Here's a common situation in a typical office:
You can provide a limited amount of security by restricting access to a spreadsheet file. For example, when you place the file on a user's hard drive, or on a restricted access network drive, this can prevent unauthorized users from viewing or opening the spreadsheet.
But here's the downside: this does not provide reliable content security, where a user may be authorized to view or use the spreadsheet, but should not be allowed access to its formulas or underlying algorithms.
Here's another tough issue: Placing the file on a user's hard drive or the network simply does not prevent that user copying the file for use elsewhere, i.e. does not provide any 'location security', where users may be authorized to use a spreadsheet while they are in the office, but are not permitted to copy and use that spreadsheet outside the office.
With this innovative technology you can prevent the loss of your company's trade secrets and proprietary algorithms as embedded in spreadsheet formulas by providing both strong content security and strong location security.
Spreadsheet Sentry allows users to use an encoded spreadsheet in an authorized environment, but does not permit them to view or edit any encrypted formulas.
Plus, users may be able to use the spreadsheet in the company's office on activated PCs, but would not be able to copy the spreadsheet and use it at another location.
This is an amazing feature that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.
|Is an authorized user able to work with an encoded spreadsheet just like normal?||Yes – generally the only significant difference an authorized user would notice is that they would be unable to view or edit the original formulas. Note that in lockdown mode, structural changes (column/row inserts/deletes etc) are also prevented|
|Is an unauthorized user completely prevented from using the spreadsheet?||Yes - an unauthorized user may be able to open the spreadsheet, but the encrypted formulas will not operate|
|Is using an encoded spreadsheet fast?
Even when inserting or deleting columns or rows?
|Yes – while an encoded spreadsheet will operate somewhat slower than the original, this is not normally noticeable except for some large or complex spreadsheets
You can update data, format cells, insert and delete columns and rows, move cells etc, and recalculation is still fast
|Can I use large or complex spreadsheets?||Yes – although recalculation of large or complex spreadsheets may be noticeably slower than for the original|
|Can I use external links in my formulas, e.g. references to cells in another spreadsheet?||Yes, although formulas containing external references will not be encrypted|
|Are my formulas really secure?||Yes – Spreadsheet Sentry uses 128-bit AES/Rijndael, an effectively unbreakable encryption algorithm
Spreadsheet Sentry does not allow reversing of the process – i.e. starting with an encoded spreadsheet and recovering the original formulas
|Can I use either Excel’s auto- or manual recalculation mode?||Yes|
|Can I use VBA macros?||Yes|
|Can I use Goal Seek and Solver?||Yes, although Solver can be particularly slow for complex spreadsheets unless special care is taken with structuring the formulas|
|Are other companies who have the same software prevented from using my encoded spreadsheets?||Yes – unless you specifically allow “Any PC” with an Spreadsheet Sentry Client to use your encoded spreadsheet, only PCs that you have authorized will be able to use your company’s encoded spreadsheets|
|Can I have some of my spreadsheet formulas encrypted and some not?||Yes – you can choose which worksheets to encode, and can limit the number of formulas to be encrypted within those worksheets|
|Are changes to formulas detected?||Yes – a formula audit option is provided, which provides a runtime verification that all encrypted formulas are present and unmodified|
|Can confidential data be protected?||Yes – confidential data can either be protected just like formulas (encrypted so that they cannot be copied or edited, but values are still displayed to authorized users), or can be hidden so that not even authorized users of the spreadsheet can see the confidential values|