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Data breaches continue to torment organizations. There are numerous examples of malicious or inadvertent data breaches throughout businesses and organizations of all types and sizes. Hackers get all the press, but insiders pose as great a risk as any external party when it comes to vulnerabilities.
Regardless of who you are, your information is under attack.
With the start of fall and most employers still focused on remote workers, now is a good time for a few tips on preventing a data breach.
Did you know that paper-based incidents still account for a whopping 30 % of data breaches? It’s helpful to keep this statistic in mind and plan for secure print in your organization’s document protection program.
Never has there been a better litmus test for seeing how agile your business is than responding to a pandemic. A recent survey by leading research firm Gartner confirmed that most businesses will shift some employees to remote work permanently as a result of COVID-19. Even from home, employees need to collaborate securely with colleagues, partners and customers to stay productive and meet deadlines and goals. While video chat and instant messaging lets you communicate, a lot of collaboration is through documents. Ideally you want to easily share documents, make sure everyone is working on the most recent version, and be able to securely manage all your projects. With the major shift to working at home, the time to double down on data security is now.
Overnight, companies across the globe were forced into a fully remote workforce. If you are prepared, under the best of circumstances, it can still be a challenge, but if you are not, the challenges are even greater and some things can potentially fall through the cracks. People working from home can lead to a few unintended bad habits. With business continuity being the priority, data is even more at risk as hackers and thieves see opportunity when your guard is down.
For companies that don’t have tools in place, and for that matter, those that don’t have the right tools in place, here are some things you can do while ensuring the health of your employees, and your business stays on track.
The phrase “It takes a Village to raise a child” is true. But it is also true that it takes a team to develop a data governance and policy management strategy!
Teamwork is important when developing a data security strategy. As part of that process, data governance and policy management needs to be part of the equation. It’s becoming more and more clear that organizations struggle with policy management – particularly with unstructured data. The very nature of unstructured data leaves it vulnerable to exposure and loss. Insider threat is of particular concern because while hackers typically attack structured databases, your employees and other valued insiders are accessing those databases on a regular basis. The insiders can download sensitive information into spreadsheets and reports. They are accessing your intellectual property, such as product designs and roadmaps. It’s the insiders that will walk off with those designs and sell them to your competition or bring it to a competitor to jumpstart the next phase of their career. The loss of this information will not only cost you revenue, but can also result in a regulatory fine. Who can afford that?
Last week, Fasoo sponsored and participated in the ISMG Cybersecurity Summit in New York City. It was a great event, well attended and in the Theater District and the ISMG folks were awesome to work with!
As part of our sponsorship, Fasoo had a 10 minute Tech Spotlight where, rather than providing a “death by powerpoint” tech dump, we thought it would be good to get everyone thinking about working together as a team with respect to their data security initiatives by following the example of geese. Below is the recap for the greater audience.
In our last post, we said “Without granular access controls, you can’t prevent a user from copying data from a file and pasting it into an email, for example. If you only encrypt a file and do not prevent copy and paste or printing, a user can easily compromise security.” And we meant it.
Now, you might be asking yourself “What does it mean… granular access controls?” And the answer is simple.
Granular permissions or access controls means you grant specific permissions or enable actions when a user opens a file. This means you can either allow or prevent a person from doing things in a file when it is open – or “in use” – and since data in use is really difficult to protect, wouldn’t it make sense to add this layer of protection? By applying granular access controls, you can prevent someone from copying and pasting, taking a screen shot, or printing based on the classification of the file and security policy applied to it. Users can be either granted or denied specific actions when a document is open.
Picture it. Your employees access sensitive and confidential customer information every day so they can do their jobs. Once the data leaves the protected confines of an information repository, file share or cloud-based service, your authorized users can share it with anyone, do anything with it and compromise your customer’s confidential information or your intellectual property. As a result, you may be subject to regulatory fines, not to mention losing customers because they can’t trust you to maintain their confidentiality. And as for IP? It could get in the hands of your competition, threatening your business.
What do you need to do? You need to persistently protect confidential data so that customer information and your IP is protected regardless of where it goes and who has it. Through a file-centric approach, you need to close the security gap that allows you to share sensitive data with unauthorized users by applying granular access controls to sensitive data. Without granular access controls, you can’t prevent a user from copying data from a file and pasting it into an email, for example. If you only encrypt a file and do not prevent copy and paste or printing, a user can easily compromise security.
To think about stronger data security and privacy protection! But first, I want you to think about the millions of heroes who have served our country.
As we approach the 4th of July, I wanted to take a moment to recognize the heroes in the many branches of the U.S. Military. From myself, and on behalf of the entire team at Fasoo, THANK YOU for your service!
And while thinking about those who have put themselves at the first line of defense, defending our country and fighting for our freedom, we are still fighting for privacy and stronger data security. As individuals, we are required to provide tons of personally identifiable information to our doctors, lawyers, employers and financial institutions – trusting that they will safeguard our information. But data leaks still happen! So we know we need to take data security and privacy seriously.
Now, I don’t want this discussion to turn political, but it was brought to my attention (thanks, Rick), in an article published by ZDNet that “The US State Department will now require new visitors to the United States to hand over their social media account names as well as email addresses and phone numbers used over the past five years.”
I remember when I was a kid, the USA was referred to as “The Great American Melting Pot” where people were welcomed from all over the world to come here and live their dream! Freedom. In fact, my own family migrated from Hungary and settled in Pennsylvania in the early 1900s. Of course, this was long before the digital age. Back then, the information collected, while personally identifiable in nature, was not nearly as much in terms of “volume”. So while people are still coming to this country to live their dreams, the data requirement to do so is a magnitude far above what it used to be, exacerbating the amount of data that needs to be protected. So what I am saying here is that these visitors’ dreams should NOT include the fear of identity theft and/or exposure of personal data.
In the digital age, our thirst for knowledge and expression has us willing to give information in exchange for merchandise, a whitepaper, maybe even recognition. And we should be able, with trust and the freedom to do so, without fear. So at the risk of misquoting one of our Founding Fathers, those who would give up personal data for essential freedom, deserve both privacy and security.
So fire up the grill, add another hot dog or hamburger, tofu for my vegan friends, crack open a beer or have some wine. Enjoy your friends, family and freedom and by all means, please have a safe holiday!
By Deborah Kish – EVP Research & Marketing