Three Enterprise Security Risks that Will Cost You Dearly

Attempts to recover from the aftermath of a data breach could cost an enterprise millions of dollars in lost man hours, compliance fines, litigation fees, and settlement payouts—none of which include the cost of completely revamping an infrastructure to reduce security vulnerabilities or risks. The damage that follows a data breach extends beyond the organization itself and can negatively affect a company’s customers, partners, and third-party vendors, among many others.

During the Verizon-Yahoo acquisition last spring, Yahoo’s valuation was reduced by $350 million dollars, following the revelation of two massive data breaches. The first affected 500 million user accounts—one of the largest reported data breaches to date. The second revealed theft of sensitive user data, which included security questions that affected more one billion Yahoo user accounts. (Source: TechCrunch, After Data Breaches, Verizon Knocks $350M off Yahoo Sale, Now Valued at $4.48B)

The complexity of systems and the number of endpoints out there can make it incredibly difficult to get a handle on security.  Cybercriminals will not slow down or wait for enterprises to improve their data security  and IT infrastructure. Do you know of possible vulnerabilities that might exist within your IT infrastructure?

Here’s a look at three of the most common situations the expose security vulnerabilities within the enterprise, along with why they increase the risk of a data breach:

#1 - Shadow IT

Shadow IT is the practice of acquiring and using applications, systems, and services outside of IT purview. The “shadow-y” practice isn’t as dark and menacing as the name implies, but it can create a lot of headaches for IT. While an employee may have good intentions, he or she may not realize acquiring  applications and systems outside of IT purview can expose security and efficiency weaknesses throughout the IT infrastructure.

One of the ways that shadow IT exposes system weaknesses is through a reduced level of visibility. As a result, IT may have less control over data security, accessibility or connectivity. In turn, the enterprise may find it’s IT infrastructure more vulnerable to security risks, compliance failures, and productivity declines.

#2 - Homegrown and Legacy File Transfer Technologies

Homegrown and legacy file transfer technologies are sometimes pieced together ad hoc with FTP servers and the various workflows and processes run on complex or outdated scripts. At the same time, those same scripts were written by one or two engineers from IT, and there is little room for recourse if they are not available to manage any challenges that may arise. 

Homegrown systems are not future-proof, and are often not secure because they were not designed with security in mind. If the workflow evolves in volume and complexity, a homegrown or legacy system won’t be enough.

#3 - An Outdated Security Policy

An outdated security policy or a lack of regular security training can increase security risks originating from employees and poor security hygiene. Developing a proactive and multi-dimensional strategy for securing data and your organization’s IT infrastructure can significantly reduce security vulnerabilities. At the same time, the proper tools, policy, and training are also critical. Security is a team effort, so including regular training and a strong security policy will help build a culture of awareness and collaboration.

Managed file transfer (MFT) software can help reduce many of today’s common enterprise security risks. With the right MFT platform, IT managers can gain a strategic vantage point and have the ability to take a preventative approach to keeping the growing security risks at bay. Visibility and control are core components of an MFT technology. Its centralized platform helps IT administrators manage the secure and efficient movement of data with ease.

Four Ways that MFT Reduces Security Vulnerabilities

Hackers and cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to take advantage of potential security vulnerabilities. Without the right strategy, tools, training, and security policy in place, it’s only a matter of time before these vulnerabilities—and your data—could be exposed. The technology behind MFT software can provide a secure and proactive way to manage data and the IT infrastructure, in turn reducing security risks. 

The MFT platform reduces enterprise security risk in the following ways:

  1. Gain operational visibility and control over the IT infrastructure and data
  2. Track and audit user activity and file movement
  3. Protect data in transit or at rest
  4. Monitor and alert in real-time potential violations of security standards

Whether your organization deals with shadow IT, a homegrown system, or an outdated security policy, MFT software will help you regain control and visibility to keep your data and IT infrastructure secure, compliant and efficient.

Minimizing the Enterprise Security Risks: Getting Started

IT understands the importance of securing the network against data breaches from external threats. Regardless of your efforts, data breaches usually begin at home, inside your network, because of lax or unenforced security policies. How do you know if what you’re doing is enough to prevent data leaks?

If you haven’t...

  • Secured your firewall,
  • Made your employees change their passwords every 90 days,
  • Ensured that users’ laptops are using hardened security settings,
  • Implemented an annual, required security briefing on the importance of strong passwords and locking the keyboard when leaving your desk,

…then it’s not enough. An organization needs a solid security policy with multiple layers of defense to protect against these incidents. The security policy should educate users about how they can help protect company information and the consequences if they don’t.

If you’re ready to reduce your security risks, get started today and download our guide, “The Gaping Holes in Your Security.”  In it, we discuss three of those layers most commonly targeted: the network, the data, and the users.