|DocMark - secure printed documents|
Paper-based documents are still playing a determining role in business, governmental and other types of administration. While there are proven tools to guarantee information security in the electronic domain, physical information is usually not protected sufficiently. The E-Group solution based on digital watermarking gives an adequate answer for these challenges.
Components of document security
In a typical office environment, document security usually covers managing three basic areas of tasks:
All the three areas raise technological and internal regulation problems. While there are widely available solutions on the market for the first two areas, there are very few effective solutions available for the lifecycle of the documents after having been printed. In this document we give an overview of the paper-based, digital watermark-controlled document security system developed by E-Group.
DocMark - paper-based document security system
Digital watermarking is a novel security technology when a picture or similar digital information is extended with special, difficult-to-remove identification information that cannot be observed or detected with the unaided eye, yet it can carry a limited amount of information that can be used to identify the document or to check its source, authenticity, etc. This function works for both electronic and printed images.
The DocMark paper-based document security system developed by E-Group uses digital watermarking technology to embed a security element into the document at the time of printing that includes the identifier assigned to the currently printed document (in a network environment), or (in a non-network environment) includes specific information regarding the user, the document or the printing circumstances (e.g. a timestamp). In a network environment all the information known at the time of printing is stored in a database and upon checking, this information is automatically retrieved using the code found in the watermark.
The security element is a graphical element, part of the branding scheme of the document (typically a picture, logo, etc. behind the body text in relation to the organization) that has the following attributes:
After implementing the DocMark system, the document printing and tracking process (network environment) is transformed into the following:
1. A user with appropriate rights creates/opens the electronic document, edits and prints it to a network printer the usual way.
2. The DocMarc Print Server component saves the information regarding the printing operation (the printing user, workstation, printer, printing time, document file name, etc.) into a database and creates a unique identifier for the given printing operation.
3. At the time of printing, the printed image is stored in the DocMark Safe Deposit archives in PDF format to allow later comparison.
4. The DocMarc Watermark Server component embeds the above identifier into the given graphical element as an electronic watermark.
5. With the graphical element carrying the ID inserted the predefined way (normally behind the body text), the document gets printed.
6. The printed document can be checked using the DocMark CheckPoint application. The application digitizes the document part carrying the watermark from the preset position, decodes the embedded transaction ID and retrieves the document data from the printing database. Furthermore, to allow comparison, the printed image can be retrieved as well.
If the documents are printed not on a network printer but on a printer directly attached to the workstation, the DocMark Standalone application can embed the most important pieces of information concerning the printing user, the document and the printing circumstances (e.g. a timestamp) that can be checked with the off-line module of DocMark CheckPoint.
The digital watermarking technology used in the solutions described above can be used with wide versatility. The experts of E-Group have comprehensive knowledge and experience about the integratability of the various solutions into the business processes of the target organization. If you have any further questions regarding the digital watermarking technology or the solutions based on it, our experts are always happily available.