. This involves ensuring that the solutions are implemented correctly and that all employees are trained on how to use them effectively. Employees should also be trained on best practices for protecting sensitive data, such as using strong passwords and avoiding sharing sensitive information over unsecured channels.


Persistent file protection is a crucial security measure that ensures sensitive documents are protected regardless of where they travel and who they are shared with. It provides stability in ever-changing digital landscape, where business-critical data can easily be reproduced and shared without authorization. Persistent file protection employs Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies to mitigate business, legal and regulatory risks associated with collaboration and information exchange within the organization, with partners, and customers.

When persistent file protection is combined with a system that can track and monitor shared data, administrators can understand when unauthorized access attempts are made, while protecting against theft, misuse, or inadvertent disclosure. Techniques such as encryption, watermarking, and authentication are utilized to ensure data security during transfer. To guarantee the security of sensitive documents, it is critical to adopt a strategic approach to document security, identify sensitive data, choose the right DRM and persistent file protection solutions, and ensure proper implementation and employee training.

To learn more about how persistent file protection is integrated into security solutions, read our white paper on Enterprise Digital Rights Management (E-DRM).