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A Quick Guide to PDF Digital Rights Management

Your company probably deals with a lot of data in the form of documents, files, and eBooks which require a robust content infrastructure. The flow of vital information for your business is not restricted to just inside the organization’s network firewall, but even outside it. And, your success depends a great deal on how you are able to manage, control, protect, and secure the information from unauthorized access or misuse.

The PDF format is used by default to extend a certain amount of control over documents that could be passed on to others across multiple servers when you attach them in emails or transfer them to the cloud. Adobe has been instrumental in ensuring appropriate portable document management by exercising digital rights. So, the PDF Digital Rights Management (DRM) system enables your business to provide secure document delivery by embedding security controls within the document.

There is a growing need for DRM of PDF documents because, even though you may have content which is only accessible by very few users within your organization, there is no guarantee that the data will only be accessed by them. To ensure secure access to your PDF content, the access rights can also travel with your documents to their intended users. This is made possible by PDF DRM.

The whole set of DRM controls help you manage permissions or privileges for opening, viewing, downloading, copying, pasting, printing or sharing and forwarding the content from the PDF document, even when it has been downloaded from a device that is outside your company’s network and control. The idea behind PDF DRM is to ensure a seamless and effective user experience, without compromising on the security of the documents.

The following controls are required in any PDF DRM software that is highly effective:

● Does not allow sharing or forwarding of documents to unauthorized users.

● Tracks usage by monitoring who views and prints your documents and how much it does so.

● Prevents screen grabbing.

● Restricts the use of the print function.

● Uses dynamic watermarks to display user data and date or time stamp in PDF file copies.

● Restricts access to documents to certain IP addresses which can be location specific.

● Restricts the use or access to a limited period by having an expiry date and even a limit number of views or prints, using the same expiry function.

● Revokes access to certain documents and users.

● Controls the use of PDF files in terms of copying, editing, printing, and so on.

● Tracks PDF use.

So, a PDF DRM solution is aimed at ensuring secure access to your documents, with well-monitored usage, to avoid any compromises in security that may be caused by the leakage of information in one way or another. PDF DRM offered by Adobe has set the benchmark and the kind of controls and restriction you wish to enforce on your documents depend on the type of business you are in.

We hope that the above information related to PDF DRM proves valuable to you. Feel free to share your feedback or queries in the comments section below.

 
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