Newcastle Building Society, one of the UK’s largest mutual societies, is rolling out advanced encryption and digital rights management software to its business partners to control access to financial information.
The technology will help the society, which provides back-office services to other financial services organisations, to meet the demands of Financial Services Authority and data protection regulations.
The Sealedmedia software allows the building society to control access to e-mail and other sensitive documents once they have left the company’s offices.
“It could be that you send a revised copy of a document and deny access to the old copy to prevent people accessing the old documentation,” said Pat Watson, information security manager at Newcastle Building Society.
If a contract negotiation with a business partner falls through, the software could be used to prevent the business partner accessing confidential information disclosed during the discussions, she said.
The building society uses the software to encrypt external e-mails, data stored on CDs that might be sent through the post, and to control remote users’ access to sensitive data.
The software limits the length of time a document can be accessed offline, so if a remote user’s laptop is stolen, documents are less likely to fall into the wrong hands.
“If we transfer customer data when we are dealing with valuers, solicitors and the like, protecting against identity theft is of key importance,” said Watson.
The building society began investigating the technology two years ago to help it meet the requirements of the BS7799 information security standard, which calls for information to be assessed according to its sensitivity.