Information Protection: Microsoft's Windows Rights Management Services Sparks a New Breed of Solutions: "The topic of information protection -- long subject No. 1 in IT security circles -- is heating up in the boardroom. New regulations and competitive pressures have heightened the stakes for companies to put effective controls on business data, whether it resides in corporate e-mails, documents, intranet portals or CAD drawings.
Most organizations depend on digital information to run their business, but conventional approaches to protecting that data -- firewalls, access control and encryption -- have remained largely unchanged. According to Microsoft's Suzanne Kalberer, the current methods are all important, but all share one significant vulnerability.
'Access control and firewalls keep intruders out, and encryption protects data in transit,' says Kalberer, a product manager in Microsoft's Security Business & Technology Unit. 'But people basically have the freedom to do whatever they wish with the information once it's in their hands, and this problem is magnified once it leaves the company domain.
After listening to customers express their need for a better way to protect sensitive information, Microsoft entered the enterprise rights management (ERM) space in the latter half of 2003 with the release of Microsoft's Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) for Windows Server 2003. "