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Manage the Challenges of Data Sprawl with DRM

October 6, 2022 •

Are these tasks common in your organization?

  • Sending a proposal or pricing to a customer
  • Reviewing a proposal from a supplier
  • Circulating customer contracts internally for review
  • Exchanging work products both internally and externally with suppliers and customers

It is quite possible documents such as these are sent via email or perhaps uploaded to a portal. Have you ever worried about this type of information ending up with those who you didn’t authorize to have access? You certainly have reason to worry.

It remains very likely that your company’s data is created and stored in a wide range of applications and operating systems, endpoints, and servers; locally or in the cloud. Companies of all sizes who have this typically complex, distributed, and dynamic IT environment face what is referred to as “data sprawl.”  Data sprawl creates a major challenge for many companies when it comes to controlling access to their data.

Here’s two examples to see how easy it is for this sprawl to lead to lack of control and create a major cybersecurity threat.

First, consider how many of your employees download and/or share documents. As the files and records spread out across many locations, the company loses control over who has access, when they have access and how they can access the data. Remote work exacerbates this problem. Home computers and personal mobile gadgets end up in the mix of work devices as companies move to virtual offices, further adding to the sprawl and data risk.

Second, most companies have more than a handful of suppliers supporting their business. From suppliers who aid in new product development and product support, to marketing and business development activities to business operations. These suppliers are privy to all kinds of data and associated digital content. Not only does this add to the sprawl it adds to the risk because suppliers come and go. When they go, however, so does your data.

These examples illustrate how hard it is to keep track of, let alone retain control of, your data and content.  Plus, what about those employees and suppliers who depart from your company or just decide to be a bad actor? It’s estimated that internal theft from fraud cases to data security incidents cost U.S. businesses up to $50 billion a year!

What is data rights management, and why does your company need it?

How can organizations hope to protect sensitive data when they are being accessed and downloaded by people both inside and outside the organization using various devices? That’s the purpose of data rights management (DRM). Embedded encryption and user permissions give data owners full control over documents for their entire lifecycle. Data rights management enables data owners to decide who can view, download, or edit a file, including how long and where they can access it . DRM enables your organization to secure digital assets, such as eBooks, software, designs, schematics, and other copyright-protected works from being duplicated, altered, or even rebranded and resold.

Essentially, DRM allows business owners and content creators to keep control over what can be done with their data. By now, every business owner should recognize the importance of securing their hard-earned data, yet 45% of U.S. companies still suffered data breaches in 2021. And out of these, 61% were small and midsize enterprises (SMEs). If you’re a small business owner, not only do you need to worry about the financial cost, but all the cost to your reputation. For most SMEs their reputation is critical to long-term success.

That’s why it’s vital to invest in a solution that will keep your digital assets out of harm’s way.

DRM keeps your valuable digital content from ending up in the wrong hands

Whether you operate a SME or a large organization, odds are you regularly share proprietary and sensitive content. Whether among employees, suppliers, or customers, it is important to confidently share proprietary and sensitive data and not worry that it is going to be compromised.

Regardless of your organization’s size or type of data, all of your company’s digitized content needs to remain safely in your control. Data security experts recommend these three best practices to protect your data:

  1. Build a culture centered around maintaining control of your data and who has rights to it is the only way to protect it.
  2. Understand where your data is, especially as it pertains to third-party usage of your data. 
  3. Critically examine any cloud use while gaining more information on the potential threats facing data stored in the cloud.

Lastly, it is imperative that organizations invest in a data rights management solution. Such a solution is no longer a nice to have. Luckily there are affordable and easy-to-use solutions, such as the one we offer which you can see in action – EB Control.

As a business leader, you have a lot of other things to worry about, such as inflation, supply chain issues, talent management, customer acquisition, and retention. You shouldn’t need to worry about retaining control of your data and ensuring your data cannot been accessed by someone who is not authorized. With a DRM solution you can keep your valuable data from ending up in the wrong hands.