Strong US Gov strength encryption, DRM and licensing controls
Control how documents are used:
Stop editing, copying and screen grabs
Stop printing or control the number of prints
Lock use to devices and locations
Set documents to automatically expire:
on a fixed date
after a number of days use
after a number of views and/or prints
Revoke access regardless of where documents are located:
revoke a document for all users instantly
revoke individual user access to single, multiple, or all documents
revoke access automatically after a number of views and/or prints
Add dynamic watermarks to viewed and or printed pages. Dynamic variables (date/time, user name, company name, email address) are replaced with actual user and system data when the protected PDF document is displayed and/or printed.
You only have to protect a document once in order to customize it for multiple users.
See how your documents are being used:
track and log document views
track and log document prints
see what devices & operating systems users are using
Comply with legislation by controlling access and use:
Ensure only authorized parties can view confidential documents
Enforce document retention policies with automatic expiry
Log use for proof of when documents are viewed and printed
Protect IPR, reduce costs, ensure compliance, gain new revenue:
Protect revenue and increase ROI – reduce losses and costs
Take control over your IPR, prevent document leakage & theft
No cost per document or user – one fixed price for unlimited use
Document sharing forms a key part of businesses’ day-to-day activity. For some, documents are a direct product, while others need them for accounting, contracts, and documentation. Secure document sharing is essential for ensuring sensitive documents are not inappropriately accessed or shared. However, if you want to share documents securely, you have to think beyond simple encryption (used to ensure that only the intended recipient(s) can open a protected document). It is necessary to additionally control what can be done with the document content once a user has decrypted and opened it. Organizations need to ask: is encryption or cloud-based access control enough to meet your secure document sharing needs, or do you need complete control over your own data?
The marketplace appears to offer a range of different products with different functionality and security features, which may appear to address your requirements. We will examine them to see how appropriate they are.
When people think about secure document sharing, they usually think about specific online file sharing and/or collaboration service. However, these platforms have various limitations, such as:
documents have to be uploaded to a supplier’s server, which is not under your control.
documents are generally viewed via a browser so there is limited screen grabbing prevention (if any) and limitations on the controls you can enforce.
printing to PDF or other file drivers is not prevented so users can save documents locally to disk if you allow printing.
users must always be online to view and print documents.
users can share their login credentials with others without being detected.
pricing is usually based on the number of user accounts and/or documents and can get expensive quite quickly.
Secure document sharing platforms such as Microsoft Azure Rights Management have mainly evolved from document collaboration systems, and often they have complex role-based permissions which are best suited to internal use. Admins must define formal access control structures (i.e. there is no concept of selling the documents and controlling their actual use).
However, most of the documents you need to share securely have gone beyond the concepts of collaboration (i.e. distributing reports, finance info, formal board minutes, formal procedures etc.), and in certain countries where internet connections are poor, users still need to store and view files offline.
Most importantly, however, companies need to decide whether they want to store their files on someone else’s internet-accessible server. A server that could experience outages or even be hacked and the documents extracted. Even if a document sharing platform is right for you, it may be necessary to find a solution where you maintain control of the files and don’t ‘give’ them to the security provider.
Share sensitive documents securely using encryption
Encrypting a document is fine if your objective is to secure the file at rest – i.e. you want to store documents securely either locally or in cloud storage. It can also be useful in transit when you’re sending a file to another user by email etc. and want to be sure that anybody who intercepts the email will not be able to read it.
Document encryption, however, has its limits. Once a file is decrypted, there are no access controls governing its use. If you send an encrypted document to another user – because you only want them to be able to view it – there is nothing to prevent them from sending the decrypted document to anyone they choose. In other words, it only provides protection if you trust the receiver completely. This is especially important to keep in mind if you are selling documents such as reports, ebooks, etc., and want to make sure that only those that have paid for them can use them. If you have confidential company information that must only be made available to specific employees, board members or third parties, being able to control usage is also key.
Sharing documents securely using DRM security
Document DRM adds a complementary layer of security on top of document encryption. With document DRM, files are encrypted to protect them in transit and at rest and then access and other controls are added to govern use. Basic document DRM controls prevent copying and document modification, stop or limit printing, and stop screen grabbing by preventing print screen and the use of screen grabbing tools.
