In a recent Computerworld article suggesting that IT update its information security program, Robert Whiteley points out that with the widespread adoption of cloud computing, organizations don’t own their data anymore. Users are uploading documents into GoogleDocs, Facebook, Slideshare and a hundred other repositories outside of IT’s control. This shift in ownership will continue as employees embrace new SaaS and Web 2.0 technologies. It’s important to secure your documents, since they are the most likely source of information leaks. The recent problems that Twitter had when someone stole confidential documents is an example of what can happen.
Containing documents within your firewall is important, but all the internal security in the world doesn’t help once the documents get out. IT should add persistent document security that travels with the document to ensure that when a document leaves your four walls, you maintain control. Employees who work from home and contract employees can be another source of vulnerability. And who knows where a document ends up once outside the firewall. With all the ways to share information today, securing documents before they leave is a good practice.
photo credit Bureau of Land Management