Business PDF

Rights Management Services and PDF Technology

by Conor Smith | December 21, 2017

A hugely important feature that has become top of mind for companies recently when dealing with document management is Right Protection Management, or Rights Management Services, more commonly known as RMS. With this technology, companies can limit the type of information that customers and staff have access to, can edit, share and print, leading to a tighter run document management system that protects highly classified information.

But what is RMS?

While most technology tries to stop users from gaining access to a file or server in the first place, RMS controls access to files and what a user can do in a document after granting access to it. These control features can be placed on documents or users for a specified period of time or forever and can manage what people can and cannot do to a document.

RMS is a security tool that provides persistent data protection by enforcing data access policies across documentation within a company. This includes limiting the ability of users to do specific operations like annotating, printing, deleting or sharing PDF documents.

RMS works through validation. By installing RMS within the company servers, access to information is given to staff based on their ‘usage rights’. For example, for financial documentation, the financial team would be the only team who has edit access them, and only mid-manager level and higher has view access to these documents.

Overall the main reason to use RMS is to ensure that even if personal information is leaked outside of your organization, unauthorized parties can’t read anything within it.

Why would companies consider RMS?

More and more companies are being held responsible for the safeguarding of information that they keep, especially regarding customer data. Reasons to consider using RMS are many, below are just three:

  • Companies that store particulars on their customers, for example, names, addresses, payment details, etc. With this information, it is essential that only the right people inside and outside of the company have access to this data. Carefully setting usage rights means restricting unnecessary access within and outside the organization. This can be an integral part of a company’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) strategy.


  • Where companies share a lot of documentation with clients, editing and timed access is important as there needs to be a timescale set for projects to move forward. Allowing client specific editing access, for instance, annotating access, means that they can suggest changes, but they cannot edit the document itself. Restricting external user access to download a document or print it anticipates the issue of version control as well as unauthorized access.


  • For organizations that use Right Management for internal use, it can create a positive, collaborative environment among staff, where project teams can annotate and comment on documents common to the whole team. This feature allows people to feel confident that the information they are sharing will not be viewed by those outside of the project team and also speeds up projects and decision making in a company.

How Foxit does RMS

We use Microsoft RMS Encryption/Decryption to power our RMS module. This module can be used to encrypt and decrypt PDF documents while also restricting access to users. This powerful technology within PDF documents ensures that confidential documents are safe from fraud and unauthorized personnel.

If you are looking to incorporate RMS into your PDF documents contact one of our Solutions team to talk about what our SDKs can do for your company.

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