PDF Security for Board Documents
PDF DRM document security to protect board documents & confidential information
Everyone knows that the documents circulated to the board of directors (some legal systems have more than one board, and others have board committees, or both) are confidential. What is sometimes overlooked is that documents can be highly sensitive, may be distributed to people who are not part of the corporate network, and in fact may be accessed through the public Internet.
Apart from the obvious items that may affect the share price (including mergers and acquisitions) and draft accounts prior to publication, they include:
- competitive studies;
- market analyses;
- internal reviews;
- board remunerations;
- strategy papers.
So there are a series of (usually PDF) documents that have to be distributed to several groups of individuals outside of the normal IT processing and without compromising the security of the PDF documents.
Generally, all board documents are managed and administered by the secretary, and also distributed by them. So an administration system is required that does not necessarily require the IT department to have access.
Locklizard Safeguard and Enterprise systems both offer the operational and DRM controls required to support the secretary in securely distributing these critically important documents.
You can set up a system in 5 minutes. To add the directors as users you can just add their email addresses to the administration system. Then for each distribution of protected documents you add publications (Supervisory Board 2016, Executive Board 2016, Remuneration Committee 2015, and so on) for the various boards and/or committees that need to be distributed to. Access to the publications is then given to the individuals serving on those boards/committees. Now when one or more PDF documents needs to be distributed securely, the secretary just protects them to the relevant publication (board) and the members can automatically use them as soon as they pick them up.
If someone is a member of more than one board it doesn’t matter because the system sorts that all out for them. And individuals can have start and end dates corresponding to their term of office if that is required. When members have the ability to print documents out that can be done with visible watermarks to identify the source of the printed copy. And document usage can be logged so you have a history of who viewed and printed documents and when. If a board member leaves you can instantly revoke their access, and access to individual documents can be terminated at any stage.
Using Web Publisher you can create a secure document sharing portal where the secretary can post secure documents to all or individual board members. This solves the problem of document distribution as documents each user is authorized to view is instantly made available.
So the PDF DRM protection functionality provided by Locklizard fits very cleanly and easily into what is otherwise a rather difficult access and control problem.