03 Jun 2021 Top Data Security Challenges (and how to address them)
Organisations face a constant need to be on the alert and protective of sensitive data. Rather than cobble together a piecemeal solution strategy, relying on a trusted solutions provider that offers a suite of integrated, scalable data security solutions can provide relief. Knowing what data needs to be protected, classifying the data, applying controls to the data without slowing down business processes, and sharing all this sensitive data securely can provide IT and security leaders peace of mind.
by Daan Jacobs
The Challenge of Gaining Data Visibility
With the massive amount of data exchanged daily, knowing what data exists, where it lives, who can access it, and how it is ultimately sent is critical to organisational data security. The visibility factor is naturally a concern for CISOs and is square one when it comes to data security and the policies and solutions needed for a proactive security stance.
Diving into true data visibility includes defining policies and procedures, ensuring they are working and being used, and then assessing which technologies can be put in place to help automatically and efficiently bolster the security needed around sensitive data.
The Challenge of Identifying What Data Needs Protection
To keep the flow of business running for mission-critical communications and not throw unnecessary productivity barriers up, it’s important to first address the fact that not all the vast amount of data exchanged is equal and in need of extensive protection.
Organisations implementing a data classification solution that applies markers to only halt the data which meets the level of protection criteria you set can help ensure business keeps running, (minus potential data breaches). Metadata labels allow other security solutions within the environment to understand which data is sensitive and requires further protection along its journey based on the organisational policy set.
With data classification in place, you can identify and sort out what data is sensitive and in need of protection and which is more mundane and shareable without the more nuanced layers of security to streamline secure data exchanges.
The Challenge of Data Protection Efficiency
Many traditional data security solutions end up blocking “safe” data alongside the potentially malicious or harmful data they are meant to stop. These false positives or false negative alerts can quickly spiral out of control, unnecessarily slowing down the flow of business.
These traditional solutions focus on tight control, but at a cost. At some point, the data handcuffs can get too restrictive and the need to share and access easily (and securely) becomes a top priority for productivity. However, protecting data throughout its lifecycle is not a one size fits all process.
Putting an Adaptive Data Loss Protection (A-DLP) solution in place can take organisations beyond the “block everything” mode by going on the defence to detect and prevent unauthorised sharing before any breach occurs. With DLP in place, organisations gain flexibility and can intelligently inspect and sanitise both structured and unstructured (meta) data within emails, files being transferred via web or cloud, and endpoints to ensure the specified security policy is applied automatically.
This flexibility is of particular importance to highly regulated industries and to adhere to data privacy laws such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, CCPA, GDPR, and more, which specify the level of protection that should surround data at all points in its journey.
The Challenge of Sharing Files Securely and Efficiently
Once data has been classified and sanitised, the challenge of sending it to a third-party or internally must be met. A secure managed file transfer (MFT) solution can rise to the challenge while meeting stringent compliance requirements for end-to-end protection. Automated workflows, as well as auditing and reporting functionality, add increased security and transparency around file transfers large and small. This reduces the human factor risks so often responsible for file transfer errors.
Combining MFT with Adaptive DLP can further ensure that any files sent and received do not contain sensitive data.
The Challenge Remote Work Poses
As organisations reimagine how and where work gets accomplished, a growing number of workers will continue working from wherever is most convenient and at times on their personal devices. While this flexibility is mostly welcomed, it does not come without data security threats. Employees, of course, are among an organisation’s most valuable assets, but they also pose some of the biggest risks. without education, intelligent technology solutions, and policies and procedures that are easy to follow to ensure data security.
Data is unquestionably more vulnerable with this more flexible work environment and the human factor continues to pose threats. When people are busy, tired, or pressured is when mistakes around securing data tend to be made.
The need to communicate and collaborate securely remains and the risk of exposing sensitive data both within and outside of the organisations grows higher with more user access points and the ad hoc use of non-approved collaboration and file transfer processes.
Organisations need mechanisms that let people work yet have a safety net to protect them (and their employers) from doing the wrong thing data security-wise. With more demand for functionality comes more risk in sharing data with third parties or via the cloud, upping the risk of a data breach or compliance requirement failures.
The Challenge of Managing Multiple Security Solutions
While it’s easy to see that layers of security can help freeze insecure data movement in it tracks, reduce human error risks, and ensure that even hidden sensitive data isn’t inadvertently accessed, managing those layers with multiple vendors can create productivity bottlenecks.
One way to take alleviate pressure on IT staff is to work with a single trusted vendor capable of delivering multiple layers of security for operational simplicity. This can help ensure that your data classification, data loss prevention, and managed file transfer tools are well integrated and scalable. If the elements that make up your data security suite are not easy and intuitive to use, it will lose its effectiveness as the last barrier to employees making a data security error.
Facing Data Security Challenges with a Security Suite
A solid security suite is one flexible enough that it enforces your security policies, rather than force processes into the solution itself. One benefit of employing a suite-style solution is that it can be implemented in modular fashion. You can deploy a single software solution to address today’s specific data security issue and be comfortable knowing you can add additional layers of security as your needs grow and change. In addition, you can take advantage of solution integrations and enjoy economies of scale.
Data security can encompass any one or a combination of these technologies:
Data Classification: Attaches markings to data to trigger encryption policies. There is no need for a separate encryption job when this is employed.
Data Loss Prevention: Enforces compliance policies with data redaction and sanitisation of data as it looks for classification tags and removes risks while letting “safe” data pass through. Over-policing of data typically seen with DLP enforcement can be avoided.
Integrated Email Security: Detect, defend against, and deter phishing, business email compromise, and other advanced identity deception email attacks.
Managed File Transfer: Provides a secure platform to share data more easily with trusted individuals and includes automation, auditing, and reporting functionality.
Digital Rights Management: Add a security wrapper around data wherever it travels, and control and revoke access as needed after it leaves your organisation.
How Can We Help You Meet Your Data Security Challenges? Every organisation has different data security challenges, requiring a customised approach to how security layers are applied. Let us show you how you can face your data security challenges more easily.