Five key points to consider for implementing a successful EDRM Project
As the corporate boundaries expand, the traditional perimeter-based security measures may not be sufficient to protect a company’s sensitive data. To address the growing threat landscapes, there is a need to protect data throughout its lifecycle be it at rest, in transit, or in use.
The reason enterprise digital rights management (EDRM) finds increased adoption with the enterprise is the technology provides persistent data protection wherever the data travels or exchanged between employees, partners, vendors, and suppliers across the complex supply chains.
EDRM implementation can be complex and has been a constant source of failures in the past due to botched implementation. EDRM is not about technology but the implementation of a robust security policy framework to safeguard critical data.
EDRM can outweigh other data-centric protection technologies like Data loss prevention (DLP), Cloud access security broker (CASB), device or file-level encryption when we take a structured and well-planned implementation approach.
Organizations can reap immense benefits through EDRM deployments when planned with well-defined use cases and phased implementations for critical business departments that handle a large amount of critical data.
In this blog, we have outlined some of the pitfalls while implementing Enterprise Digital Rights Management Solution and what steps enterprises can take to alleviate them.
Pitfalls in implementing an Enterprise Digital Rights Management Solution
While EDRM has its advantages over other solutions, in practice it still has some problems if it is not implemented properly.
- Enterprises still have legacy systems that are difficult to set up and administer. End users who access the DRM-protected file have to take multiple frustrating steps to access the content.
- EDRM solutions are not one-size-fits-all. A rights administrator has to often create a duplicate copy of files to be shared with outside users. For example, if you use Microsoft Information Protection, and the external vendor does not use MIP to decrypt the file, what happens? Who determines who has access to what data?
- Setting up EDRM on a massive scale, on large quantities of files is often a challenge to do done manually. Imagine this problem at a scale of millions of users.
So how do enterprises mitigate the above problem?
Careful planning and decision–making are important before venturing into an EDRM solution.
Critical Points to remember while implementing an EDRM Solution
Outlined below are some of the key points one should keep in mind for a successful implementation of an EDRM solution.
- Identify your critical data – Identify at least the “crown jewels”/data that must not be leaked and data that should not leave the company. Critical data are those that are determined to be vital to the successful operation of the organization. For example, protected personal information, regulatory reports, financial reports (both internal and external), the elements that are critical for a decision-making process, or elements that are used for measuring organizational performance.
a. What are the attributes/metadata that determine the sensitivity of this data? E.g. Is it the storage/project(PLM) folder, a tag or attribute maintained with the data, the selection criteria in SAP, etc.?
- Identify the original source (SAP or PLM System) – Once you have identified your critical data, the next step is to identify the infrastructure which is used to store and maintain the data including the security policy maintenance. This is typically the starting point of the DRM lifecycle.
- Identify the processes where critical data is used – The business process is the minimum set of specific tasks that are needed to accomplish the desired result. Therefore, identify:
a. Which process steps require the data?
b. How this data is used (view, edit, copy, print, exported/converted, etc.) in these steps?
c. Which tools/applications (different SAP frontends, various CAD applications) are involved?
- Identify the user roles (typically in SAP and PLM systems) which are involved in those processes.
a. How is the data used by each role (view, edit, copy, print, exported/converted, etc.)?
b. Where is the source for the user role definition? Is it the SAP/PLM system and is there a mapping/integration with Azure AD (ideally the entire Identity Management is integrated here)?
c. Which roles refer to external users?
- Identify the user and identity management process the company and involve the owners of this process in the DRM project.
a. How are the users assigned to certain roles and how is this assignment updated?
b. What is the onboarding and discharging process for external users?
Enterprises need to protect their critical data as high-profile data breaches occur every second. The majority of large enterprises rely heavily on lines of business ERPs like SAP, as well as their own legacy home-grown line of business applications at the core of their operations. When data is exported from such applications whether for sharing internally or externally, that is an immediate threat to the enterprise.
Innovative solutions that help to persistently protect data, even on the cloud are what is required. The right Enterprise Digital Rights Management solution with the Zero Trust approach is the answer to all present-day data protection problems.
While it is not easy to implement an EDRM solution when one follows the steps given above, they can avoid the most common pitfalls in implementation.
With more than two decades of expertise in the data-centric security field, SECUDE, a trusted Microsoft and SAP partner, focuses on making business processes for data protection efficient and automated with little or no user interference. SECUDE’s goal is to provide ease of use while minimizing the cost of rollout and operations.
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