4. Key management must be both secure and operationally viable. It is a well-known fact that key management is the most difficult aspect of implementing encryption. Carefully research the operational workings of the technology chosen, and ask to speak privately to other companies who have used the candidate products.
Beyond encryption, content-based security can include a variety of other controls. Documents can be given an “end of life”, or timeframe beyond which the content can’t be opened. Modification and access to the file can be logged and reported back to the owner. Also, encryption key adjudication can be used to unlock content under emergency conditions, without the consent of the document owner. This can be critical during a security investigation, or if someone leaves the organization.
The onslaught of cloud and BYOD is forcing organizations to rethink and retool data security systems to regain control. By attaching security to the content, it’s possible to secure and audit data in the cloud regardless of the cloud-based storage and collaboration service being used.