Xerox document security blocks access to sensitive data

Xerox today touted software it says can scan documents, understand their meaning and block access to those sensitive or secure areas so that prying eyes cannot read, copy or forward the information.

Xerox and researchers from its Palo Alto Research Center debuted "Intelligent Redaction," new software that automates the process of removing confidential information from any document. The software includes a detection tool that uses content analysis and an intelligent user interface to protect sensitive information. It can encrypt only the sensitive sections or paragraphs of a document, a capability previously not available, Xerox said. The software also creates an audit trail for tracking access.

After information has been classified, that same information will be automatically redacted if it appears in other documents. the "intelligence" ensures a consistent level of security, saves time and increases redaction accuracy, Xerox said. Redaction is the ability to control what someone sees. For example, redaction traditionally has been used in legal documents to limit access to information protected by client-attorney privilege. The result is a document that has been censored; certain information within the document is blocked out, Xerox said in a statement.

Traditional redaction has two big drawbacks. It requires a labor-intensive manual process to identify sections to censor, and management of different versions of the same document is cumbersome and difficult, Xeros said. Current software encrypts whole documents, while Intelligent redaction understands document context so it can perform partial encryption. Only sensitive sections or paragraphs are encrypted, while the rest of the document is not.

Researcher see a ton of applications for the software. For example, in a hospital where security of medical record transfer needs to be ensured. Financial services and government dat transfers also depend heavily on secure documents.

Researchers said the software was still in development and did not release the cost of the package.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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