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Protective Coating

Company: Fairfield Greenwich Group
Vertical: Financial services
Solution: Liquid Machines

Fairfield Greenwich Group simply wanted to add another layer of security.

The investment firm, which manages $10 billion in hedge funds, has a firewall, antivirus protection, antispyware software, access controls and Windows authentication. But about 18 months ago, it conducted a security audit and decided more protection was needed for its most critical data, including client lists, financial statements, portfolio models and the company's network infrastructure documentation, which includes network passwords and IP addresses.

"Just in case someone did get in, we can protect the 20 to 30 documents that need serious protection," says Jason Elizaitis, the firm's director of IT.

After poring through IT magazines, he chose ERM software from Liquid Machines for its ease of use.

Liquid Machines software installs a pull-down menu on Microsoft Office applications and Adobe Acrobat. If authors of documents feel they need to protect them with ERM, they click on the pull-down menu to set the policies.

Elizaitis installed the Liquid Machines software in one day. He's running it on a Windows server that connects to Active Directory for authentication and a SQL Server database that houses the policies.

Elizaitis says the technology works as advertised: "The copy protection travels

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with the data. If someone comes in the office, sticks a USB key [into a system] and takes a Word document and walks out, they can't read it."

His advice to those considering ERM is to keep the policies simple: Decide which documents need extra protection, but don't try to protect everything.

"A lot of people will be tempted to go crazy with policing and lock down everything," he says. "But you can drive yourself insane and end up with a ton of polices to maintain."

Elizaitis practices what he preaches. When he installed the technology, he developed three policies, and he has not changed them since, because they are working, he says. One policy limits document access to employees only. Another policy limits sensitive network information to the IT department. The last policy limits marketing materials to the firm's lawyers. To meet a Securities and Exchange Commission requirement, the lawyers must approve marketing materials before staff can use them, he says.

"The price was right and the added peace of mind it gave us was worth it," Elizaitis says.

This was first published in October 2006

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