Many years ago, we looked at a digital rights management (DRM) product that had just about all of the bells and whistles you could want at the time. We see a very similar product here, with one really major exception: This one – FinalCode – is about as tamper-proof as you could want.
FinalCode subscribes to a good file security lifecycle. That lifecycle is Secure, Send, Receive and Control. First, you need to secure the file. Simplistically, that means encrypt it, but there is a lot more than that. Then, assured that the file is safe, you can send it to your intended recipient. The recipient receives the file, works a bit of magic that only the legitimate recipient can work, and is then able to read the file. Finally, you want to be able to control what happens to the file in addition to your intended recipient reading it.
AT A GLANCE
Price $20 per user per month for up to 10 users, annual subscription.
What it does Secures documents for sharing and controls their use.
What we liked Simple to use and deploy with an effective and secure approach.
The bottom line If you send sensitive documents to others for sharing and, especially, if you need to meet regulatory requirements for security, this will save you tons of headaches and protect your sensitive data when it is out of your immediate control.
This all sounds like a bunch of metadata attached to the file. That metadata tells the file how to behave. If that's your analysis, sorry, but you're wrong. In FinalCode's view, that approach – keeping the metadata with the file – is weak and subject to compromise. Rather, there is a two-stage approach where recipients register and the senders send not their original file but a copy. This copy goes directly to the recipient – who by now has registered on the FinalCode site and downloaded a small app.
Now, the registered recipient goes to the FinalCode cloud and gets whatever is necessary to read the file. The instructions – the Control piece – come with the key that the recipient downloads, and with the small reader app the recipient can read the file. If the sender had special instructions – don't copy, or self-destruct in five days, for example – those come too. The recipient then is free to do with the file whatever the sender allows and the metadata and the original file are not subject to compromise.
The bottom line is that this tool works very well, is amazingly simple to deploy and use, and only the senders pay a license fee. There can be as many recipients as you want. Their use costs them nothing.
We saw this tool in action and it is every bit as secure and as easy to use as the vendor claims. We started with a document that we wished to send but retain confidentiality. We had the choice of securing the file with a template or creating a custom set of protections. We clicked “Apply Policies” and we were ready to share the document through FinalCode. It was that simple.
At a starting price of $20 per user per month for up to 10 users, this product offers a lot of security and compliance. Documentation is first-rate and the audit logs are comprehensive. Support 11/5 in all time zones (5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST) and there is a premium 24/7 support package available as well.
We liked this solution. It is the evolution of early DRM tools but, as one would expect, it goes way beyond that. It is not a DRM tool, however, even though it uses some DRM techniques, advanced to meet the purpose of securing files for sharing.