As a PDF user, you may have seen improved and enhanced editing tools in recent versions of Adobe Acrobat. While many manuals and guides show how to turn on editing restrictions, these are not always reliable, especially when it comes to protecting your sensitive, classified, or confidential PDF documents.
An important point to understand is that since the PDF file format is open source, any third-party software can easily manipulate the editing restrictions and leave your PDF file vulnerable for copying, sharing, editing, printing and other non-authorized activity.
In addition, Adobe PDF is also known to have numerous security issues and vulnerabilities. Besides, security controls on Adobe PDF can also be easily circumvented. As an Adobe Acrobat user, here are some PDF security issues you may want to know about:
- The standard, inbuilt PDF protection security offered by Adobe encrypts PDF files but has a major weakness in its implementation.
- Any PDF-security solution that provides Adobe Acrobat password protection can easily be circumvented by third-party applications.
- Plug-ins introduce huge gaping holes when it comes to security.
- Legitimate plug-ins have been known to compromise the security of Adobe Acrobat systems.
- The fundamental security level with regards to PDF documents is at the PDF code level.
- Almost 28% of all malware take place through PDF security attacks.
- Digital Rights Management [DRM] security for PDF files and EPUB e-books from Adobe Digital editions can easily be removed through numerous e-book DRM removal software available online.
There is a lack of integral protection when it comes to PDF encryption and Adobe Acrobat. Suppose unauthorized users are looking to manipulate and alter your PDF content. In that case, they can easily modify the structure of your encrypted PDF documents, add unencrypted items or insert encrypted potions into a context that they can control.
In addition, with other PDF features that load external resources via HTTP, unauthorized parties or individuals can also run direct and exfiltration attacks to seize control over your PDF content when any user opens your PDF file.
Digital signatures in a PDF document are generally regarded as weak due to signature validation algorithms. Hence, your PDF document can be modified and tampered without you knowing about it. Besides, your PDF document can also be manipulated in such a manner as to trick even your authorized PDF viewer to display content that may look different than one that was signed.
A traditional way of protecting PDF files is through PDF password protection. But given the wide range of free tools that can bypass or remove passwords and create unprotected PDF files, you might as well not bother applying a password to your documents.
Other web-based PDF security systems may appear easy and convenient to secure your online document sharing processes. But since there is no software installed on user’s devices, you are letting users open protected content in an uncontrolled environment (the browser), which is subject to plugin and script injections.
This is why you require PDF security software to safeguard your PDF files and documents that uses a standalone viewer to control PDF use. PDF DRM security offers comprehensive control over your PDF document with US government strength encryption to secure your files without the need for passwords or plug-ins.
PDF DRM allows you to choose PDF security controls as required. With PDF DRM, you can:
- Prevent printing or allow printing only for a certain number of users.
- Insert dynamic watermarks to pages that are viewed or printed.
- Apply expiration controls to ensure that your PDF file expires on a specific date, after a pre-specified number of views, prints or days from the time of opening the document.
- Stop screen grabbing applications, remote connections, use of windows print screen and third-party print screen grabbers from taking an image of the displayed content.
- Track and log the number of prints and document made of your PDF files.
PDF DRM security is a far more robust and secure document security solution than Adobe password protection. It gives you complete and holistic PDF security irrespective of where your PDF documents are stored or who they are shared with.
Your ultimate aim is to ensure that the content of your PDF document remains secure no matter where it lies. With PDF DRM security, you can be assured of complete document security with the ability to distribute or sell your documents without worry or piracy or misuse.