If a DAM is the system that you will use to house your company’s digital intellectual property, cybersecurity is likely an important topic to you. This paper explores some of the appropriate best practices to protect your data.

We will be breaking the field down into “normal” DAM and DAM for use in industries that require special high security (like Healthcare/HIPAA requirements, or other areas where high security is critical).

A Brief Tutorial of Basic DAM Architecture

Almost all DAM systems are considered 3-tier architecture (MerlinX is actually 4- tier, since we also run smart code on your web browser). The first tier is the back-end web server you hit when you fire up a web browser. It is where you log in and when the DAM decides your access level and privileges. It decides what you can see from the collection and whether you can you edit, or output, or just browse.

When you perform a search inside of the UI on your browser, the query gets sent to the web server. This server formulates the right database query and sends it over the network to your database server.

The database tables that a server reads are your crown jewels of data. It holds the database that contains all the metadata from all your digital objects. It also holds pointers (paths and filenames) that determine where the various sized thumbnails and high resolution objects corresponding to each record live on your network.

If you visualize a spreadsheet where each line corresponds to one of your digital objects, there is a field for the city, another for the state, another for a caption, and another for where the large thumbnail resides (called a “pointer”), and so on. The database server’s forte is to very rapidly process a search that you send to the web server, find the exact right objects that correspond to what you asked for, and return just those records to the web server. So, the database server is your second tier.

The database server needs to be lean and fast, so it is not usually the place where you store all your digital object files. Typically, the small thumbnails, large thumbnails, and the original high resolution file that go with each of your digital objects are all stored on a storage platform. This platform is the third tier.

With any search query, the search terms get sent to the web server. This server sends them on to the database server that returns to the web server a list of the objects that fit, along with their metadata. Then, the web server uses the pointer it fetched from the database record to grab the thumbnails for those specific objects from the Storage Platform. It builds a page and sends it back to you. All this work takes milliseconds!

What can go wrong? Where do we need cybersecurity?

Download the entire whitepaper to get the full story on stay safe and secure inside of your DAM.