5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs DRM for Protection

Posted on April 22, 2024 | Updated on April 24, 2024

With everything small businesses create and publish online, it can be a frustrating ordeal when someone goes in and steals it. From the videos you share on YouTube to the articles you post on a blog, anybody could take and repost them on their platforms. Unfortunately, online piracy has grown significantly, and small businesses are often victims. Content thieves typically don’t think twice before stealing because smaller companies have fewer resources than larger organizations. 

Since this is such a huge issue nowadays, investing in DRM (Digital Rights Management) is essential. While this technology has been around for quite some time, it’s a great solution for businesses to protect themselves.

What Is Digital Rights Management?

DRM is a technology creators use to control how their digital content is used and distributed. It’s a software solution expected to grow its market size from $4 billion in 2023 to $7.67 billion in 2028. The purpose of it is to help small businesses manage access to their digital copyright. It prevents unauthorized copying and sharing of online materials, ensuring your work is only accessed by people who have legally obtained it. 

The good thing about DRM technology is that it gives you full control over what people can do with the content if they have legal access to it. Overall, it’s the perfect solution for theft prevention and unlawful distribution.

What Types of Content Does DRM Protect for Small Businesses and How?

Digital Rights Management protects various types of digital content that you create in your business. This includes:

  • Audio and music: DRM prevents unauthorized copying and distribution of music or audio files.
  • Videos and films: It controls how movies and video content are shared and accessed.
  • Ebooks and documents: DRM safeguards electronic books and sensitive documents from unauthorized viewing and sharing.
  • Software and apps: It manages the use of software products and mobile applications, preventing piracy.
  • Images and artwork: DRM protects artistic digital content, like photographs and digital art, from being used without permission. 

For small businesses, DRM provides them with numerous options for content protection. Additionally, DRM works to safeguard your content in the following methods:

  • Access control: DRM restricts access to content, ensuring only authorized users can view or use it.
  • Copy protection: It prevents unauthorized copying and sharing of digital files.
  • Usage restriction: DRM limits how often someone can access, view or download content.
  • Licensing and expiration: It allows creators to set terms for how long content can be accessed, often through licensing agreements that expire after a set period.
  • Encryption: Content gets encrypted, making it unreadable without the proper decryption key provided by the DRM system. 
  • Watermarking: This embeds a digital watermark in the content, which helps track and identify unauthorized use. 

Why Your Small Business Needs DRM

Now that you understand how DRM works, you need it in your business for a few reasons. Once you learn why, you can figure out how to incorporate it into your security strategy.

1. Proof of Ownership

Without a DRM, proving that you own your digital creations can be difficult. This is true for so many reasons. The first is that there’s a lack of digital footprint. When someone swipes your content, they can easily copy it without a trace of the original author. 

This makes it even more difficult to control piracy once it’s shared online. The content can spread all over the internet, so claiming that you’re the true owner can be challenging. That’s how DRM can help. By having it in place, you can show your rights to the content and prove you’re the creator.

2. Protects Your Business Revenue

Content piracy is an immense loss of income for small businesses. For instance, data shows that there were 16.5 million illegal downloads of ebooks, costing companies $315 million in sales. DRM combats this by preventing unauthorized distribution and use of the content. It ensures only customers who legitimately purchased your creations can access it. This reduces the risk of it being copied and shared illegally, protecting your revenue stream for life.

3. Keeps Data Secure

Any hacker can access your credentials and steal data from the files you store online. While many businesses know to use two-factor authentication, this security method only addresses one part of this issue — access prevention. 

If someone still gains access to your credentials, you still need to be able to manage what users do with that access. Luckily, DRM keeps your data secure by controlling who can view or use the data. Therefore, it’s useful in reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access.

4. Maintains a Positive Business Reputation

When cybercriminals hack into your system, it can severely damage your business’s credibility. Keeping customer data confidential is crucial, as it maintains trust with them and ensures regulatory compliance. Plus, retaining customers by a 5% increase stimulates profit gains by 95%. 

Small businesses, especially, fall victim to hackers more often than corporations. This affects customer attraction and retention, impacting your overall business continuity. Yet, you can prevent these situations with Digital Rights Management by keeping sensitive files secure.

5. Protects Intellectual Property

DRM is a key tool in protecting a small business’s intellectual property (IP). IP — like creative works, inventions or unique processes — is a critical asset. By investing in Digital Rights Management, you limit who can access and use the IP. As such, this protects your business’s rights and investments. Plus, it prevents financial losses, keeping your business operations from disrupting.

When Do You Need DRM Protection?

When considering using a Digital Rights Management system for protection, there are a few scenarios where you will certainly need it:

  • Selling digital products: If a business sells digital goods like ebooks, music or software, DRM is crucial to prevent content piracy.
  • Handling sensitive information: Businesses dealing with confidential data — such as client information or research – need it to control access and prevent leaks.
  • Content creators and artists: When creating original content like videos or artwork, you should use it to protect these creations.
  • Software developers: If you’re developing software or apps, you can benefit from piracy control.

Using DRM to Keep Your Business Safe

DRM is a critical protection solution for any small business creating or handling digital content. While it’s helpful in keeping your digital assets safe, it also ensures your business’s sustainability and growth. Consider DRM an essential tool — it should be a key component of your digital strategy for long-term success.

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