3 Business Benefits of a Digital Rights Management (DRM) Solution

The internet evolves every day, and businesses are experiencing increasing cybersecurity concerns as government regulations progress, their volume of data grows, and employees continue remote work. Businesses today face issues with client privacy, issues protecting intellectual property, regulations regarding data privacy, and tedious workflows associated with subject rights requests. To address these concerns, and others, your business may want to implement Digital Rights Management (DRM). Read ahead to gain insight into how DRM works and how you can use it to keep your data secure.

Here's What Your Business Needs to Know About Digital Rights Management:


What Is Digital Rights Management?

When a business uses DRM (Digital Rights Management—otherwise known as Technological Protection Measures, or TPM), they’re using technology to manage access to confidential or copyrighted information. For many companies, data can be found on-premises and in cloud-based systems, so often data must be transferred back and forth to meet different access needs in a given workflow. During these transfers, data needs to be encrypted to ensure it’s secure at every level. A DRM solution may institute protections such as: 

  • Watermarks
  • Device Control
  • Password protection
  • Copy preventions and restrictions

DRM software can automate the filtering, tagging, and sorting of this data. A DRM service follows specific rules for the tagged data and authorized users. This prevents unauthorized use of content and allows for greater content oversight. Generally, data will be encrypted at the application level, then decrypted for verified individuals and services only. 
A DRM protects your company data by using: 

  • One way hashing 
  • Restrictive Licensing 
  • Digital Trust Infrastructure
  • Timebound decryption keys
  • Secure communication protocols 

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3 Reasons to Invest in a DRM Service

1. A DRM provider can help with technical compliance.

Different use cases for content management require compliance frameworks that depend on factors like industry type, location of data and employees, data type, and more. Deciphering which frameworks your business should use and how to implement them requires specialized expertise, as they change often and can be difficult to manage in-house. An experienced service provider like iCorps will be able to meet particularized standards across industries and locations.

A DRM can help your business meet regulatory requirements for subject rights requests, which are regulated by governmental organizations. In fact, the term “Subject Rights Request” is derived from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, a widely used compliance framework. For example, DRM is often applied in the streaming service industry, which requires specialized knowledge about content that’s available across platforms and use different DRM protocols. A DRM service provider will have the expertise to help navigate these intricacies. 

2. A DRM solution can automate data requests and ease staff workload.

A DRM provider will maintain up-to-date permissions as needed. Data transfers across departments can be difficult to keep in the “need to know” classification and often lead to overexposed data. Both outside vendors and internal staff may be exposed to more data than necessary when manually handling data requests. Automating these systems keeps data as private as possible while allowing access only to authorized users. Automating also helps your staff avoid human error and the tedious workflows associated with manual data requests, allowing for more streamlined collaboration between teams.  

3. A DRM provider can offer cybersecurity training

A company’s greatest cybersecurity weakness is often their own workforce. The Harvard Business Review reports that employees forget 75% of training after 6 days. This is attributed to “The Forgetting Curve” theory, which says information that’s not applied is forgotten. The way many companies train employees in cybersecurity is ineffective, as they don’t revisit cybersecurity issues after the initial training. Employees handle important data all the time, and if they aren’t aware of or taking proper cybersecurity measures, they’re putting data at risk.

To address this growing concern, Microsoft’s newest privacy management software, Priva, has built-in employee prompts called “actionable insights” to integrate cybersecurity training into daily workflows and assess a company’s privacy in an ongoing, straightforward manner. A DRM provider can supply additional cybersecurity training and solutions as well.  

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How to Implement a DRM Solution 

1. You must understand where your business is storing its data.

Where is data made accessible? Think about endpoints: what devices, software, etc. provide access to data? Are they offline or online? It’s also important to understand what kinds of data you’re dealing with. Not all data needs to be subject to DRM, and some data will have specific requirements about storage and distribution.  

The second “where” question to ask yourself is about the physical location of the data. Think about locations of servers, vendors, and employees. It’s important to have a clear understanding of where your data is located for compliance reasons. Some regions have tighter regulations than others, and companies dealing with data in those locations will have to follow regulations, even if the data is going somewhere with less restrictions. For example, Germany has particularly tight cybersecurity standards compared to the United States, so a US-based company transferring data to and from Germany must be compliant with German cybersecurity frameworks.  

2. You must assess who needs access to data and when they need it.

It’s key to understand what workflows are associated with what data. You need to know where employees are located for the same reason you need to know where data is located—you must comply with the employee’s residence’s regulations even if they are different than the location of the business, and your company will be held responsible if the proper guidelines aren’t being followed.  

3. Once you have a solid understanding of your data, you should build policies around the data, then tag it.

It’s important to build policies first because they inform the data tags. If tags come first, creating policies around tags is often more difficult. When you reach this step, the help of an automated tool can save time and effort by filtering, tagging, and sorting your data for you.  

4. Once your data is tagged, it’s time to implement a compliance manager.

For example, automated software like Priva enforces the tags and rules encapsulated in Azure Information Protection, Microsoft's cloud service for application management. There are many DRM solutions available, and a provider like iCorps can help you decide which cybersecurity solutions are right for your business. A DRM service will provide the rights management you need for a fraction of the cost of an in-house employee. Not only is it a financially sound investment, it’s an investment that offers peace of mind as your business utilizes industry best-practices. Reach out to iCorps today for a free consultation 

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