Goldman Sachs moves to DRM-style protection

update Global investment bank Goldman Sachs has signed a deal for a digital rights management-type software to protect its confidential documents from unauthorised access.The software, from US vendor Liquid Machines, is called Liquid Machines Document Control (LMDC) and allows the bank to encrypt documents so it can control access regardless of where the data travels.

update Global investment bank Goldman Sachs has signed a deal for a digital rights management-type software to protect its confidential documents from unauthorised access.

The software, from US vendor Liquid Machines, is called Liquid Machines Document Control (LMDC) and allows the bank to encrypt documents so it can control access regardless of where the data travels. Document authors can define what users can and cannot do with the information providing protection against loss, theft or modification.

Ed Gaudet, vice president of product management and marketing at Liquid Machines, told ZDNet Australia that unlike simple encryption products, LMDC ensures that protected information remains secure even if it is moved from one document to another or from one application to another.

"These unique features include enabling the end user to cut/copy paste protected data from one application to another and persist protection; distil source data such as PPT [Power Point] or Word doc to an Adobe PDF and again persist the data," he said in an e-mail interview.

Gaudet explained that LMDC contains an "auditing and detailed reporting engine that provides compliance-level reports on who accessed data, what was done with it, etc."

At present the LMDC does not natively support non-Windows platforms, admitted Gaudet.

"Liquid Machines provides no native support for MAC or Linux OS today. Data stays encrypted unless the user on this OS is running a Virtual Machine with Windows and appropriate permissions to access the data," he said.

When asked what would happen if LMDC user lost a CD or USB key containing protected data, Gaudet said: "Assuming the user had the rights (was authorised) to the data, just open it with an application that can handle the native file (PPT would need PowerPoint, etc.). If the user was not authorised, they would need to break AES 256 encryption to get at the data".

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Goldman Sachs is an investor in the privately held company.