How the Traditional Boundaries of Business have Changed

In a digital world, information must flow freely for productivity, and be secure. To meet these needs, enterprises can apply Information Rights Management.

4 October 2014


Many years ago, with the firewall protecting your enterprise perimeter, securing your information was manageable. Employees worked from the office on PCs or through shared drives; communicated with third parties via email and only granted limited access to data within the application that originated it. Information was kept within the company. Not anymore.

Nowadays, data and services are being accessed outside the firewall. As a result, the perimeter has seen a major shift. And for many organizations, controlling access to this digital information is difficult.

According to recent research conducted by a market-leading analyst house Ovum, Ltd., most companies today do not offer adequate protection for sensitive business information outside the firewall — nor do they understand the importance of lifetime document control. Business needs have evolved, regulation and controls have increased, and advances in technology have altered the customary boundaries we were once used to.

The end result: The firewall is no longer the enterprise perimeter.

The Digital World We Live In

Today, business information generally lives outside of the company perimeter — in storage repositories and on multiple devices. Employees are accessing this information on-the-go, and sharing it with external parties — often without the proper security and controls in place.

Sixty-five percent of employees who use file sync-and-share (FSS) applications at work are deploying consumer products with no organizational management, says research by Ovum. Without corporate control, employees could move vast volumes of confidential information to unauthorized parties and put their organizations at risk of non-compliance.

To remain productive, employees need their content available anywhere, and across multiple platforms — and companies need that information to remain secure and compliant.

When several people need access to a document, control over the content itself is essential to help prevent data leakage. To control which person has access to what content, solutions such as Single Sign-On (SSO), Identity and Access Management (IAM), and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) are typically put in place. However, identity controls can only go so far — especially when criminals and disgruntled employees are constant threats to the enterprise.

It's the content that needs to be controlled, not the users.

Protect the Content with Information Rights Management

In a world where content is the perimeter, information must flow freely for business productivity, and remain secure.

To meet these needs, enterprises can apply “plugin free” Information Rights Management (IRM) to documents. IRM can embed security controls within the documents themselves — ensuring that content is only accessible by authorized users. With IRM, the file owner can apply unique permissions to documents to control who has access to what information and what actions can be taken with it. For instance, you can prevent certain users from saving, printing, or forwarding a document. And after a document has been shared, you can even revoke access to it. Authorized individuals can access documents from anywhere, and on any platform, and still keep the information protected. And information technology and security executives can maintain full document auditability to meet regulatory requirements.

Finally, in today's digital world, there's a solution that gives you true control over your information — one that allows business security and productivity to go hand in hand.

Meagan Parrish

Meagan Parrish

Meagan Parrish is the Senior Manager of Social Media at Intralinks. She is responsible for social media strategy development and the communications for Intralinks' online communities. Meagan has been creating social media strategies for a variety of companies across verticals for the past several years. She holds Bachelor degrees in Marketing and Finance, with a minor in English Literature.