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  • GUEST TRIAL: Go Beyond Watermarks to Protect Sensitive Documents From Unauthorized Access

GUEST TRIAL: Go Beyond Watermarks to Protect Sensitive Documents From Unauthorized Access

By on January 6, 2022 0

Cyber ​​threats continue to grow and there are still not enough ways to counter them.

Related: Why the “golden age” of cyber espionage is upon us

The size of the global threat intelligence market has been estimated to be $ 10.9 billion in 2020 and will reach $ 16.1 billion by 2025. Yet, according to the Ponemon Institute study, the number of insider leaks has increased by 47 percent in 2020 compared to 2018. As a result,

The majority of businesses (55%) use some sort of tool to monitor insider threats; including data breach prevention software (DLP) (54%), user behavior analysis (UBA) (50%) and employee monitoring and surveillance (47%).

They also enrich documents with metadata and place them in cryptographic containers, access to which is only granted with permission. However, all of these solutions are powerless when it comes to photographing a document with a smartphone and compromising the printed copies of documents. Therefore, these solutions cannot cope with such leaks.

Companies partially fill this gap through the application of watermarks. Watermarks can be used to protect digital or printed documents from unauthorized use by other people or entities or to identify the original creator of a copy.

The market offers many solutions, from free online programs to business software. In particular, watermarks can be customized to incorporate specific text and specify required properties such as direction, transparency, color, etc. But at the same time, such markings have several drawbacks.

Watermark limitations

First, since the watermark is visible, it is easy to remove it. This can easily be done in any photo editor such as Photoshop. Second, it interferes with reading the content of the document itself. Often it overlaps part of the text, which can carry a specific semantic load. Third, a watermark will not protect a document if someone takes a photo of their section without a watermark and uploads it online.


Additionally, if there is a leak, the watermark will not help determine who leaked the document if an attacker intelligently cleans the document, deletes it, or caches it. Watermarks are good when talked about as an extra measure to protect documents, but they may not be essential. Yes, they are inexpensive to apply. They can be dynamic. But they have more disadvantages than advantages when it comes to ensuring information security.

There are more exotic ways to protect documents. One example is the so-called yellow dots (microdots), when small yellow dots are placed on a sheet of paper. They are practically invisible. But, unfortunately, if such a document is photographed, the dots will not be visible either. In addition, they do not cover the entire page, so part of the document remains unprotected.

Some companies take an unusual approach by using special fonts. Special serifs are added to letters, for example. Using this approach, you can create single copies of documents, but the number of possible copies is severely limited.

In situations where existing and popular solutions cannot completely fill the gaps that have arisen, the need for new solutions becomes particularly urgent. One of these solutions is offered by the G-71 business.

G-71 is a New York-based data breach deterrent software company that was founded in 2019 by IT and cybersecurity experts with 20 years of industry experience. G-71 created the state-of-the-art information security solution LeaksID to protect private and corporate documents from illegal access, complementing DLP systems.

Identification of leaks

LeaksID, already chosen by more than 110,000 customers, has been designed to integrate with popular document management systems (such as Google, Microsoft, SAP, IBM and others) and standard file formats and can also be used for storage and conversion of documents. In 2020, the G-71 crossed the Alchemist Acceleration Program then launched a cloud-based solution.

Developed by G-71, LeaksID uses a patented algorithm (U.S. Patent No. 11,120,520) that applies invisible anti-leak marks to all your documents and converts them to PDF format. Compared to watermarks, such markings are entirely invisible to the naked eye; only the system itself can recognize them.

The technology uses the method of steganography. Marking in the system occurs during any interaction with the document. As a result, customers can view, share, download and print protected documents and identify the culprit of the leak in the event of illegal publication.

It works even if the data is stolen while taking a photo or as a hard copy. LeaksID can make 27,000 copies for every person on Earth from a page of text, or 205 trillion unique combinations.

To remove the G-71 mark, you must remove all the text to return the page to its original state or completely retype it in another document. But that would be the falsification of documents, and a false document without any mark of its authenticity loses its value and acquires the quality of gossip.

About the essayist: Julia Demyanchuk is Marketing Manager at G-71 Inc. She has over six years of marketing management experience in advertising agencies, the HoReCa industry and technology companies.

*** This is a Syndicated Security Bloggers Network blog by The last watchdog written by bacohido. Read the original post on: https://www.lastwatchdog.com/guest-essay-going-beyond-watermarks-to-protect-sensitive-documents-from-illegal-access/

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