How to Choose the Best Software for Secure Document Sharing: The Must Have Features

When your documents are in transit from one recipient to another across many different networks or third parties, there is always a security threat lurking over the documents’ content. And, such threats could lead to an unfortunate case of data theft or information leakage. Hence, it is vital to ensure the secure sharing of documents at all levels, within and outside your organization.


You and/or your company’s management or system administrators must decide who the authorized people are with whom the documents will be shared. Thus, a major task that lies in front of you is the selection of an effective Digital Rights Management (DRM) tool for secure document sharing.


When selecting such software, you need to ensure that the controls involved allow you to authorize the use of your documents by the relevant people, while disallowing the distribution or sharing of the same. For this purpose, you must look for strong encryption capabilities (specifically 256-bit encryption) which will ensure that your documents remain secure, while they are at rest or during transit. The tool you choose should also be able to provide dedicated decryption keys for different user machines, thereby locking access for a particular document to a specific user and his or her computer.


Also, if your organization encourages the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy whereby your employees even get their own tablets or laptops to work on, you need security features in your DRM tool that does not allow access to the documents outside your company’s network. This is possible with the help of a DRM control feature that only authorizes those users with specific IP addresses.


For further control over the documents you share in your company, you can look for a feature in your DRM system that checks the validity license before every use of a document. Also, you must be able to stop the access to certain confidential documents automatically by having an expiry date. This will prevent the need to spend time manually removing any access for existing authorized users who may no longer be required to use a document.


Another must-have feature for your DRM tool is the ability to instantly revoke information in documents, especially when any of your licensed users accidentally share their access with anyone who is not authorized.


And, to avoid any possibility of your licensed users generating copies of your documents, you can choose a document DRM tool that does not allow any printing at all. Alternatively, if you need to allow certain users to print a few copies, you can opt for document copy protection software that allows only a limited number of prints per user or per machine.


Some other basic features that you need to look out for include:


  • Avoiding the use of a basic “print screen” feature as well as any screen grabbing tools;
  • Creating dynamic watermarks (which display the username, email ID, company name, and so on) when an authorized user views or prints any confidential document, thereby assigning accountability to your licensed users; and
  • Not providing a “save as” or “download” option to avoid any possibility of your users saving the documents as copies on their desktop.


So, you need a highly efficient DRM-enabled system for secure document sharing that checks who views or accesses your documents, when they do so, and for how long they have access to the content. Importantly, you should also be able to track the use as well as prevent any unauthorized use.


How will you choose software for secure document sharing?