In this series of articles about Riverbank SAFE, we have looked at how to protect your people. Now we turn our attention to protecting documents through data loss prevention. This is the crucial part of your IT security. After all, your security worry isn’t really the protection of a £500 laptop; what you are really worried about is the sensitive or confidential data held on that computer that has a value far higher than the hardware it resides on. There is also an even bigger downside if you do suffer a data breach, and that is GDPR and the increased accountability that comes with it.

The diagram below shows how protection of documents fits into the overall plan for IT security. But before we look in detail at the topic, you need to make sure that your baseline security is in place.

It security and data loss prevention from Riverbank IT


Baseline security

In terms of protecting your documents and, more widely, your intellectual property, you need to ensure that you have the security basics place. As a minimum, you need to consider:

  • IT security policy
  • Controlling access via user permissions
  • Document management and archiving

IT security policy

Making sure that people understand their obligations is a major part of IT security. Your company policies must include IT security, covering topics  where people can and cannot store documents, who they can share files with, their obligations to keep sensitive information secure etc.

Controlling access via user permissions

If you have been using traditional server-based IT you will undoubtedly be familiar with user permissions on network folders; for example, general files and folders are open to everyone, the accounts folders have access restricted to the finance team and so on. This is part of the bedrock of IT security where you start off with the right people having access to the right data.

In the new world of IT-focused around Office 365, you also need to set permissions. With Microsoft Teams, for example, you naturally set permissions by selecting who you invite into the different teams. And OneDrive, lets you be selective about the people with whom you share files.

Document management and archiving

Document management and archiving of old material is often overlooked because it is, frankly, tedious. It is also quite cheap to add more storage and sidestep the problem. The accumulation of data does represent a security risk because the more you have, the more there is to keep secure. With a growing mountain of folders and files, something is bound to go wrong.

So keep your folders lean and mean and in a simple structure, and you will maximise your security by minimising the chance of mistakes.

Data loss prevention with Riverbank SAFE

Riverbank SAFE provides an additional layer of security on top of your baseline security. Using the technology provided by Microsoft Enterprise Mobility and Security (EM+S), it provides two methods of document protection:

  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Document Rights Management

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Data loss is the unauthorised copying of data to somewhere it should not go. With Riverbank SAFE you can apply document security policies that automatically detect and control any files that attempt to breach that policy. The underlying software can spot clues to things like personally identifiable information (PII) or credit card numbers and automatically block or advise the user according to the rules in your policy.

Document Rights Management

Document Rights Management (DRM) builds the security directly into the document. For example, you could set controls on a document so that only the company directors can read it. It does not matter where that document goes – if the reader is not one of the directors, they cannot open the file. DRM can also apply additional controls such as expiry dates, so the document simply dies after a certain date.

The protection of individual documents is a relatively new and a fast-moving field. We can expect to see new techniques and feature emerging over the coming years. We will be building these new technologies into Riverbank SAFE as they mature, helping our clients to stay safe.

Next steps

Find out more about document protection with Riverbank SAFE by contacting Riverbank on 01235 426700 or email

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