The flow of pdf documents is rampant in today’s digital world. Almost every organization uses large numbers of pdf files and documents daily.
Some of these files could contain sensitive or confidential information whose security is imperative. Without a technology like Digital Rights Management (DRM) in place, it could be challenging to curtail the copying, printing, and downloading of these documents.
This guide will help you understand DRM and how you can use it to track and secure documents.
What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)?
Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a set of technology, strategy, and tactics that enables the document owner to control what readers can do with it. Also known as ‘copy protection’ or ‘copy control,’ the DRM tools protect copyright holders from the unintended spread of information.
Instances of published work or proprietary content being stolen are not unheard of.
Some people unknowingly commit copyright infringement when they do things like add uncredited or copy-restricted images to their blogs. Others use advanced tactics to steal and use your content for scams.
With your DRM pdf protection, people will have difficulty taking and sharing your content without your knowledge. Mainly used for sensitive information, DRM tools could save your brand from reputation damage, loss of revenue, and hefty fines or lawsuits.
How Does PDF DRM Work?
Typically, there are three major categories for how a pdf DRM or DRM paper works- access control, copy protection, and printing restrictions. Let’s have a closer look at all these categories.
DRM technology typically relies on encryption to control access and protect against the misuse of documents.
Publishers, authors, and other content creators can encrypt HTML so that only those with decryption keys can access them. They can also restrict what users can do with their materials.
Even though some pdfs have edit restrictions, people can still highlight and copy the content from the document. For instance, they can copy the text and paste into a word processor to use in their own content.
A pdf DRM will prevent people from being able to copy pdf texts and ensure pdf security.
A printable document has a higher chance of falling into the wrong hands. Even authorized people can leave hard copies in places where unauthorized people can access them.
Hence, deciding when to and when not to allow printing your documents is essential.
With a pdf DRM, you can control printing so that getting a hard copy of your content becomes difficult. You can set the printer settings to limit the number of printed documents or restrict printing altogether.
Other Advanced Features
Advanced DRM software also has features such as revocation of access after document expiry.
For instance, you may be revoked access to a document after you have opened it ten times. You can also include detailed file tracking or watermarking as a separate tool for better protection.
Why Do You Need to Track Documents and Their Use?
Some reasons for using a document tracking system like DRM can be purely commercial.
For instance, as an owner, you would want to ensure that only authorized people use your documents and that they have not been distributed to unauthorized people.
You would also be able to keep tabs on the number of copies printed and distributed and actively prevent distribution in some regions.
There may be a regulatory requirement to distribute your company’s policies, procedures, and guidance to all staff in your organization.
By keeping track of documents, you can know who has and has not viewed your documents to comply with the regulatory requirements.
Who Uses a DRM to Track Documents?
Protecting documents on your own can be challenging, no matter how secure the pdf password is. Hence, many rely on document security solutions for better security.
Below are some use cases of DRM.
Authors and publishers implement DRM to ensure that their eBook is not distributed online illegally or resold by others.
Similarly, training content providers also use digital right protection to prevent unauthorized use of their intellectual property.
Finance Service Companies and Healthcare Organizations
DRM helps financial service companies and healthcare organizations with due diligence and securing confidential information. They can use the underlying technology to control access to sensitive data while sharing it securely with authorized users.
Besides helping them seal confidential deals, DRM usage also enables them to meet data protection regulations.
Corporations in manufacturing, technology, or biotechnology industries often store sensitive data in the form of patents, trademarks, and customer information. The leakage of these data could be detrimental to the company’s reputation and growth.
Hence, they need a DRM tool to secure these documents and protect their data.
So instead of worrying about how to encrypt pdf for email, they can use pdf DRM as a more secure way to encrypt pdf files.
Other Content Creators
Digital content creators like to ensure that their original work remains unaltered.
They want to distribute their content in its original form so it can serve the intended purpose. They also need to prevent unauthorized redistribution of their content.
Digital rights management software can help them achieve all these objectives.
Challenges of Digital Rights Management
Though digital rights management seems like an ideal tool to protect your document, they pose certain challenges.
Some DRM software is difficult to implement and may be limited in the file types they support. For instance, it may protect only Office and pdf files.
Secondly, DRM solutions can make it difficult for authorized recipients to access documents. They may need to go through many steps to gain access, sometimes even installing special software to validate their identity.
Thirdly, implementing certain DRM solutions can get costly, and not all professionals or businesses may be able to afford it. They also require significant IT expertise that may sometimes be difficult to access.
Despite some challenges, having a DRM in place is the right step to safeguard your digital assets and keep you in control of your intellectual property.
You can often not ensure the safety of your documents with a pdf security password alone. You need a holistic approach to curtail the unauthorized spread of your digital content, which only DRM software can provide.
A document security solution such as KITABOO’s DRM-protection is simple to use, supports multiple formats and gives you complete control of your intellectual property. Get started with document teaching through DRM, now. Write to us at KITABOO@hurix.com.
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