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Collecting Laptops From Terminated Employees? Protect Unstructured Data
Cybersecurity Data breach Data security Insider threat Privacy Secure collaboration

Protect data on laptops from terminated employees I read a Tweet recently from “Accidental CISO” about collecting laptops from terminated employees during the pandemic that I deemed retweetable (if that is a word).  Some comments focused more on the hardware – how to get it back – but this got me thinking more about what is actually on the hardware. What sensitive information, like intellectual property, might reside on them?  It also made me think, in a situation like this, how the potential for insider theft is far greater.

Files containing IP can be either printed on home printers, sent over email to personal accounts, saved on a USB stick, screen captured and so on.  These are not necessarily actions of malice, but obvious desperation to assist with the basic need for employment.

Pandemic Sent Your Workers Home? Reminders for Best Data Security Practices
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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.

Complying with CCPA – What are some of the landmines?
Data breach Data security Privacy

Complying with CCPA - What are some of the landminesThe potential landmines for compliance with CCPA is pretty high.

One of the first things is that a lot of companies don’t know how to interpret the law. We saw that with GDPR for the year prior to it going into effect. CCPA is a lot like it, but there are likely still questions.

Secondly, is the DSRs (Data Subject Requests) or the right to be forgotten. People are very in tune with their privacy these days and will want to act on it, not only for the reduction of spam, but for the identity theft potential. The requests will likely come too fast and companies with a lot of data containing personally identifiable information (PII) – the very thing those DSs will be after them for – will find themselves in a position where they don’t know where to start.

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child, Right? It Takes a Team to Develop a Data Governance Strategy!
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Define a Practical Data Governance Plan for Unstructured DataThe 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?

Geese at the ISMG Cybersecurity Summit in New York? It’s all about teamwork!
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Work as a team for unstructured data securityLast 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.

Getting Granular: Why You Need Granular Access Controls
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Granular access controls are important to protect unstructured dataIn 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.

Your Sensitive Data is at Risk: How Do You Manage Insider Threats?
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Protect against insider threatsPicture 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. 

I Want YOU…
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PrivacyTo 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

Attended Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit? So did we!
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GartnerI have to say, being on the other side of the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit was a combination of exciting, fun, and educational. The cool thing is that I still got to get up on stage and the bonus was to see all the hard work that goes into exhibiting. I think the Fasoo team did a fantastic job setting up and manning the booth.

At our booth at the Summit, we highlighted new features of our Data Radar and Wrapsody eCo products that deliver a unique life-cycle approach to enterprise content challenges plaguing organizations globally.

Overall our booth attracted hundreds of visitors seeking products that can help them regain control over their unstructured data with particular interests in discovery, encryption and access control.

Privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA is the driving factor as visitors clearly indicated the need to adapt quickly to the changing environments. Also, new data security related projects have been planned or launched based on recognizing the impact from IT changes within the organization including the adoption of cloud infrastructure and applications.

Our visitors at the Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit ranged from CISOs, business unit owners, and cyber security professionals to Chief Data Officers and Chief Privacy Officers across multiple verticals. I hope I got a chance to meet you!

I was super excited to moderate our solution provider session at the Summit featuring 3 of our customers which included the regional CISO from a global financial institution, a business unit leader in the automotive industry and a consultant who is leading global digital transformation projects in the public sector globally. Each have projects that involve the challenges of unstructured data security and privacy with distinct use cases. They shared with the audience how they successfully “fast tracked” their way through the challenges often associated with these projects and accelerated their organizations’ paths to data centric security and privacy.

They shared how Fasoo helped them in their plight to gain control of and secure their unstructured data, their intellectual property and meet privacy regulations.

Deborah’s Final Thought:
As trends toward cloud and content collaboration continue – as growth in unstructured data increases and the perimeter fades, it is clear now, more than ever, that the market must adopt a file-centric approach to data security. I believe that this approach will minimize the risks associated with sensitive data exposure and help meet regulatory requirements.

By Deborah Kish – EVP Research & Marketing

Another day, another… $853K?
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HIPAAThis has been on my mind. A lot. Every day, I open my email to find news about how a company needs to pay a fine or a fee to either an individual or a regulator because data was leaked or stolen. This one in particular caught my eye because it is a classic example of data being accessed by likely the wrong individual and shared with someone who should definitely not have been able to see it. This one seems to be an access control and encryption play.  If they were in place, this healthcare entity wouldn’t have to shell out $853K and violate HIPAA regulations in the process.

And this one! It dates back to 2015, but it is still one of the largest hack attacks to date, and the settlement (which was just reached) is nearly $1 million dollars!  All because a sophisticated attack allowed the hackers to steal user credentials and 3.5 million patient records.   As a result (besides the $900K) MIE has a laundry list of technologies they will be required to invest in as well as implementing “controls during the creation of accounts that allow access to ePHI”.

This tells me something.  It tells me that there are still so many companies that do not have strong sensitive data security and privacy controls in place.

And, it leads me to feel even more strongly about the “file centric” approach. A file centric approach means that you are focusing on the actual data, (in both of these cases, PII) rather than the location of the data. Encryption and access control in these cases could have made a significant impact and saved; the victims of the breaches from potential harm like ID theft AND the entities themselves a lot of money.  I’ll be talking more in detail about this in my upcoming webinar “Overcoming Unstructured Data Security and Privacy Choke Points” this Thursday, June 6th at 1:30 pm. I’ve embedded the link so you can go ahead and register.

See you then!

By Deborah Kish – EVP Research & Marketing