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Debra Garls

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Digital Rights Management

Security for Digital Data

Digital Rights Management

ueberwachung2Digital Rights Management – What is it?

Have you ever wondered what happens when documents with important product information fall into the wrong hands? Would you like to know how isolated data can be protected against unauthorised access? This is where digital rights management (DRM) can help. This encryption process should only be used when files need to be sent to a recipient outside of the EDM system and therefore in an unprotected state, e.g. outside the company.


Digital rights management provides secure transport to recipients who must be provided with information but whose loyalty can not be guaranteed.


To do this, SEAL Systems uses an Adobe solution which is integrated in the tried and tested document distribution processes. This type of system facilitates access control to the PDF files that are encrypted before being sent. With digital rights management, the access and user rights for a file can even be changed by the sender after it has already been received without having to access the sent file again. A digital rights management system always requires an appropriate hardware infrastructure in the demilitarised zone.

Typical Questions

The digital rights management from SEAL Systems is the “Digital Process Factory”. It functions as an intelligent interface between the SAP world and the DRM server. With the DPF, all of the SAP interfaces (Userexits) are now monitored which can be used by SAP in order to export documents (e.g. print, email, initialising in the viewer). At the corresponding Userexit, an automated check is completed via a DPF workflow to ascertain whether it relates to a SAP document which is of relevance to the DRM encryption.


sicherheitOn the customer side, the rules and parameters for the use of the digital rights management are specified in the LPAD/AD. These encompass, for example, the user groups with the corresponding rights as well as definitions of the actions with which a document has to be DRM protected and/or additionally stamped with SAP information. A SAP table is used to specify which types of document are to be subject to the DRM encryption and which do not require DRM protection. The information saved in SAP is determined via Userexits (that we create) and forwarded to the Digital Process Factory of SEAL Systems for controlling the DRM encryption. The DRM regulations are then implemented on the DRM server. The people who have access rights are managed in the central LDAP. This does not lead to any additional administrative cost, as this group of people is compiled anyway for every project in the LDAP.

All of the possible distribution methods for documents managed in SAP are monitored by our Digital Process Factory. If a user wants to issue documents it is checked automatically as to whether they are of relevance to the digital rights management. If it is a document type for encryption, the Digital Process Factory forwards the document to the DRM server automatically, where it is encrypted according to the corresponding DRM guideline (e.g. “read only”). The DRM protected document is then issued/distributed in the normal way.


An effective means of document protection using encryption up to and including the recipient requires that the front-end application of the recipient carries out the authentication and decryption of the files. This is the only way it is possible for the recipient to be allowed restricted access to information only. An example of what this could mean is “read only and not making a local copy“. Digital rights management from Adobe also has plug-ins for Microsoft Office in order to make the distribution of MS Office documents secure.

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