Is it possible to prevent leaks of confidential information?


40 years ago, The U.S. suffered its first major leak of classified information, known as the “Pentagon Papers”, in which the New York Times published 7,000 pages of classified documents related to the invasion of Vietnam between 1945 and 1967.

The WikiLeaks case, many years later, was the biggest media impact. WikiLeaks changed the way we view and analyze the news, and futhermore demonstrated the vulnerability of computer networks.

Earlier this year, the filtration of so-called Panama Papers involved the dissemination of more than eleven million confidential documents, with the consequences we all know, at this point.

This week, Julian Assange said that Wikileaks is about to disseminate sensitive documents related to US politicians, to industries from oil and weapory sectors, and to massive spying activities led by certain governments.

It is indisputable that one of the biggest problems facing both governments and institutions, businesses and even citizens, is the threat of stealing and dissemination of information, even when such information may or may not involve proof of improper conduct. In 2014, says a study by computer security company RSA, these leaks led to economic losses of almost five million Euros.

Some measures to avoid problems

First things first, every organization must go through a process of inventory and classification of all information and documents, classifying them in order of value, legal requirements, sensitivity and criticality to the organization.

Once this classification and inventoried is completed, the organization will be able to figure what steps to take in protecting their information, in order to start implementing control policies for different types of classified data:

  • Administrative controls: policies and procedures defined by the organization.
  • Physical controls: physical barriers. May include guards, physical security of the offices in general, etc.
  • Logic Controls: Innovative security and documentary traceability tools such as SHADOW can play a key role.

What is SHADOW?

SHADOW is an automated tool that allows the traceability of documents by using techniques of digital watermarking. Shadow provides evidences in the event that confidential information leaks happen, helping to identify those responsible for the infringements. Converts each copy of a document through the insertion of invisible water marks. In this way, SHADOW ensures that each copy is unique and at the same time, virtually identical to the original document. This watermark -hidden information that identifies the owner or the recipient of the document- is resistant to distortions, such as those produced in the printing process or the scanning of documents.

It works as a deterrent against information leaks: it is perfect for hiding information on the origin and destination of confidential documents in order to identify those responsible if a leak occurs, once the documents are outside the trusted area for which they were created.

It also provides automatic classification of scanned documents: adding information about the contents of the documents, SHADOW can perform automatic classification.

It is a 100% compatible software solution with any printer or scanner devices. Ensures traceability in text documents, both digital and printed formats. The information associated with the watermark is fully configurable, being possible to establish a link to the document owner, to its receptor, or to the date and time when the document was printed. To retrieve that information afterwards, it is not necessary to be in possession of the original document.

In addition, SHADOW is resistant to distortions, printing and scanning, and is able to recover all the hidden information even from incomplete, broken, wrinkled or stained documents.

 SHADOW family

SHADOW FILES: web platform that allows secure sharing fo documents. The platform allows sending documents to recipients previously registered in the system. Each recipient receives a single copy of the document containing hidden information that links the copy to the intended recipient.

SHADOW PRINT: Virtual Print Driver for Windows that allows automatic watermarking as soon as a document is sent to any printer. The printed document includes hidden information about the user account from which it is printed.

SHADOW READER: Tool for extracting information from the document’s watermark.

 SHADOW MOBILE: Mobile application for extracting information from the document’s watermark.(available for iOS and Android).

More information:

Gradiant’s Technology Portfolio: Shadow

Gradiant Security and Privacy


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