Six Reasons why Enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM) Matters  for Data-Centric Security 

EDRM is critical for secure file sharing, access and storage and is a core component of SECUDE’s Zero Trust Data Security solution
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What is Enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM)?

The rapid proliferation of digital content and the increasing sophisticated cyberattacks has forced enterprises to resort to Enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM) to protect their important data and information. 

Insider attacks are one of the most serious cybersecurity threats. Among all insider attacks, information theft is considered the most damaging in terms of potential financial loss. 

Examples of information theft are downloading sensitive files into personal removable media, copy and paste of confidential file content, screen capture of protected document. 

Traditional methods of securing data are no longer effective as cloud-based infrastructure is forcing stakeholders of EDRM to go towards innovation and new offerings in this area.

According to Gartner, EDRM is the core data-centric technology for protecting data in today’s collaborative use cases.  

The EDRM market too has gained traction and the adoption curve shows an upward trend. It has become one of the top priorities for enterprises and the global enterprise digital rights management market in 2019  which was $202.7 million is expected to reach $333.7 million by the end of 2026 and market players in this segment continue to adopt effective strategies to make use of this lucrative market.

Enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM), sometimes referred as Information Rights Management (IRM) is a core-data centric technology that offers uninterrupted protection to unstructured data. It protects sensitive information/data everywhere by managing and enforcing access and usage rights to the information throughout its lifecycle, no matter where the information is distributed. EDRM effectively protects data from thefts, misuse or inadvertent disclosure, and it mitigates the regulatory risk of collaboration and information exchange with users, partners and vendors.

EDRM controls how employees and partners use sensitive information. EDRM aims to manage rights to digital intellectual property and help organizations protect sensitive information from unauthorized use.

It provides information owners the capability to specify fine-grained rights such as view, copy and edit with specific files that need to be protected and to enforce these rights at the time when the files are accessed.

Once the rights are specified, they can travel with the protected files together and stay effective until the information owner or privileged users change them.

EDRM is successful when it is combined with data classification and is integrated with file repositories and business applications.

EDRM Principles

Any EDRM system should consider the following principles:

  • Secure content by distributing encrypted files or files’ metadata that links to related files on a protected repository
  • Control and audit access to protected content, including view, edit, export, save, print, email, copy and paste, screen capture, and even rights modification
  • Introduce minimum changes to enterprise business process and existing user applications
  • Utilize existing account management and authentication mechanisms as much as possible
  • Secure content rendering and rights enforcement
  • Secure client software by tamper-resistant techniques
  • Watermark sensitivity content to trace its distribution process
  • Enable off-line access and dynamic rights update
  • Enable external users like business partners to access rights-protected content
  • Adopt standard expression languages to enable interoperability among different DRM systems
  • Secure the license server or policy server against attack or system failure

Given below are six reasons why we think EDRM matters for Data-centric security:

EDRM provides security at the data level even for uncontrolled structures:

Unstructured data is not organized but stored in an easily accessible and shared format. Unstructured data is found in emails, word processing documents, pdf, spreadsheets, etc. While it is easy to access unstructured data, it is that quality which also makes it vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Sensitive information may be comprised of unstructured data that isn’t automatically identified and protected. EDRM secures content by distributing encrypted files or files’ metadata that links to related files on a protected repository.

EDRM offers fine-grained usage control for supported applications:

EDRM provides fine-grained access and usage control at an application level. Encryption and watermarking are widely used in this field to encrypt content, authenticate users, and track content usage.

Attaching granular usage controls to sensitive information files enables enforcing the recipient’s ability to view, edit, print, copy, run macros, and more.

EDRM offers persistent protection wherever the document is present:

EDRM’s persistent file security controls remain with the file wherever it goes, at rest, in transit, and at work. Persistent encryption is applied to the data itself, rather than to the storage location or transmission system. The information protected remains secure throughout the entire data lifecycle. Decryption only takes place when a user provides the correct decryption key to access the data.

EDRM provides automated protection whenever data is extracted or downloaded:

EDRM automatically protects data whenever it is downloaded from repositories and business applications such as PLM, ERP, CRM, reflecting access control in the original application.

Agile policies that can be modified even after sharing the document:

The file owner can dictate who can access the file, what they can do with the file like edit, copy, etc, when and from where and which device. Besides, they can revoke access rights even if it was copied to a personal laptop or USB memory.

EDRM provides an audit trail of document usage:

An audit trail is a record of every action, event, or activity a user or a system does with the data. Thus, it can be related to creation, modification, deletion or records, or can be a sequence of automated system actions.

Audit trails help to provide visibility into the information, thus creating a system to accurately review historical security and operational activity. Thus, it secures data with tamper-resistant technologies.

Microsoft EDRM 

Microsoft’s Azure Information Protection, the most visible and extendible EDRM today, uses Azure Rights Protection as its protection technology.

Azure RMS is a cloud-based protection service that uses encryption, identity, authorization policies to help secure files and emails across multiple devices, including phones, tablets, and PCs.

Protection settings remain within the data, even when it leaves the organization’s boundaries, keeping the content protected both within and outside the organization. 

 The following image shows how Azure RMS protects for Office 365, as well as on-premises servers and services. Protection is also supported by popular end-user devices running Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. 

SECUDE role 

SECUDE, a strategic partner of Microsoft and SAP is the only solution provider to extend Azure Information Protection into: 

  • (Available for all kinds of SAP ERP frontends, certified for S4/HANA)
  • PLM environments (available for SAP ECTR, Siemens Teamcenter, PTC Windchill)
  • CAD environments (available for AutoDesk (AutoCAD, Inventor), PTC Creo, Siemens (NX, Solid Edge))

SECUDE’s HALOCOREis the data security software that protects intellectual property and other sensitive information extracted from SAP systems.

By integrating directly with SAP, HALOCORE protects data with automated classification, blocks unauthorized reports, and helps generate fine-grained access policies.

This innovative approach allows enterprises to maintain a high level of control and security over sensitive documents extracted from SAP throughout their lifetime, even if these have been shared via email, downloaded to a recipient’s PC, or printed as PDF. 

HALOCORE is the only Microsoft AIP partner that provides deep classification and complete integration with SAP enterprise software for all Azure RMS installations. HALOCORE is tightly integrated with Microsoft Information Protection (MIP).

Using MIP every document exported from Microsoft’s SAP applications is automatically and efficiently encrypted at the server level before it arrives on any device.

Using the automated HALOCORE classification engine, Microsoft will be able to assign granular authorizations and user rights to sensitive data, allowing the easy and secure exchange of documents between users within and outside the organization.

 Similarly,SECUDE’s HALOCADhelps you leverage seamlessly the robust MIP labelling templates for all CAD files in a simple and cost-effective manner.

To learn more about how SECUDE can help you implement EDRM for your critical data in a MIP environment write