Wednesday, October 20

Shaadow: watermarks that stay on paper to stop document leaks

We exchange millions of data during the day. That certain confidential information ends up in the inbox of someone who should not have it can mean serious economic and reputational losses for its owner. That’s why it was born Shaadow, which has created an invisible watermarking solution whereby you can find out who has shared confidential information and take action.

This year Wayra, the initiative to support entrepreneurship that Telefónica launched in 2011, celebrates its tenth anniversary. Throughout his career, he has invested in more than 800 startups, of which more than 250 have worked or still do with Telefónica, which has generated income of more than 285 million euros.

The unit that supports these companies is Wayra Builder, which, within the ‘Telefónica Innovación Abierta’ department, is dedicated to the creation of new companies, and focuses especially on the idea search phase. “It not only focuses on the creation process but, once the startup, accompanies entrepreneurs very closely ”, explains Enrique Dupuy, Head of Wayra Builder. “We facilitate access to our network of clients and offer them support and mentoring during the sales process.”

One of the startups Currently benefiting from this support is Shaadow, who has created a technology solution that enables document traceability through the use of digital watermarking techniques. It is an additional layer of protection for sensitive documentation of companies or individuals.

“The differential elements that our solution provides are, on the one hand, the invisibility of the brand, since most of the solutions on the market insert visible watermarks. On the other hand, that the brand persists in a non-visible way both in digital and physical formats. Even if the document is printed, the brand is not lost ”, Isabel Hernández, CEO of Shaadow, explains to

In this way, if, for example, the director of a company had to send a file to three different people, using Shaadow he could generate a copy of the file for each of them. Each copy would invisibly be ‘printed’ with the identification of each of these three people. If, later, said file was made public, Shaadow could detect which of those three people would have leaked it, since this tool would ‘read’ the watermark of that file. “This way we would have the culprit and we could take the necessary actions against him, preventing the action from being repeated,” he says.

Even if a leak has already taken place, Shaadow also works as a preventive tool: if all the people involved in the process of sending and receiving information know that it contains a fingerprint that allows them to be identified, they will avoid deriving the documentation out of the box as much as possible. of the strictly necessary circle. This would reduce, for example, the continuous filtering of contracts related to sports fields (so common in recent times), images, or compromised information.

Secure information as a fundamental right

An initiative like this comes at the most appropriate time: the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) received last year more than 1,400 notifications of personal data security breaches. “In the era of access to information, it is necessary for individuals and companies to have tools in their hands that allow them to guarantee that their information is processed by complying with all the measures that information of this type requires,” adds Hernández. Shaadow, therefore, was born from the need to add one more link to the chain that helps protect people’s privacy.

Who can use Shaadow? Anyone who wants to include an extra security in their sensitive information or needs to detect who is leaking confidential information ”. “We have flexible subscription plans for all types of users and quantity of documents to protect. Document leaks affect all business areas. Any process that requires the transfer of confidential information to third parties is capable of using it ”, specifies Hernández.

In fact, any company subject to audit processes, mergers, acquisitions, sales, legal proceedings, bank data processing, notarial operations or negotiations related to certain professionals (such as lawyers, auditors, advisors, insolvency administrators, etc.) share information with all parties involved in the process. In most cases, they are professionals from outside the company, which in many cases makes the information control process difficult.

“A leak in a process of this type will have a huge economic impact during a negotiation process, even going so far as to paralyze said process,” he says. “Shaadow is a transversal technology, agnostic to the sector, in which any professional can add an extra protection to their most sensitive information,” he says.