German promotional bank KfW Bankengruppe has chosen information security company Workshare to cleanse its Microsoft Office documents from hidden and sensitive information to eliminate outbound content risk.
Digital documents can contain hidden information along with the visible content. This could be information such as names of authors, email addresses, version numbers, keywords or storage directories saved as so-called metadata. Equally delicate is the track changes function in Word, which logs who made which edits to a document, or hidden spreadsheet columns that may contain confidential financial data. If inadvertently distributed to third parties, such confidential information could cause a security issue.
Workshare offers a potential solution to this problem, in the form of Workshare Protect, which enables users to remove potentially sensitive data from outgoing documents at a click of a mouse. This software has been made available to all 3,900 KfW employees from within their Office applications.
Workshare Protect analyses documents of all types, searches for hidden data and sensitive information defined by information security policies, and alerts the user to it. If sensitive data is detected, it will be displayed and the user has the option to remove it or leave it in the document.