Document Security With PSPDFKit for Web Server-Backed

When PSPDFKit for Web Server-Backed opens documents from Document Engine, developers have greater control over document security. Learn more about PSPDFKit for Web’s operational modes.

User Authentication

When using the PSPDFKit for Web Server-Backed operational mode, the PDF viewer client authenticates itself with your running Document Engine instance. This is done through a JSON Web Token (JWT).

Your users then use the JWT your app supplied to authenticate themselves with the client, which will then return only the data the user is allowed to see. In general, a JWT will give the user access to a specific document and Instant layer combination.

User Permissions

Collaboration Permissions is a feature that gives you a fine-grained permission system for defining actions allowed by individual users when multiple users are working on the same document. It can also control which actions a user can take and which resources a user can see.

Dynamic Watermarking

Adding a non-removable watermark to documents can discourage viewers from sharing your content or taking screenshots. For an additional layer of security, you can use a custom watermark for each individual user that contains identifying information such as their name, timestamp, and ID. This makes it easier to trace any leaks back to the source.

Preventing Download and Distribution

Opening a remote document from a PDF viewer involves sending its data over a network to a user’s client. This makes it impossible to fully prevent the user from downloading it. However, there are a few ways PSPDFKit for Web Server-Backed makes this more difficult, so as to discourage users who wish to do this:

  1. Our frontend SDKs can prevent a user from using the export toolbar item to download your document by omitting the button from the toolbar.

  2. The actual PDF document isn’t sent to the client at all. Instead, PSPDFKit for Web Server-Backed streams content from the document as image tiles. The user would need to capture the tiles and manually reconstruct the contents as an image (they wouldn’t have the actual PDF).

Preventing Print and Text Selection

Our frontend SDKs can prevent a user from using the Print button in the PDF viewer by removing it from the toolbar. It’s also possible to disable text selection through configuration properties in our frontend SDKs.