WatchDox Brings Unique DRM for Secure Document Sharing
The VAR Guy knows that security is usually thought of as a network issue, and data loss prevention is seen as something that happens in the data center. But WatchDox takes information security to a different level by implementing a new way to share documents. Think of it as flexible corporate DRM. Read on for the details …
It’s simple: Users upload the file to WatchDox’s cloud service, which wraps it in a layer of DRM including time-bombs to embedded location tracking and even remote wiping. VP of Business Development Adi Ruppin noted this feature can be added into Outlook or SharePoint, so integrated protection can occur automatically when sending attachments. Then, when users send the file to a recipient, all the recipient has to do is authenticate the document via his or her e-mail, and the document becomes available inside a web-based Flash viewer with no software downloads required.
Users not excited about using Flash still can send the files with WatchDox’s DRM built-in, and recipients will have to download a plug-in to access the file. That plug-in acts as a watchdog for the rules built into the document, and if the plug-in doesn’t “phone home” after a while, the WatchDox-protected documents are purged automatically, Ruppin said.
The VAR Guy thought editing would be out of the question given the amount of DRM baked in to the files, but it’s actually not, Ruppin said. Full editing capabilities are preserved and available to creators and recipients alike. Copying information out of the document, however, has been disabled. And screen shots? Ruppin said WatchDox watermarks the documents to help deter such practices and uses some of Microsoft’s Office technology to prevent that information from being captured; however, he admitted there are always work-arounds. “We obviously can’t stop you taking a picture [of the screen] with your iPhone or Blackberry,” he said, but there are safeguards to prevent even that from happening: WatchDox features a “Spotlight” mode that darkens a document and creates a visible radius around the mouse pointer, essentially allowing readers to only view the section of the document they’ve moused over.
Currently, Ruppin said there are 4,000 companies using his company’s solutions worldwide, from SMB to enterprise. And with WikiLeaks grabbing headlines more often, a growing number of companies are looking to secure their documents. That’s why WatchDox later this month plans to launch a virtual appliance version of its DRM protection cloud, allowing businesses to keep everything on premise while also offering something VARs and MSPs can sell, deploy or wrap services around.
“We’ve had a partner program for a while, but we didn’t have the appliance. We had demand for it in the channel world. They [the customers and partner] both wanted it,” he said. “We have [the] standard partner program [with our SaaS model] with discounts and support … but we want to put more focus on that with the appliance.”
Currently governmental and financial institutions are enjoying these technologies the most, he said, so VARs working in governmental verticals should perk up. “You’re not just reselling, you’re creating an entire solution,” asserts Ruppin, since an MSP could deploy the virtual appliance in its own data center and sell its own services based on it.
WatchDox’s latest gem is an iPhone/iPad application alongside a Blackberry application for viewing secured documents on the go. “We’re getting lots of traction on the mobile-device side,” Ruppin said, adding the company is working on an Android application.
Other key players in the DLP scene include Palisade Systems and Sophos, but The VAR Guy notes neither of these companies are offering this unique style of DRM. Our resident blogger will be curious on how well the channel takes to the new solution, and he’ll continue to keep a watch on WatchDox as the year rolls on.