4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 26, 2011 3:28 AM by try67

    Seeking automated way to serialize PDFs to employees

    tim_antley

      My agency just recently completed converting the policy manual to PDF; this is a law enforcement agency with critical information that is not public.

       

      The main interests at this time are securing each copy of the PDF to each of the approximately 250+ employees, as in to allow tracking any unauthorized release to third-party individuals, without having to maintain any on-going costs of DRM / certificate server / etc.

       

      Is there any (easy) way to serialize each PDF through Acrobat X Pro? Or any other solution to number the document secretly in an automated fashion that is economical (i.e. "free") ?

        • 1. Re: Seeking automated way to serialize PDFs to employees
          George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          There are a number of ways you can do what you describe, including hidden form fields, pages, document icons, document metadata, etc. The problem is it cannot be considered secure and is relatively easy to defeat.

          • 2. Re: Seeking automated way to serialize PDFs to employees
            try67 MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            Some more questions: What type of serialization are we talking here? Should

            it be visible or hidden? Can the file be encrypted after the serialization

            is implemented? How secure should it be?

            • 3. Re: Seeking automated way to serialize PDFs to employees
              tim_antley Level 1

              I would prefer a combination of both visible and hidden serialization; a prominent watermark across the page (in the event someone was to print a page of the manual to disclose to unauthorized persons), as well as an unseen field that could be viewed in properties on a digital copy.

               

              The main thing is that we have 250+ employees, so generating a digital copy of the manual for each employee would have whatever number assigned to the respective recipient that we could distribute, and then later use this number for tracking any source of the leaked manual. The manual has response procedures to critical incidents and some other topics that need not be available to the public. My suggestion was to remove the sensitive sections altogether... but that is not to be.

               

              This really seems like something best suited for certificate-based security, but I know my agency will not entertain the thought of paying for that. If I can just get a way to generate the 250+ copies in a batch process, that would be great.

              • 4. Re: Seeking automated way to serialize PDFs to employees
                try67 MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                Have a look at this tool, which I have just recently published:

                http://try67.blogspot.com/2011/09/acrobat-batch-watermark-file.html

                 

                It can be used to create multiple watermarked versions of the same file

                based on text from a list.

                As you can see from the screenshots, you can set the font properties,

                location of the text and also its transparency level. So you can use it to

                add visible or hidden watermarks.

                After adding the watermarks you can run a batch process to secure the files,

                thereby making it even more difficult to mess around with them.

                 

                You can also send me an email to try6767 at gmail dot com to discuss it

                further.