To prevent unauthorized document sharing, document DRM systems use licensing controls to tie users and their devices to specific documents. This ensures the document owner can share documents securely amongst only intended recipients (unless of course, an authorized recipient is willing to give their tablet device, mobile phone, or laptop to someone else). Many document DRM systems also provide dynamic document watermarking – user details are displayed on a document when it is viewed and printed to discourage photographs of the screen, or if printing is allowed, to discourage printed distribution. Adding watermarks dynamically ensures the document only needs to be protected once rather than once for every single user.
More advanced document DRM systems enable documents to be shared securely in only authorized locations by limiting use to specific countries and IP address ranges. This ensures that users using mobile devices cannot open secure documents say, outside an office location, or in countries where usage is forbidden due to regulations.
Secure document sharing & expiry: sharing documents securely for limited time periods
Another advantage of using document DRM systems to share documents securely is the ability to automatically expire (and thus revoke) document use after a certain amount of time. This could be after a number of views or prints, a number of days, or on a fixed date. Ensuring information can no longer be viewed after a certain period is especially useful for M&A documents, where information is only required for a limited period or for documents that have a natural life span. See PDF expiry.
Document DRM systems also provide the ability to revoke documents instantaneously no matter where they reside – if information has been published by mistake, access given to the wrong person, or a chargeback has been made, you can instantly recall it.
Sharing documents securely with accountability – track & log document use
When sharing documents securely, it may be important to establish that an authorized user has viewed and/or printed a document – whether this is for legal/compliance reasons or to help identify leaks. Document DRM systems can help here by tracking document use and providing log files detailing when documents were opened and printed, by whom and when this occurred.
Conclusion: How to share documents securely
When sharing documents securely there are many issues that have to be considered.
Do you trust the recipients enough to know that they will not pass documents on? How much control do you want over your files when dealing with untrusted parties? Do you trust a Secure File Sharing company to protect and host your confidential or valuable documents on their servers? Do users always have an Internet connection available; and how much security is enough?
Do you need to log what users are doing? Are you licensing the use of information content rather than sharing files at a peer-to-peer level?
For the simpler requirements, a collaboration system may offer enough controls – documents are in a constant state of flux. As you transition to selling documents or the distribution of private documents to remote environments where bespoke security is required, DRM is essential to maintain document content protection.
Advantages of using Locklizard for secure document sharing
Locklizard has much better security features over secure data rooms & other document sharing systems
Secure deal rooms, data rooms and other online ‘secure’ document sharing systems require users to enter a username and password.
Login credentials, however, can be easily shared with others – so unauthorized users can log in and view your files
With Locklizard document security, there are no passwords or codes for users to enter – keys are transparently and securely transferred to authorized devices, and locked to those devices so they cannot be shared.
They require Windows Admin rights to install so offer no installation advantages over EXE files.
They can conflict with other plugins.
They can be overruled. For example, anyone can write a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional without obtaining an IKLA.
They often stop working when the host application is updated.
Locklizard automatically locks document use to authorized users’ devices so they cannot be shared. If a protected document is copied to an unauthorized device, it will not open.
You can control the number of devices each user can view your protected documents on.
Allow or prevent your documents from being opened in specific locations (e.g. the office) and countries.
You can apply this at both the global and user level so you can stop all company employees from accessing documents from outside the office but enable a specific user to do so if they are traveling on business.
Locklizard automatically picks up the user’s location when they activate their license (and will automatically lock use to that location) so you don’t have to worry about entering this information.
If you want to allow printing then you can apply dynamic watermarks to discourage sharing of printed copies.
You only have to secure documents once for all users rather than having to secure documents individually for each user in order to display unique user information (name, email, etc.). User and system information is automatically inserted when the document is printed to identify the user.
Our document DRM controls help to prevent document sharing by controlling what users can do with your documents.
Stop screen grabbing
Stop printing or limit the number of prints
Expire documents after a number of days use, views, prints, or on a fixed date
Revoke documents instantly regardless of where they are located
If you allow printing then we automatically prevent users from printing to file drivers (such as PDF file drivers) so your protected documents cannot be easily turned into unprotected documents.
