Though I have found that Google’s IRM has some good features such as its abilities to block exporting, copying, and printing for Google App files, I have also found a few weak points that would not make it the best option in an enterprise-level setting [Previous Post: 4 Reasons Why Google IRM is Not Enough for Corporate Use].
SECUDRIVE File Server (FS) can create a secure collaborative enterprise environment and I have listed what I thought are the top 3 ways FS can be a better alternative solution to Google IRM.
Simplified Management and Implementation
While Google IRM uses a file-by-file management system, FS simplifies management by utilizing a folder-based system. I find that it is much easier to manage a few folders than a few hundred files.
Instead of having the user be responsible for setting the IRM settings, FS has all security settings applied by a security administrator. This gives users one less thing to worry about when sharing files and puts the responsibility of security in the hands of someone qualified to handle it. Personally, I wouldn’t want to have 100 separate users responsible for my data’s security because that is 100 more opportunities for data to be leaked.
The solution can also be applied to a Windows file server and use the preexisting Active Directory, users, groups, permissions, and shared folders for a hassle-free implementation. FS extends to the cloud as well and can be implemented onto cloud servers such as Amazon AWS EC2 with Windows Server in order to allow users to access data in a protected state while out of the office network.
Wide Variety of Protected Applications
Since Google IRM is mainly focused on protecting Google App files, in order for me to truly get the full extent of the security, I would have to convert my Microsoft Word documents, Powerpoint presentations, and Excel files to their Google Apps counterparts. I don’t know about you, but that is a lot of files I would have to convert.
With FS, I do not have to convert anything so I can maintain the overall workflow for myself and my team by using our normal applications such as Microsoft Office Suite. It also supports other applications such those in Adobe Creative suite, as well as an array of video players, photo viewers, and standard Windows applications such as Notepad. FS is also versatile with its protected applications so, for example, it can protect a manufacturing company that may have CAD-based product designs files and layouts in AutoCAD and CATIA as well. This versatility can help keep business as usual in multiple types of environments.
My biggest disappointment with Google IRM was the lack of protection for editors since the simultaneous collaborative functions were, in my opinion, the most useful feature of Google Apps. So it creates a situation where has to choose between collaborative editing and IRM security.
In contrast, the rights management feature of FS extends to users that have read/write access. They will not be able to copy, print, screen capture, or transfer any files out of the protected shared folders but will still be able to edit and work as normal. I can also select which rights I want to block individually on FS whereas Google IRM is only one option to block exporting, copying and printing altogether.
I should mention that I have only outlined a few features of FS in comparison to Google’s IRM because the entire FS solution comes with many other security features such as real-time monitoring, detailed logging, DFS and WSFC compatibility, Addition of file linking for Windows Servers, and encrypted file export to SECUDRIVE manageable USBs.
So if security is your main concern when sharing your organization’s files, then SECUDRIVE File Server would be a better alternative to help mitigate the intrinsic risks associated with file sharing.