524,330 active members*
3,144 visitors online*
Register for free
Login Register
WIBU-SYSTEMS Blog

Perfection in Protection, Licensing, and Security

A Secure Shelter for Your Digital Documents

March 2017
30
Author: Wibu-Systems
Company: WIBU-SYSTEMS AG
A Secure Shelter for Your Digital Documents

Here at Wibu-Systems, we spend much of our time speaking with customers and evangelizing at industry meetings and conferences regarding the importance of protecting software and intellectual property against illegal copying, reverse engineering and tampering. We also espouse the virtues of entitlement management through secure and flexible licensing mechanisms. And now we have our hands full with integrating technology for developers to protect the intelligent devices, systems and factories that comprise the IoT and Industrial IoT.

It is also important, however, that we keep in mind the significance of protecting digital documents as well. Today, most content is created, stored, and transmitted digitally. Left unprotected, the digital content can be easily copied and distributed electronically to millions of people in just seconds. This can result in a catastrophic loss of intellectual property, in the case of sensitive business merger and acquisition documents, patents, engineering blueprints, training materials and the like. It can also cause great financial loss in the case of stolen documents, such as comprehensive market research studies, technical e-learning programs, etc., that are created for sale.

Surprisingly, document protection can be far more complex than protecting software applications due to the fact that, unlike software applications, a file that needs a separate executable to be opened cannot include encryption and decryption methods.

For example, let’s look at standard .PDF files. Adobe already offers a password-based solution for encrypting .PDF files to prevent actions like printing, copying, or editing. This standard solution, however, has drawbacks.

  • Passwords are often too short and weak, allowing a straightforward dictionary attack
  • The user of the file needs to know the password and might disclose it to others
  • Nothing stops screen capture applications

The story is the same for file formats that require proprietary software to create and access the files. Consider these common use cases:

  • The software may require custom settings that are adjusted for each user. Different users should not be able to share these settings.
  • Documents are sold as an additional revenue source. These documents should only be available to the people who actually bought them.
  • The software produces data that can be opened only with an appropriate license. e.g. a live recorded concert should only be readable and editable back in the studio by someone with an appropriate license.
  • Software processes data that should only be coming from someone with the right entitlements, hence a license is needed to save the document. e.g. data that enables sheet metal fabrication based on a specific design pattern.

It is prudent to consider and implement document protection that goes well beyond what may or may not be included in the specific document creation application. I invite you to read about our SmartShelter protection mechanisms in our most recent bi-annual magazine, KEYnote 33.

For a more detailed description and demonstration, you can join us for our Webinar, A Shelter to Protect Your Documents, on April 5, at 10 a.m. CET/9 a.m. PST, or register for an on-demand replay.

0 comments

Blog Archiv

July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
October 2016
September 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016