The Sixth Flag Inc. (TSF), a Raleigh, N.C.-based virtual desktop-as-a-service firm, announced today the release of dewdrop.tsf™, a revolutionary watermarking technology that discourages the intentional or negligent disclosure of sensitive organizational data.
As organizations have tightened information rights management and restricted the ability to disclose restricted content, a remaining and often overlooked threat involves the photography and screen capture of desktop content. Today’s smartphones are equipped with high-quality cameras, meaning anyone with a smartphone can photograph screen sessions displaying confidential data.
“A global accounting firm that was significantly harmed by such unauthorized leaks asked us to develop a mechanism that would deter internal team members from engaging in this type of behavior. In doing so, we decided that creating this feature would add significant value to our customers using our virtual desktop platform,” said Pete Kofod, co-founder and CEO at The Sixth Flag.
The idea behind the patent-pending dewdrop.tsf™ is that it’s session-based, identifying the user, the current time as well as other key metadata. Furthermore, dewdrop.tsf™ works on any device as it’s embedded and overlaid on top of the screen session, spanning the entire screen,” explains David Kinghorn, TSF co-founder, CTO and former Microsoft developer. “This solves a very specific but often overlooked problem regarding high-risk information rights management.”
|dewdrop.tsf™ watermarking technology serves to discourage unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data through screen capture or photography of desktop sessions.|
|Watermark encodes user and session data.|
|Watermark overlays entire screen session, not just document.|
|Watermark encoding is redundant. Even a small section of the screen provides positive identification.|
|Watermark is decoded using administrative look up tool.|
|Watermark is completely compatible with other services. It can be used with any screen based application including desktop sharing and presentation software.|
|Licensing for third party applications is available.|
With dewdrop.tsf™, it is easy to trace the source of a data breach. dewdrop.tsf™ is not text based and while the user can obviously see the watermark, he or she does not know what metadata (IP address, user name, time stamp, etc.) is associated with the watermark.
“The unique dot pattern of dewdrop.tsf™ references session unique data,” says Shane Yocum, VP Business Development and former FBI Security specialist. “In essence, it’s a ‘digital signature’ of the session,” In fact, Yocum adds, “the data compromise risk doesn’t even have to involve an actual “hack” per se; it is often the result of poor decision-making by a negligent or or unethical employee.”
“We developed dewdrop.tsf™ in response to the market not having addressed the need for screen-based watermarking,” Kofod says. Typically, competitors are watermarking underlying documents, whereas dewdrop.tsf™ watermarks the entire screen session. Therefore, if an employee is accessing a screen session in a secure or “read-only” environment such as cleanroom.tsf™, each document will not have to be watermarked separately since the only way to compromise the document is through a screen capture. In many instances, competitors’ solutions don’t capture extended custom data/key metadata of who actually is compromising it, a key differentiator for TSF’s solution.