BlackBerry WatchDox software could have prevented Colin Powell hack

The e-mail hack of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, which revealed a number of embarrassing opinions and national secrets, has Washington D.C. politicians scrambling for solutions, reported the New York Times on Thursday.They range from deleting personal Gmail accounts to moving back to flip phones.

The newspaper suggests, however, that politicians might do best by adopting solutions used by another industry requiring high secrecy: Hollywood.

“Studios have turned to a new class of companies with names like WatchDox that wrap screenplays with encryption, passwords and monitoring systems that can track who has access to confidential files,” writes the Times.

WatchDox software is used by 5 out of the 6 largest Hollywood studios to keep their most important intellectual property – the scripts – under wraps.

The software’s ability to control the sharing and printing of high-value documents such as screenplays as well as its ability to embed digital watermarks into documents is not only prized by Hollywood, but also private equity firms, healthcare companies, sportswear firms, and government agencies.

BlackBerry has also recently released an offshoot software of WatchDox called WatchDox by BlackBerry Email Protector. It gives IT managers the ability to easily set policies to automatically encrypt and add digital rights management (DRM) controls to all files sent through their e-mail portal.

Now available as a standalone product, WatchDox by Blackberry Email Protector allows your IT department complete control over how recipients both access and use files sent through your email portal.  It integrates seamlessly with existing DLP systems, allowing for automatic protection of sensitive documents, with no intervention required. Most importantly, it’s unobtrusive – all the user has to do is hit ‘send.’

Some of the file protections available through Email Protector are as follows:

  • Access control: Fully accessible, available as a digital-rights-management-protected download, or viewable only online. Access can be revoked at any time, and set to expire after a certain time period.
  • User permissions: Control whether users can view, edit, copy, print, or forward a file.
  • Custom watermarks: Include the recipient/sender’s email/IP address to deter malicious sharing.
  • Spotlight: Blur the screen everywhere but where the mouse is pointed, preventing screen capture.

Traditional EFSS is insufficient, and DLP is inefficient. In order to protect your business, you need something that allows your IT department complete control over your outbound attachments – even when they leave your firewall. You need Email Protector.


Also published on Medium.