Information rights management

In any large organization, great amounts of documents are processed. Defined central document storage is usually used to store these documents and share them. This can be simply implemented using shared disk space on an available server; alternatively, more complex solutions are used which have the form of a system for administration of documents – Document Management Systems (DMS), intended specially for management of the document's life cycle.

The usual life cycle of a document is as follows: The user creates the document on his computer, saves it in the document storage and publishes it for reading. Another user downloads the document onto his computer and has the possibility of modifying it, printing it or sending it by electronic mail. There is no problem in securing the access; however, the risk consists of the fact that, after the document is downloaded from the storage, the organization loses control of it. In the event that sensitive data is concerned, it can easily be misused.
This problem is resolved by technologies which belong to the area of Information Rights Management (IRM).

IRM technologies protect sensitive information against unauthorized access and misuse. This protection consists of the transfer of access security from the document storage to the document itself. The protection is based on the encryption of the document content, while the key is saved to a remote server dedicated to IRM. Together with the key, a definition of access to the document content is stored in the server. On accessing the document content (opening, printing…), a request for user access to the given document is sent to the IRM server. In the event that access is permitted, the encryption key is sent together with the permitted operations. The document is decrypted and the user can handle it depending on the permitted operations. At present, IRM technologies are mainly used for documents and electronic mail.

IRM currently offers the following:

  • Industry standard of data encryption
  • Protection against copying and inserting of parts of documents
  • Protection against capturing screenshots of secured documents
  • Protection against unauthorized printing of documents
  • Creation of permission model
  • Protection of the document in “off‑line” mode – when IRM server is not available
  • Access control of the document

Utilization of the IRM technology can be divided into two basic methods:

  • Protection options set manually by user – the user secures the document prior to storing in the central storage. When the document is opened again, security rules are applied.
  • Automatic document security on download from the central storage – based on the integration of the IRM server with the document storage and cooperation of the workflow or actions in the document storage. The document is secured during the defined action carried out on the storage. Security rules are applied on document opening.

Products for Information Rights Management

Oracle Information Rights Management

  • Oracle IRM Server, Oracle IRM Desktop, Oracle IRM Console, Oracle IRM Standard Rights Model
  • Access rights are granted to specific users or roles
  • Dynamic assignment of rights
  • Permission of actions for document viewing, editing, printing, distribution and revision
  • Protection against copying of the document or its part and capturing screenshots
  • Definition of expiry date
  • Support of off‑line mode
  • Support of security audit
  • Support of manual securing of documents
  • Integration with enterprise content management systems for automated security
  • Integration of LDAP and other nonLDAP User Repository, Single Sign-On

Supported formats:

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
  • Adobe Acrobat or Reader 6.0+
  • E‑mail: Microsoft Outlook 2000-2007, Lotus Notes 6.5-7.0 and Novell GroupWise 6.5-7.0
  • HTML and XML (Internet Explorer 6.0+)
  • .TXT and .RTF documents
  • GIF, JPEG and PNG images

More information about the product can be found on Oracle's website.

Adobe LiveCycle

  • Adobe LiveCycle ES, Adobe Reader, Adobe LiveCycle Administration ES
  • Access rights are granted to specific users and groups
  • Dynamic assignment of rights
  • Support of off‑line mode
  • Support of security audit
  • Support of manual securing of documents
  • Integration with enterprise content management systems for automatic security
  • Integration of LDAP, AD, User Name/Password, Kerberos, SmartCard, Single Sign-On

Supported formats:

  • PDF format
  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • CAD format
  • CATIA format
  • Flash Video

More information about the product can be found on Adobe's website.

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