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Digital Watermarking: How to Protect Your Sensitive Documents Online

As more communication and collaboration happens in the digital space, the need for maintaining data and document integrity is growing. In fact, 49 percent of companies will increase their cloud security budget in the next 12 months. As an added layer of security, organizations across all sectors often choose to watermark their documents when shared internally or externally. 

What is a Digital Watermark?

A digital watermark is a “stamp” in the form of a text (or some other photo/image) that has been added to the original document. The added information can be more or less transparent to make it either easy or hard to notice the watermark.

Why Should You Use Watermarks?

Watermarking helps deter recipients from data exfiltration activity, ensuring that sensitive information—such as contracts, budgets, health records, product roadmaps or manuscripts— stays private and compliant throughout its lifecycle so you can collaborate with confidence. 

The added security of a watermark is twofold. Not only does a watermark dissuade individuals from leaking documents, but in the event that a leak occurs, the source of the leak can be easily identified when a watermark with the authorized recipient’s name is placed on the file. Watermarking also disables print and download, giving senders another mechanism to keep the sensitive data protected.

Watermarks provide persistent control and individualized tracking for sensitive documents, such as:

  • Creative intellectual property, like manuscripts and business plans
  • Manufacturing plans and product specs
  • Financial documents
  • HR policies and confidential memos
  • Real estate applications
  • Legal contracts

File Watermarking from Virtru

At Virtru, we’re constantly innovating to help you collaborate with confidence and our latest product update gives customers enhanced control over their files. Now, with the ability to watermark Microsoft Office documents and common image file formats, as well as PDFs, organizations are able to maintain control and prevent data leaks, wherever these files are shared. 

Virtru allows users to apply watermarks to PDFs, the Microsoft Office product suite’s core document types—including Excel (.xlsx), Word (.docx), and PowerPoint (.pptx)—along with frequently used image file formats—PNG (.png) and JPEG (.jpeg).

Document watermarking is enabled for all Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, and Google Drive users. As always, authorized recipients can easily access the watermarked, encrypted file in a seamless workflow, using existing credentials via the Virtru Secure Reader

Stay tuned for additional product updates throughout the coming months as our team continues to evolve our products!