Using the Internet to steal information has become a common occurrence for hackers, companies, criminal organizations and even governments. This behavior is nothing new. People have been spying and stealing secrets for most of recorded history, it’s only the techniques that change.
The stakes are a lot higher today than in the past, since a successful hack can bring a company or even a government to its knees.
Current data breach notification laws help victims of data theft by providing credit monitoring and other services designed to minimize the effects on people’s lives. Related legislation provides guidelines for organizations to secure sensitive information so people can’t steal it in the first place. Unfortunately cybercrime continues, because many organizations do not implement good security for their information.
The US and other governments are proposing more stringent measures to prevent cybercrime. This goes beyond trying to stop a few hackers from stealing credit card numbers. The US senate recently introduced the “Deter Cyber Theft Act” to report annually on the theft of government and industry secrets and build lists of countries that engage in cyber-espionage and trade secrets. The bill would require regular reports from the US Director of National Intelligence and direct the US president to ban the import of products containing stolen US technology. Other countries and the United Nations are calling for international rules and bodies to address the same issues.
Since trade secrets and intellectual property are frequently contained in documents, it’s critical to secure the information itself. Protecting network and server perimeters is important, but the criminals are after the information. They aren’t breaking into systems for the fun of it. They want to steal valuable information and sell it to the highest bidder or use it to bolster their own companies or economies. Encrypting the files that contain that information with a file-based security solution is the best way to prevent the data breach in the first place. If someone gets the file, it isn’t useful to them, since they can’t access the information inside.
It will take time before legislation and agencies are in place to fight cybercrime at this level, but you don’t have to wait. Start by encrypting your files with a Fasoo solution. Just like a burglar looks for the open door, make it harder for them to steal your information. When someone gets your files, they will move on to an easier target.
Photo credit Robin Sayer