Electronic documents are better than their paper counterparts as they take up less physical space. So, you can store and manage years of vital information and company records in electronic format. Unfortunately, you cannot store them under literal lock and key; this opens you up to risk as the information contained in such documents can be leaked. You and your company may suffer losses as a result.
There are various techniques which you can use to prevent such losses. The most common one is using encryption and passwords which is, unfortunately, not very effective.
Reasons Why Passwords Are Ineffective
Passwords are difficult to create
While the intended purpose of passwords is security, most people use easy passwords for convenience. That is why “password” as a password is so popular. Unfortunately, this also makes it easier to hack or break the protection. In fact, password removal products can hack weak passwords in under a minute.
So, password protection systems have introduced guidelines for their creation. The instructions include:
- Use at least eight characters;
- Use a mix of letters, numerals, and symbols; and
- Regularly change the password for added security.
But such guidelines makes the process of creating and remembering passwords difficult for users. This means that users store their passwords in places that they can easily reference them which exposes them to risks of theft.
People share passwords
If the documents are organizational, then chances are that multiple people need access to them. Even if you are an author, you still need to share your work with the world. So, after setting up the password, you need to share it with a few recipients. Unfortunately, not everyone you share it with will have the same ethos as you. And, if you are an author, not everyone has the same need to get paid as you. Consequently, they may share the passwords you share with them with unauthorized third parties.
It is difficult to manage passwords
Most organizations have documents that must be kept safe from prying eyes. So, they need an individual password for each document. Once the administrator has done this, he or she needs to find ways to send the passwords to the right parties. Also, the administrator may need to deal with lost passwords on a regular basis which he or she then needs to replace. By and large, this seems like a lot of work and, as such, personnel are likely to make mistakes every so often.
Free password removal tools are commonplace
A search for free password removal tools on Google will give a few million results and some are very effective. Nonetheless, the strength of your password will determine how long it will take to break.
If Not Passwords, What Protection Should You Use?
Passwords rely heavily on the human aspect and humans are prone to mistakes. Luckily, a document DRM system cuts out most of the human interaction, leaving you with an almost foolproof solution.
With a document DRM system, a user is not sent a password which he or she can type in to unlock a document. Instead, the key is transferred to the user’s device and locked to it. So, the user never knows what the key is. If the user moves the document to a device that does not have the key then the document will not open, and if the user also moves the key to the new device then the key will no longer work and the document will fail to open.
By using a document DRM system you also have control over what users can do with protected documents once they open them. You will be able to control permissions more effectively and this includes copying, editing and printing privileges, expiry, and the ability to revoke documents at any time regardless of where they are stored.
At the very least, a good document DRMsystem will solve the critical incompetency of using passwords for document protection. Not only will users not be able to share passwords and therefore protected documents with others, but you will be able to control what users can do with your documents if they are authorized to open and use them.
If you are serious about document security and needto protect documents internally or share them securely with others then you need to switch to using a document DRM system to ensure your documents remain protected regardless of where they reside.
So ditch your document password protection for a DRM system and you see just how much your document security will improve as a result.