The past decade has experienced an explosion of digital content distribution due to the emergence of the internet. This revolution was quite troublesome for organizations that became victims of data leaks more than ever. The need to protect their sensitive data and avoid unauthorized access became urgent. For that reason, different solutions started being developed to reduce risks of internal & external data breaches as well as track potential data theft. One of the most popular and solid, yet simple solutions is Digital Watermarking.
It’s a method of embedding/integrating data into a digital intellectual property (IP) whether videos, documents, screens, photos…etc. It’s used to verify the credibility of a certain content and recognize the identity of the owner or originator.
A digital Watermark tracks online use and warns against content theft and unauthorized access and/or use. It’s also employed for different purposes such as copyright protection or source & broadcast tracking. They all complement digital rights management technology (DRM).
Watermark was first created when there was an explosion of Multimedia distribution on the internet. Unauthorized distribution raised a serious issue on copyright encroachment. There was an emerging demand for copyright protection of digital data. For that purpose, there were two methods used; encryption & watermarking.
Encryption can be used to protect digital data while being transferred. However, once the data is received, it is decrypted and no longer protected.
For that purpose, Digital Watermarking can be used to supplement encryption by embedding a metadata into the original data in a way that it is always present.
A digital watermark is a distinguishing piece of information applied to the data intended to protect. Extracting or removing it from the watermarked element should be extremely difficult.
There are two main types of digital watermark: visible & invisible.
Document Digital Watermark: usually has visible data embedded in the watermark on top of the document. It can be a logo or a text that belongs to the owner whether an individual or an organization and this data appears only on the document.
Digital Screen Watermark: The data integrated is visible on the screen all times. This is highly used where data classification isn’t well implemented and important data is seen on more than just documents, such as email software, spreadsheets, ERP systems, …etc.
Digital Screen Watermark on the screen will protect the data, and all type of information showing on the users’ screens. The option of Digital Screen Watermark doesn’t require a data classification for all documents and types, which – Data Classification – is not implemented well at most organization. Also, Digital Screen Watermark minimizes the possibilities of altering the documents, or its format to a non-supported type since it works on the Operating System level, not the document application level.
Make sure to select the proper data to be showing on the screens, something to identify the user, machine and maybe date and time as well if required by the forensics teams.
Implementing a Watermark at your organization might not be an easy journey at a start! Yes it will enhance your security levels and show that you’re taking extreme measure to protect the company’s sensitive information, but employees might be annoyed with the watermark appearing on the screen or documents.
Having a dynamic watermark should allow you to control the policy of the watermark to something that can give you the security and ease of implementation in the same time. Examples of the dynamicity requires is controlling the spacing between the lines, the font colors or the watermark, the intensity or transparency of the text as well, and many other options that should give you flexibility applying the watermark on all users’ screens.
Digital Watermarking can be on screens or documents. Although it’s not new, it’s already used by many organizations and applications and there are consistent innovations to make it more secure, user friendly and linked to newest technologies.
It’s a great option to protect an individual’s or organization’s data and claim ownership of their content and information without losing track of potential unauthorized use. For instance, besides the screen watermark, DataPatrol has a printing watermark feature that helps all organizations control all the printouts from all different application to be watermarked as well. In order to benefit from our digital watermark solution, check DataPatrol’s website here.
Want to add watermarks to your security protocol ? Contact us!