Adhaero Doc is not a general-purpose encryption product, but it uses encryption technology to secure Microsoft Office files throughout their lifecycle. It also integrates with Microsoft Outlook to provide the same protection to emails. It is best described as a digital rights management product.
Unlike other file encryption products, the encryption system resides within the document or email itself and is not the same as encrypting files and folders. And unlike traditional encryption, it stays with the document wherever it goes. Users authorized to read and work with the document can't 'decrypt' and save it in an unencrypted form that might be transmitted to unauthorised third parties.
Users collaborating on the preparation of a document may be allowed to edit it but can be prevented from cutting, pasting, forwarding, or printing it without permission - they can even be prevented from accessing it until a given date or time and it can have an expiration date after which it is effectively destroyed. Even screen capture may be prohibited. Editing can also be prevented, if required, and each of these different exclusions are quite independent so you can allow or deny them in any combination.
With Outlook, email forwarding can be explicitly disallowed, so that the recipient can only 'reply' to the original sender. One restriction with email is that the recipient must use Outlook to be able to read the email - so web-mail is not supported. Nevertheless, protected attachments can be sent to any email client or web-mail user. You do not need a full version of Adhaero Doc software to read and work with protected documents, you can use a free 'document reader' application.
Key recovery is supported both by a hierarchy of users, in which higher level users can control documents created by those below, and by a specific Document Recovery Scheme should a top-level user defect. This hierarchy also allows excellent central management and control of users, who may be authorized to create protected documents, by forcing 'templates' on them, if required. Authentication may be made by a choice of password, NT workgroups, or Adhaero Doc groups.
Platform support is Windows 98/NT4/2000/XP, and Microsoft Office 2000 or Office XP must also be installed. Files that may be protected include Word, Excel, PowerPoint documents and Outlook emails. The encryption algorithm is 256-bit AES.