Detect and Remove Sensitive Data in Cropped Images Embedded in Word Files with Proactive DLP (Data Loss Prevention)

Cropping pictures inserted in an Office file (such as a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, or Excel workbook) is a widely used feature in Microsoft Office apps. This crop tool enables users to hide parts of a picture that they do not want to display. Users also use it to crop the inserted pictures to a specific shape or aspect ratio to fit or fill a shape in their documents. However, this might be a threat vector for data breaches.

The problem is that Office’s cropping tool only modifies how the cropped image is displayed in the body of the document. The original picture remains intact. Cropped portions of the image are not completely removed from the document and can be seen by others; including search engines if the file is uploaded to the internet. So, data leakage can occur if there is sensitive data or IP (intellectual property) in the trimmed areas. Your internal users can inadvertently expose sensitive and confidential data, such as personally identifiable information (PII), trade secrets, financial statements, etc., to unauthorized individuals when sharing documents with cropped images.


OPSWAT Proactive DLP can help organizations prevent sensitive and regulated data from leaving or entering the organization’s systems by content-checking all files and emails for sensitive content before they are transferred. MetaDefender can search over 30 widely used productivity file types, including Microsoft Office, PDF, CSV, HTML and image files.

Proactive DLP v.2.6 used in MetaDefender Core v4.19.2 and later can detect sensitive data within cropped parts of images embedded in MS Word files (.doc and .docx) by leveraging Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Furthermore, administrators can also configure this feature to permanently remove the cropped areas of the images. The setup can be simply done on the MetaDefender Core management console.


Read more about OPSWAT Proactive DLP or contact us to get more information and assistance.

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