The Microsoft Excel security environment can prove to be cumbersome even for experienced users. In addition, there are numerous methods which an intruder can use to bypass any security aspect of the Microsoft Excel application. Without a doubt, the general consensus is that Microsoft Excel’s security environment is weak.
The following protection measures can be employed in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet:
Password to open the workbook Password to protect sheet contents Password to protect workbook structure Password to protect VBA code
The default encryption standard in the Microsoft Excel application is weak and commercial password crackers can be used to obtain the open password and access the contents of the file.
By using a password to open a Microsoft Excel file, you are effectively encrypting its contents. Thus, only individuals who know this password can access any of the workbook’s contents.
Even so, the default encryption standard in the Microsoft Excel application is very weak and commercial password crackers can be used to obtain the password and access the contents of the file.
In addition, there is nothing that prevents a user from sharing the password with other individuals.
Subsequently, a spreadsheet developer can decide to protect the sheet contents and workbook structure so that users cannot change any formulae or the names of the sheets for example. Again, third party utilities exist which can bypass these protection features.
There are numerous utilities freely available on the internet which can be used to break the sheet and workbook passwords in a matter of seconds.
In addition, there are no safeguards for ensuring that users do not transfer or make copies of spreadsheets to unauthorized computers neither restricting their usage time.
Microsoft has taken steps to increase the strength of the open workbook and VBA password in Microsoft Excel 2007 but these measures alone will not solve the problem of increased data security.
Fortunately, third party software exist which close these security holes and can considerably improve the security of your Microsoft Excel files at a reasonable price. One such software is XLSafe PRO by DataSafeXL (http://www.datasafexl.com). With XLSafe PRO you can:
Safeguard your spreadsheets against password recovery software
Restrict distribution of your spreadsheets by means of hardware and online activation methods
Protect spreadsheet structure and cell contents automatically based on their type and cell color
Hide formulae and protect against intrusion tools which are used to break the default Microsoft Excel security
Add time expiration capabilities to your spreadsheets and many more
XLSafe PRO is the ideal solution for businesses which need full security and control of their spreadsheets.