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Digital Guardian Secures Design Files of Large Footwear and Apparel Manufacturer


A large footwear and apparel manufacturer (“the Company”), headquartered in the United States, was challenged with protecting highly sensitive design files and intellectual property as those files moved internally within the organization, as well as when they were sent to partners and third-parties in different countries. The Company is global, with over 50,000 employees worldwide. These employees work in an agile environment, on different platforms, including Windows and Mac, and use a multitude of file types, including Adobe Illustrator, making security a potentially complicated and challenging endeavor. The Company’s security teams must balance between two competing demands: securing intellectual property and enabling employee collaboration as well as high-speed production efficiency. This case study outlines three separate use cases describing how the Company currently uses Secure Collaboration to protect highly sensitive design and product schematics and intellectual property.

Use Case #1: Secure Cloud Collaboration 

One of the user requirements was that the file security solution chosen by the Company must integrate easily with Box. Cloud collaboration often enables productivity improvements and convenience for knowledge workers, and greatly facilitates information-sharing with external user. However, these modern collaboration technologies can present security risks that the Company’s teams knew they needed to address. If data ever leaks or is downloaded from Box, Secure Collaboration security sticks to the file anywhere it goes, making sure only authorized parties are working with the Company’s information. From a technical standpoint, Secure Collaboration decouples the keys from the cloud collaboration tool vendor and provides optionality for key location to be hosted in the service or on-premise. This ensures that the cloud collaboration tool vendor’s employees cannot access sensitive files. This also protects against being unaware that sensitive files have been accessed as the result of  a subpoena. 

Use Case #2: “Man-to-Machine”

SDK As the Company progressed and saw immediate success in their deployments, they decided to upgrade to enterprise licenses and leverage the SDK/API. This was done to weave and build data security into their home-grown and custom applications. With the SDK, machine generated files and custom designs uploaded and shared from home-grown systems or third-party apps are automatically secured – which gives the Company a powerful data security fabric for their entire ecosystem and extended enterprise.

Use Case #3: Active File Protection

If the Company needed to send images to retailers in advance of new releases and campaigns, it was important that those images never show up prematurely online or in any other unauthorized way. With Digital Guardian Secure Collaboration, the Company is able to watermark, and prevent screenshots of their designs, as well as control the actions users can take on those files, such as view, edit, print and copy/paste. This active file protection makes sure that file content is always secure, even while in use. This is done by using our patented Always-on File Security and capturing all calls between the application layer and the system layer. Granular visibility and centralized control are other capabilities so the Company understands how their content is used, by whom, and can proactively investigate unauthorized access attempts. In addition, policies can be based on a number of pre-defined parameters including file location, name, type, securer, sender, recipient, group, or other pre-existing permission structures.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the Company chose Digital Guardian Secure Collaboration because it was the only one that could secure a multitude of complex file types on both Windows and Mac, as well as integrate into their existing environment and security stack including Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Digital Rights Management (DRM) and their Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). It was very important that everything “played nice together”, as well as the ability to communicate with their SIEM. Now, the Company is able to secure their intellectual property and design schematics without disrupting workflows and collaboration internally, as well as with partners and third-parties.