Simple to use
Our document security software is simple to use – secure documents by right-clicking on them in Windows Explorer.
Create users and assign document access on our cloud-hosted admin system.
Secure documents on your local computer – no uploading of unprotected files to a server
Distribute protected documents just like any other file – upload them to a cloud server, your website, send by email or distribute on CD, USB, etc.
No charges per document or user – just one set price for unlimited documents and users.
How to securely share documents with Locklizard DRM security
Using Locklizard to share documents securely is quick and simple.
Admins protect a PDF file using Safeguard Writer and then add their intended recipients as users in their admin portal. The system will automatically send them an email with the license file and a link to the Safeguard Reader application required to open the document. The protected document can then be delivered however you like, as only authorized users can open it.
Here’s how to share a PDF document securely:
Right-click on a PDF on your desktop and select ‘Make Secure PDF’.
Creating a protected PDF file
Select the copy protection controls you want to apply. By default, editing, copying, and printing are disabled.
Encrypting a PDF without passwords using Safeguard PDF DRM
Locklizard Document Security – Secure document sharing without Plugins or Passwords
Locklizard takes your document protection seriously, enabling you to share sensitive documents securely no matter where they reside. We provide total PDF document protection with US Gov strength AES encryption, public key technology, DRM, and licensing controls, to ensure your documents are always protected.
Unlike Adobe Permissions, Secure Data Rooms, Google Docs Security, and Azure Rights Management, which can be easily removed, our DRM controls persistently protect your PDF files and enable you to revoke PDFs at any time regardless of where they are.
No keys are exposed to users or interfaces and documents are only ever decrypted in memory – see our DRM technology.
Our easy-to-use administration system provides simple user and document management and unlike passwords, keys are transparently and securely managed for you.
A DRM solution like Locklizard Safeguard is the best way to securely share files with a variety of users. This is because it not only protects documents in transit and at rest but also when they are being used. With Locklizard Safeguard security, you can send the file to anybody and be sure that only authorized users will be able to open it and, crucially, they will not be able to share it with others once open.
How do I choose the best file sharing option for me?
You need to think about four factors:
Is collaboration required?
Do you need to protect documents during use, or only in transit and at rest?
Do you need to monitor use?
The answer to these questions will define which solution is the best choice for you.
suitable for/protection offered during:
in transit + at rest
How do I share confidential documents securely?
A document DRM solution is the only way to share confidential documents securely as they are the only solution able to stop both internal and external users from sharing the files with others. Other solutions either allow users to copy/print/screenshot, don’t lock documents to devices, and are unusable or cumbersome outside of an organization’s internal network.
What is the most secure file sharing site?
No file sharing platform is particularly secure as access to accounts is based on a username/password system. Credentials, including two-factor authentication, can be either intentionally or unintentionally passed on to a third-party.
However, if you must use a cloud file sharing site or file-sharing platform, then use one that supports end-to-end encryption, such as pCloud or SpiderOak. This will ensure that, should the provider’s servers be hacked, your documents will be safe.
Is Dropbox a secure way to share files?
No. Dropbox files are encrypted at rest, but the service still uses passwords, which can be intentionally or unintentionally shared with others, and its documents can be screenshotted and shared.
Is password protection adequate for sharing sensitive information securely?
Password protection can have limited uses if you use a strong password and trust that the receiver will not pass the decrypted document on. Passwords that are used for logins can be shared with others, and password protected permissions or restrictions (such as those used by Adobe) can be easily removed.
In general, password based systems provide weak security and require additional management overheads (secure password distribution, resending forgotten passwords, maintainting a list of passwords for documents, etc.). If you want to securely and privately send files between clients then using passwords is best avoided.
Can I set an expiration date for secure file sharing?
What is the best way to securely share documents via email?
It’s best to encrypt your documents before sending them as attachments via email, preferably using a DRM solution. This will ensure the document remains protected and unshareable after the user has received it.
Which is better, cloud-based or on-premise software for sharing documents securely?
