Digital rights market to boom, study says

Companies are ready to buy tools that will protect digital documents, according to a survey of 800 IT workers.

CNET News staff
The market for software that protects private data is expected to grow to $274 million by 2008 from $36 million in 2003, market research company JupiterResearch predicted Thursday.

Digital rights management (DRM) products help companies safeguard e-mail and other digital documents from loss or theft. So far, the market for such tools has remained small and fragmented, prompting experts to predict slow growth until the technology attains maturity. Several big guns, such as Microsoft and Adobe, however, have been showing interest in DRM tools of late.

JupiterResearch surveyed 800 corporate IT buyers and found that almost all businesses are concerned about loss of client data or loss of proprietary financial information.

Some markets, however, are particularly keen to have solutions in place to curb such information leaks.

"Financial services, high-tech manufacturing and government sectors are expected to lead the adoption of corporate DRM solutions that facilitate secure, controlled document delivery and ensure the integrity of sensitive documents both within and beyond the corporate firewall," Peter Sargent, the analyst who led the research study, said in a statement.

The major causes of compromised data are virus infections, the unintended forwarding of e-mails, and loss of mobile devices such as PDAs and cell phones. E-mail piracy and password breaches are also high on the list.