Monday, July 01, 2013
Diverse data breaches require robust defenses
By this point, it is safe to say that most business leaders and owners are generally aware of the danger posed by data breaches. Whether or not they have first-hand experience with such incidents, businesspeople have undoubtedly heard about data breaches in the news, as well as the accompanying costs that result.
Yet oftentimes awareness of data breaches goes no further than this, and that is a problem. If firms do not truly, comprehensively understand the nature of these threats, they are unlikely to invest in sufficient defenses. Specifically, businesses need to appreciate the diverse range of causes of data breaches and the robust secure file sharing and other solutions necessary to reduce these risks.
Perhaps the biggest misconception concerning data breaches is that these events are usually, or even always, caused by external threats, such as hackers. The truth of the matter, though, is that internal threats are often the greater danger for businesses. These include malicious employees and, even more frequently, inadvertent insiders. This latter group consists of workers whose conduct unintentionally leads directly to data breaches. These actions are typically the result of either ignorance or negligence, but are not intentional acts of sabotage or espionage.
Inadvertent insider-driven data breaches are a threat which businesses of all kinds must be wary of. These incidents can lead to the loss or exposure of extremely valuable and sensitive information, including employee and customer financial data, intellectual property, trade secrets and much more.
If insufficient safeguards are in place, data breaches involving this information may cost businesses thousands, or even millions, of dollars. Some of these losses will be direct, such as fines issued by regulatory agencies, but many more will take time to emerge. For example, a firm that experiences a data breach may struggle to retain current customers and attract new ones, because of its now-tarnished reputation. Additionally, the loss of intellectual property and trade secrets will make it very difficult for a given firm to maintain a competitive advantage over rivals in its given market.
However, the prevalence of insider-driven data breaches should not lead firms to ignore the danger posed by external threats, such as hackers and other cybercriminals. These malicious groups and individuals are constantly improving their strategies and techniques for acquiring a company's valuable information through illicit means, meaning organizations must also consistently upgrade and maintain their cybersecurity measures to keep pace.
Critically, cybercriminals are increasingly focusing their efforts on stealing big data and other information that does not provide direct financial benefits. These criminals will then likely sell the information to one of the company's competitors.
For firms to be truly secure, then, they must invest in security tools that can protect their information from both internal and external threats. These different dangers require different tactics.
For example, one of the most invaluable resources for mitigating the danger presented by insider threats is secure file sharing software. These solutions are specifically designed to be easy to use while maintaining the integrity of the files and data sent and received by employees. Because they are simple and not burdensome, employees will have no reason to avoid these resources, thereby reducing the risk presented by worker negligence.
To protect big data and other information from external attacks, though, businesses will likely need to invest in secure file transfer solutions. Specifically designed to protect big data resources, these solutions ensure that these valuable information sets remain secure even when being sent, received and shared throughout the organization.