RealTime IT News

Adobe Right Management Server Extends to Office

Adobe Systems has released LiveCycle Policy Server 7.2, an update to its enterprise rights management (ERM) software that adds fine-grain encryption and protection to document files.

LiveCycle Policy Server allows an organization to attach specific privileges to individual documents, dictating if and how they may be stored or distributed, who can access them, and who can edit or change them.

Organizations can update or revoke usage rights to access a document, regardless of where the information is stored or if it has been distributed. It provides a full audit trail, so the trail of a document's movement and who changed it is stored.

"The problem we're solving is the idea of controlling your documents wherever they go," said Steven Gottwals, senior product manager of security solutions for Adobe . "There are great solutions for getting documents from point A to point B. But people tend to forward those [documents] on to unauthorized users."

The purpose of the Policy Server is to encrypt the document first, so no matter where that document goes, people have to authenticate themselves in order to view it, he added.

With everything from security breaches to laws like Sarbanes-Oxley , something like this is helpful and necessary, said Scott Crawford, senior analyst with Enterprise Management Associates.

"For years we've been talking about information security, but what we really meant was IT security. This enables specific rights to be associated with specific information objects, and it doesn't depend on encryption as a sole tool for protection," he said.

"It certainly expands the reach of the product," Crawford added. "You can look at Lifecycle Server as a pretty comprehensive solution, not just limited to PDF documents but really extensible across the landscape of the most common formats."

Adobe LiveCycle Policy Server 7.2 is available now, starting at $100 per author. Existing LiveCycle Policy Server customers with a current Maintenance and Support contract can download the Word 2003 and Excel 2003 extensions at no cost.

Document Center and CATIA

Adobe also announced Adobe Document Center, a hosted service that compliments Policy Server 7.2 and works with it. With Document Center, data files can be encrypted and access controls set. Previous versions of Document Center only worked with Adobe's PDF file format, but this new version adds support for Microsoft Word and Excel.

Adobe also added support for CATIA, a high-end, multiplatform mechanical design and engineering tool used in industries like automotive and aerospace. Gottwals said such industries are particularly interested in file protections for their intellectual properties, which is their designs, especially if they want to ship them overseas or to subcontractors.