Button Up

How to protect valuable information: customer bases, price lists, etc. against leakage

Natalia Yashenkova
Natalia Yashenkova
Head of Marketing and PR at StarForce Technologies.

Natalia Yashenkova has more than 15 years experience in software development and information security. Before StarForce Technologies she worked at Netris and Vimcom Optic.

15 Jan 2015

Every company owns sensitive information that needs to be protected. First of all it is a client base but also there are know-hows, credentials, personal information and other documents the leakage of which could cause a lot of troubles for business owners. How do companies cope with this?

1. Maximum opacity of contacts and processes.

It is the easiest but least effective way as usually in such a situation only one person has access to particular information. And this person can be not available when you really need him or what is worse, your competitors would like to purchase your employee in an extended configuration – together with critical information.

History knows many facts when a unique technology died together with the last person who knew the production secret: Damascus steel, Greek fire. The reasons for this could be different but the main one is the absence of wish to document the production process on paper because of fear to lose the secret. To describe the production process in details and arrange employee training is crucial now. So it is necessary to find some other way to protect information instead keeping it in top secret.

2. Applying of information protection procedure described in the law.

Almost every country has a set of laws to be created to protect both commercial and personal information. However you need to take in consideration the following aspects: firstly, you must conduct a series of organizational and technical measures in the company, and secondly the law starts working only after you have got confirmation about the leak of confidential information. If it is a trade secret, you still have a chance to receive compensation for damages, if all measures to protect the confidentiality of information at the enterprise have been performed correctly. Here are the measures to be performed:

  1. to define a list of information that constitutes a trade secret;

  2. to limit the access to classified information by establishing procedures for its handling and control;

  3. to produce records of persons with access to the information constitutes a trade secret, and (or) the persons to whom such information was provided, or transmitted;

  4. to define relationship to the use of the information constitutes a trade secret, for the employees on the basis of employment contracts and for the contractors on the basis of civil contracts;

  5. to mark documents or other media that constitutes a trade secret with a special sign “Classified” with the mention of the owner’s details (for companies: full company’s name, address; for entrepreneurs full name and address.

So if a trade secret is broken after trial you will be able to get compensation. But if the subject is know-how then say good-bye to your brilliant ideas. The exclusive right to know-how is valid as long as its content is confidential. The loss of confidentiality stops the exclusive right to know-how for all owners.

It means you need to create such technical conditions that grant the access to classified information for targeted employees and at the same time minimize the risk of leakage. This way we are approaching to the third method of information protection at the enterprise.

3. Applying of advanced solutions for proactive information protection against leakage.

What is the main challenge for information security solution? This solution must prevent unauthorized access and copying of documents, as well as their distribution to unauthorized persons, both inside and outside the enterprise information system, to eliminate the possibility of leakage.

StarForce Technologies offers two cutting-edge products to protect sensitive information against leakage for corporate customers:

  • StarForce Content Enterprise protects confidential documents against unauthorized access and copying outside and inside the perimeter of a company's information system.

  • StarForce E-m@il Enterprise is a mail server that protects confidential documents that are sent by email from copying and unauthorized distribution.

The both products are designed to protect documents that are not supposed to be edited i.e. final versions without corrections. E.g. it can be price lists, customer lists, revenue report, technology description and so on. The main benefit of StarForce solutions is an opportunity to control document distribution outside the company. This function can’t be provided by a DLP system. StarForce solutions are indispensable when various documents (secret bargain conditions, information about special discounts for customers/partners) have to leave the perimeter of the company's information system and the sender wants to get a guarantee that the recipient will not be able to share these documents, both among themselves and with the third parties.

Also StarForce Content Enterprise works efficiently inside the company providing user right management and preventing electronic document copying, editing, printing and unauthorized take away outside the company.

StarForce document protection is based on the following technologies:

  • Binding to the recipient’s device provides protection against copying and opening on some other device.

  • Viewer program to open protected documents provides protection against unauthorized access and grabbers (Print Screen).

  • Licensing mechanism for user right management and access tracking

Besides StarForce solutions are easily integrated in the customer’s infrastructure and their functions can be extended according to the customer’s needs.

StarForce Content Enterprise and StarForce E-m@il Enterprise have cloud versions and everybody can test them any time:

Back to the list