Data Breaches, PDF documents and DRM

Despite the rising concern about data breaches, frauds and identity thefts, a large number of organizations still do not treat their data with the levels of sensitivity or security that they need to. For instance, confidential customer information must be handled with careful controls and measures just like any other dangerous or hazardous material. With data breaches growing each day, there are numerous stories available with examples of how lax information control practices led to the violations and the sale of sensitive and confidential data on the dark web. 

Organizations need to make smart decisions regarding customer applications such as verifying and authenticating third-party individuals and their credentials in the accessing of primary data. When organizations such as ChoicePoint (that was built around the premise of the ability to anticipate suspicious activities and provide protection to the country’s security services with claims that it safeguards customers from identity theft) got embroiled in the centre of a massive data breach, the irony was not lost on the media and stakeholders. When a gang of cybercriminals easily penetrated ChoicePoint and sold the company’s dossiers of at least 145,000 people across the country, people began to realize how their data was being stored and handled by organizations and agencies.

A data breach can impact the company as a whole, right down to the very evaluation of the entire business. Hence, it is not adequate for only a set of people within a couple of departments to analyze and examine the data breach. In some cases, a data breach response team or the security department consisting of just one or two individuals may not have the visibility of independently assessing the likely risks that the organization as a whole is facing. Similarly, they may also not have the reach of taking cross organizational actions needed to respond competently in the event of a data breach. This is why companies must have a process in place wherein first responders can identify an incident or an event as a potential data breach and then escalate it to the management or decision-makers for additional guidelines. Thereon, appropriate experts must analyze and investigate the case while gathering input from potentially several departments within the organization such as public relations, legal departments, compliance, and IT. In tandem with the individual evaluations from various departments, putting it all together can help in understanding the scope of the issue and determining the next best steps for the company to take to handle the case.

The process of recognizing, escalating, investigating and scoping becomes a comprehensive phase of the data breach incident-response procedure in which the company understands that the data breach has taken place. The various activities of recognizing, escalating, investigating and scoping sometimes overlap and various activities can take place at the same time. Understanding that the potential data breach exists requires cross organizational efforts with input from all levels ranging from first responders right up to the management team and even the board of directors.

While sometimes, it can be challenging to verify the legitimacy of the issue, organizations must thoroughly comprehend the potential impact of a data breach. Since people, today realize what can happen if their information gets into the wrong hands, organizations must ensure that every aspect of the company’s data processes is secured. Ranging from frontline staff members noticing a suspicious event or a gap in the process or even vulnerabilities, all areas must be looked into. The potential of a catastrophic impact must loom large in every department of the company. Unfortunately, in the absence of the high-level view, it can become challenging for frontline staff members to recognize an event as a potential data breach. This is why, organizations must look into developing processes and implementing document security tools such as DRM, while also investing in training modules to assist staff in recognizing data issues.

A PDF document protection solution is not only crucial in protecting your company’s confidential PDF files, data and valuable IP but can also help your organization in preserving its revenue streams. In addition, you can also track user activity and analyze precisely how your viewers use your content. Implementing a robust document security solution such as DRM can empower your business in creating, publishing, or distributing proprietary and confidential data.

As an individual or company that has the need to share confidential documents and data with ease and to distribute sensitive documents and information among your authorized users or to third-party associates outside of your network perimeter and range of corporate security, it is imperative to employ military-grade encryption and strong document controls to secure your documents and information from unauthorized access and misuse. A PDF document protection solution such as PDF DRM can ensure that when your documents are shared outside your network and saved on unsecured platforms such as mobile devices, they remain protected through high-level encryption and content control.  DRM ensures security travels with the data, thus securing the content wherever it lies.