It depends on your needs and how sensitive or confidential your documents are. Most cloud-sharing systems require you to upload unprotected documents to a file server where they are then encrypted. It is possible they could be compromized during decryption when temporary files are made. They also generally require users to be always online. On-premise software ensures you are in complete control of your files at all times and offline use can easily be accommodated.
Locklizard enables you to host your documents in the cloud or on-premise. Documents are protected locally on your computer so they are never exposed unprotected on a cloud server.
What solution is best for secure protected document sharing?
The best way to securely share documents is by using a solution that can enforce DRM controls in a secure Reader or Viewer application both online and offline.
Any system that uses passwords is equally flawed since users can share or crack passwords.
Secure Document sharing systems that rely on plugins can be easily circumvented or fail to work after the application they plug into is updated.
A secure document sharing platform must use both encryption and DRM controls to prevent unauthorized access and use. Locklizard enable businesses to share documents securely with clients and customers in a secure environment (viewer application). DRM controls are enforced both online and offline and documents are protected from copying, editing, sharing, screen grabs, and printing. Documents can be set to automatically expire, be instantly revoked regardless of their location, and document opens and prints can be tracked.
We needed to deliver e-book versions of our handbooks while not compromising on security and digital rights. Safeguard PDF security is easy to use and intuitive.
The implementation was painless and we now have a greener, more secure way of distributing training manuals.
Locklizard’s PDF protection is exactly as described – the features are highly effective and I would give it 5 stars.
I would recommend Locklizard to others - their security is simple to use and fit for purpose. It meets common needs of businesses who have information they want to protect.
We would be happy to recommend Locklizard to any company needing a flexible way to secure PDF files.
Safeguard PDF Security has provided us with a very workable solution for sharing of information in a secure fashion. The support has been excellent and very accommodating.
We can cut accounts for a user five minutes before his class starts and he is ready to go. Happy smiling customer, while we still have security and personalized watermarking.
I have immense respect for the product and Locklizard provide great customer satisfaction and service.
We would recommend Safeguard to other companies for its security, cost and ease of use. It does what we expected it to do and more.
Ease of use is a bonus and the implementation was very easy. The product manual is excellent and Locklizard staff are very accommodating.
We sell a highly valued educational product in an open and competitive market so it was important to ensure we had effective security to protect our digital rights.
We highly recommend Locklizard - a professional company with a competitive and professional PDF Security product.
We would absolutely recommend both Locklizard as a company, and Safeguard PDF Security. It has transformed our study materials to the next level.
Not only did this increase sales, but we also believe that it has increased our customers’ ability to learn, which is even more important!
We would recommend Locklizard Safeguard to other companies that need to protect PDF reports. Customers have found the process of accessing the protected documents to be seamless.
Implementation was easy and technical support has been very responsive to requests for help.
Our company would without reservation recommend Locklizard. Their document DRM software opens up delivery of our new products in a timely fashion while knowing that the content will remain secure.
The return on investment to our company has been immediately evident.
We use Safeguard to make sure that documents cannot be opened outside our local network or from a unauthorized computer in order to copy or print the documents.
It is the most feature rich, affordable, & simple to use PDF security product on the market.
Safeguard PDF Security is simple to administer and meets our needs, consistently delivering secured manuals to our customers with ease.
Return on investment has been elimination of many man hours, printing resources and postage – it is estimated that costs decreased by 50% or more.
We would really recommend Safeguard PDF Security to every publishing company for managing ePubs or e-books securely. It is easy to secure PDF files and simple to distribute them to our authorized customers only.
Locklizard also provides a good customer support experience.
The ROI for us is incalculable. We have the security of knowing that our proprietary documents are secure. This is the entire value of our company.
I would most certainly recommend your PDF security product and already have. The ease of implementation was surprising.
We can now sell our manuals without the need to print them first, saving time, money and helping safeguard the environment.
We would recommend Safeguard PDF DRM – it is the perfect solution to sell and send e-documents securely whilst making sure someone cannot copy them.
We would recommend Locklizard to other companies without hesitation.
Their PDF DRM products provide a manageable, cost effective way to protect intellectual investment and they are always looking for ways to improve them. Moreover, their staff provide an excellent level of support.
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