This is one that should have happened a while back, given that all the technology pieces are in place and readily available, but fear not, 2009 will be the year for comprehensive information rights management. Yes, I said it.
So what has changed, and why should 2009 be any different?
- Well for one thing, the frequent reports of data loss incidents mean that the corporate world has had to start looking at ways to prevent future mishaps. However, even current initiatives like wholesale corporate data encryption and data loss prevention strategies are not totally fool proof; therefore many organisations are still likely to need a more effective approach towards managing and securing information, especially one that will work even after data is lost or misplaced.
- Secondly, there are signs that ERM vendors are waking up to the key role they have to play in creating the ecosystem of solutions required to tackle data loss issues head-on. For example, some vendors have begun integrating their ERM products with existing Data Loss Prevention systems in order to provide effective control of information, both within and outside the enterprise security perimeter, (i.e. in the Jericho philosophy of deperimeterised security).
- Finally, although ERM is a direct offshoot of media Digital Rights Management (DRM), and provides similar capabilities for content control, it is unlikely to face the same fate as the latter, (see more on this from my DRM blog), for the simple reason that they serve very different markets / needs. A recent study of the ERM market shows a steady increase in awareness and adoption by organisations in various sectors like finance, healthcare and IT consulting among others
.In light of the above, I believe it that we shall start to see more examples of holistic security and information management as a major step towards mitigating the risk of data loss. The solutions, like the problems they solve, are not restricted to one product, channel or strategy; therefore it would most likely be achieved via a combination of components that include: ERM / IRM solutions; DLP systems; enhanced Information Security Policies; and the traditional corporate security and perimeter defence mechanisms.
Note: Originally posted on Capgemini’s Technology blog. You can see the original post, including comments, at: http://www.capgemini.com/technology-blog/2008/11/help_theres_an_architect_in_th.php
Signs abound that the previously quiet realm of enterprise DRM is now making the must have list for enterprise security system vendors. This promises the potential for enterprises to gain full control of corporate information and data even outside the traditional security environment.
Like anything else in life it often takes a calamity to jumpstart what should have been an obvious requirement in the first instance. After last year’s data loss debacle, many public and private services organisations have had to take a fresh look at how to mitigate the risk associated with data loss. The upshot of this is the recognition of a need for information control even outside traditional corporate security perimeters, a problem that is neatly solved by enterprise DRM solutions as shown in the diagram below.
Although most organisations already have some form of perimeter security mechanisms (e.g. firewalls, data encryption and authentication), many have not bothered too much with the question of what happens if and when information leaves the premises on USB memory sticks or CDRs – a method frequently used by their own employees. However, it all looks set to change now as traditional enterprise security vendors are looking at including this level of control into their offerings.
Diagram showing Traditional Enterprise Security vs. Additional Enterprise DRM
(Source: The World Beyond Digital Rights Management, BCS 2007)
According to an article on DRMwatch, some enterprise content management vendors already recognised the need to control information in this way and acquired relevant companies and products into their portfolios. However, it has taken slightly longer for enterprise security solution vendors, who might be considered a more natural fit, to start integrating this capability into their solutions in order to create a holistic offering that delivers both internal and external control over enterprise data. The hope is that public and private sector organisations will jump on board and buy / implement these solutions with some alacrity, but enterprise customers just like ordinary consumers sometimes do the unexpected. We await further developments with eager anticipation.
Note: This post was previously published on my BCS DRM Blog, where you can find the original post, and reader comments, in the archives.