Digital Rights Management for Secure Document Sharing

Digital Rights Management, commonly known as DRM, refers to the ability to protect various types of electronic media.

Digital Rights Management, commonly known as DRM, refers to the ability to protect various types of electronic media.   In recent years, DRM technology has become topical because of its role in protecting digital music and movies that make their way online. However, DRM also plays an important role in the financial transaction world offering security to those who share documents online in Virtual Data Rooms.

Most documents that are uploaded to Virtual Data Rooms are scanned into a PDF format, limiting others’ abilities to change files once uploaded and typically reducing file size. Once in PDF format, the documents are readable by a number of different PDF viewing programs, such as the Adobe Reader.

Many “read” programs provide sharing documents with options for applying DRM protection; once implemented, restriction is based on the level of protection applied. The most commonly used DRM protection settings in Virtual Deal Rooms are any combination of blocking print screen, disabling the printing function, prohibiting saving, or adding a dynamic watermark to each page of a document. If DRM is applied to the document, the document is only readable if the user is on the internet.

The DRM server decides what the user can or cannot do with the document which may change over time. The person controlling access privileges can even revoke access rights to a document after the document has been downloaded. Thus, the protection follows that document wherever it travels online or offline and always checks back with the Virtual Data Room to apply the most recent version of protection each time it is accessed.

This can be a very powerful tool when sharing sensitive documents over time, as in M&A Transactions, Fund Raises, Insolvencies, Litigation files etc.

Whether you are sharing 2 files or 20,000 files online, the security associated with sensitive information is critical. Virtual Data Rooms provide many ways of applying and managing access to documents online. With the protection of DRM, individual documents distributed through the cloud are secure no matter where they travel.

Debbie Stephenson

Debbie Stephenson is a former Content Marketing Manager at Firmex.