In a digitised world you can't just apply trust to your closest work colleagues, you have to extend that trust outwards into the wider internal organisation and as the digital workplace matures we have an additional new sphere to trust - the outside world.
Our electronic business is moving outwards and onwards.
Collaborating with others gives us competitive edge, it helps us network, it helps us earn respect and confidence from our partners, it is about teamwork, cooperation, partnerships and alliances, it is also about trust. Human beings want to collaborate, it is natural for us to work in teams; our pre-history is filled with cultures built on systems of collaboration.
Building a trust based collaborative system is the new challenge to the layered model of securing your enterprise. Because of the very nature of the way that documents flow through an organisation (and outside of it too) we are left with dynamic content that can be extracted, changed, leaked: the integrity lost forever and the information open to a competitor or worse - the press.
Because of the fluidic nature of electronic documents the challenge for security in the next few years is to take our normal document based work flow processes and, without substantially changing the way we operate, secure our content. This is not as easy as it sounds.
The considerations are complex because they seem contradictory. You need to protect the original intellectual property, as it's created, so the protection needs to be applied within the native application, not a derived copy such as an Adobe Acrobat file.
Because working documents are often in a state of continual editing you need to allow authorised others to edit the document but still retain protection. This is a particularly tricky thing to do, allow editing but stop printing, stop copying the content (by clipboard, screen capture, etc) as well as making sure the document itself is secured and never decrypted on disk.
But you also must have the option to make a document view only once it has been completed, yet have the option to restart editing if needed at a later date - after all information changes.
By subscribing to our early morning news update, you will receive a daily digest of the latest security news published on Help Net Security.
With over 500 issues so far, reading our newsletter every Monday morning will keep you up-to-date with security risks out there.