Go With the Flow
The avalanche of content and the dynamic nature of the always-on, connected company highlight our legitimate concerns about security. Wireless devices provide people with information they need anytime, anywhere. But there is a downside. These small and highly portable devices are easily misplaced or lost. Many feature removable memory, and the advance of the smartphone means many devices have their own
IP addresses, making them vulnerable to the same types of attacks we know on the PC.
Before deploying mobile technology, organizations must be confident that those threats have been addressed and that their data is secure. However, relying on authentication systems to ensure that only users with valid passwords, IDs, and related identifiers can access a system is a method that doesn't always keep pace with the rate of change within and around the extended enterprise, where workgroups connect for specific tasks and then disperse when the project is done.
Ironically, the more open and collaborative a company is, the greater the need to lock down access to valuable data. But this Draconian practice flies in the face of collaboration, Web 2.0, and the
business imperative to let data-and ideas-flow freely.
The solution to this dilemma may be enterprise rights management (ERM) solutions that protect the information wherever it travels rather than control who has access to it.
This is the focus of Liquid Machines, a provider of ERM solutions and software designed to persistently control access to and usage of electronic information, regardless of where it exists, without changing the way users work. "It's all about protecting the data while, at the same time, enabling the enterprise to encourage people to share the data freely," observes Ed Gaudet, Liquid Machines' SVP of corporate development and marketing. "This is possible because the data, not where it is or where it goes, is persistently protected, whether the data is in the cloud, on a USB, or stored in a mobile device."
Put simply, access to and usage of sensitive and critical information is ensured without interrupting the collaborative and innovative environment that the extended, always-on enterprise must encourage. No matter if the data is emailed, placed on a portable storage device, or stored on an iPod, the files remain encrypted and the usage rights remain enforced. As files are added to or modified in a protected file share, policies are automatically applied. In addition to access and usage controls, Liquid Machines also collects a digital audit trail of information usage.
Liquid Machines recently unveiled a major release of its Liquid Machines Gateway with advanced features that allow persistent protection of attachments saved in more than 400 different file formats, including Adobe Reader, FrameMaker, Lotus AMI Pro, WordPerfect, StarOffice, WordStar, MacWrite, Paint Shop, CorelDRAW, Photoshop, Illustrator, Micrografx, OpenOffice.org, Visio, Lotus 1-2-3, Access, Paradox, Outlook, and Yahoo! Messenger. The new release also has added support for the latest BlackBerry smartphones. Liquid Machines persistently protects emails and attachments at the user level by restricting unauthorized actions such as view, forward, reply, and select/paste, and it can automatically expire content based on corporate usage and retention policies.