A fundamental myth about data rooms needs to be corrected. The data room concept was hijacked by industry stakeholders to legitimize “hypothetical harm”. Companies that use these rooms to increase security in order to protect their information place documents inside a secure room, where access is limited and access can only be obtained by people who possess the correct key. These systems have no physical barriers or barriers to information security, meaning that anyone with the key can gain access to a document.
Sounds great, right? Anyone can visit the data room whenever needed, security protocols have been set, and the data room is still secure.
However, these “protection” solutions have serious security shortcomings, often made possible due to lax security protocols that do not prohibit all access to the data room. These kinds of assumptions fly in the face of the reality of data rooms, which have been proven to have serious data security weaknesses that compromise the confidentiality and integrity of stored data.
With a little research, you will see that the barriers that traditional data rooms present to users are not only ineffective, but can actually create significant security vulnerabilities. In fact, research from numerous studies have shown that there are many data security breaches when organizations put their confidential data in a virtual data room.
Surprisingly, the majority of these breaches happen when individuals gain access to a room without the key, as opposed to when a room is closed to the public. Essentially, it turns out that the mythical “secure” data room is no more secure than any other building.
These hacks happen because the devices inside a data room do not have very high security requirements, and because the risks are underestimated. These devices and network devices are connected to the public internet, which means that anyone with internet access could access the servers inside these rooms if they wanted to.
If you think that maybe the data rooms are secure in a way that people can’t actually access them, then you are in for a surprise.
Let’s go over some of the facts.
What Happens When Users In a “Secure” Data Room Access the Internet?
Once you place a database or key into a “secure” room (e.g., a “secure” server room), any device on the public internet can access your data. Your customers and suppliers can still visit your website, download your documentation and product features, access your information, and even add and change content.
Your employees can still access your data. These devices and services are all connected to your network. They can access each other, which leads to data leaks. Your employees can use their personal devices to access your “secure” servers.
In fact, the tables have turned when it comes to a traditional data room. Now, if your employees are inside your “secure” data room, they can access your data from outside the room, and from devices connected to the internet. Once again, employees and devices can still access each other.
This puts both the companies and customers at risk. If employees are not properly monitored, they could lose control of their computer or mobile device and get access to the data. Any given employee may possess a variety of devices and each of these devices may contain an enormous amount of information.
Moreover, if your employees leave your company, you may need to hire a new employee who uses a different device to access your data, leaving you with the risk of losing access to your information. This is why you must pay close attention to security and account for the risks before you do any project.
Another thing that can happen is that if employees access your data from devices that are not connected to the internet, then they could expose your information to your competitors, malicious attackers, and other employees. This could be a significant security concern.
Security Defenses in a “Secured” Data Room
How can you ensure that your “secure” data room is secure in practice, not just in theory?
Before you put any data into a “secure” room, you should use these security measures:
Log on to your company’s website and verify the security of your “secure” server.
Before you put any data into a “secure” server, monitor all connections coming to and going from the server. Decide on the exact design of the “secure” server. Ensure that your server does not have any weak points (e.g., hard-coded credentials, passwords, user accounts, etc.) that could be exploited by unauthorized users.
Monitor access to the “secure” server. Every time an employee or any device in your company enters the “secure” server, then you will know that they accessed your “secure” server.
Digital Rights Management as a secure data room alternative
While keeping track of the access to your “secure” servers is important, it may be that you want to keep your employees or customers from accessing the same data you want to keep. You might want to use something else, like a digital rights management system.
Digital Rights Management can help you manage digital content in a secure way, protecting your customers and your data.
Most major media companies use digital rights management. This technology gives consumers the right to choose whether they want to rent or stream a digital movie, music, or any other content. This is called “safe mode.”
This method of protecting data offers security against attacks, along with high customer satisfaction. If you want to give your employees the right to access the information you want to protect, then you will need to use digital rights management.
There are many different ways to implement digital rights management in your company. The method you choose depends on the type of data you have and the way you want to protect it.
An ideal DRM security software should lock PDF documents to authorized devices so they cannot be shared, and enforce the same DRM controls for both online and offline documents. It should also offer a secure viewer that you can install on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android to prevent screen grabbing and printing to PDF and avoid watermarks from being removed by PDF editing software.
When implementing DRM, it is important to make sure that you use a DRM solution that you can install in an isolated and secure area where no other company or employee can easily access it. An ideal DRM solution would help you to setup a secure backup location that you can use to restore the entire data room in case of a compromise.