What is the Best Way to Protect Your Data?

According to 2018 Cybersecurity Market Report, “Global cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021.” The upward trend in cybersecurity spending reflects the evolving cybersecurity landscape, with IT leaders facing a growing amount of security threats to the IT infrastructure.

Data Security and Cybersecurity Trends 

Type in the term “data security” or “cybersecurity” on Google, and there is nearly an unlimited amount of content for both topics. Google estimates 76 million data security-focused web pages and 34 million cybersecurity-focused web pages. The demand for information about data security and cybersecurity isn’t too surprising.

Now, more than ever, companies are making efforts to prioritize security in order to meet compliance regulations and reduce their security breach risks. Evident of many organizations’ motivations to minimize the risk and pain of a security breach, last year’s Equifax breach is trending on Google, second to both “data security” and “cybersecurity.”

In May of 2017, hackers breached Equifax, stealing the social security numbers, birthdates, home addresses, and names of 148 million people. According to reports, the breach was preventable, having occurred because the credit-monitoring company failed to update their software after vulnerability fixes were available. 

A Holistic Approach

As organizations incorporate more data-driven processes into their operations, information-handling programs and tools have exponentially increased in significance. Firms need to manage, store, analyze, distribute and access tremendous amounts of information of many different types. Any shortcomings in this area can seriously undermine the value of a company's data resources, and hamper its ability to compete in challenging markets.

That is why it is so critical for businesses to invest in the right data management tools. And among the most important needs in this area are secure data transfer solutions. Only with high-quality secure data transfer tools in place can a firm's employees successfully send and receive information freely, without the risk of data loss or exposure.

Types of File Transfer Systems

There are many situations where an organization will have an existing homegrown file transfer system in place that started with a simple need to move files. As the organization grew, their file transfer needs evolved. And the in house IT specialist would improvise, customizing the system as the need came about. While the homegrown system may be useful to start, it often becomes more of a hindrance over time.

Homegrown systems face challenges with visibility, scalability, process inefficiencies, and a lack of flexibility. Over time, homegrown systems are very difficult to maintain. In addition to the homegrown systems, many organizations use various file transfer protocols to move data. Here’s a look at some of the many common file transfer protocols below:

  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  • Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP)
  • Simple File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
  • Secure Shell File Transfer Protocol (SSH FTP)
  • File Transfer Protocol – Secure (FTPS)

Some protocols are less secure than others are, but the main thing they have in common is that they are limiting, lack visibility, and are also difficult to scale. Other common methods of moving files, includes encrypted USBs, email, and the postal system. 

An Ounce of Prevention

Finding the best way to secure an organization’s data and IT infrastructure is extremely important. Choose the wrong strategy or tools, and you could end up embroiled in the aggravating headache left behind from a data breach or non-compliance violation. This begs the question, “What’s the best way to protect my data?” The answer isn’t easy, but it is simple.

Here it goes: Start with visibility. Visibility into ongoing data transfers is important for several reasons. First and foremost, a clear view of data in motion is essential for ensuring that security monitoring is possible. Authorized personnel, be they in the IT department or in management, need to be able to see the status of corporate data at all times, including when it is being shared with anyone within or outside the organization.

Operational visibility will help you identify security risks, which may come in the form of abnormal patterns of data transfer activity or multiple system access attempts (and unauthorized logins). It may also help identify end-point vulnerabilities, data silos, or worse.

Maximizing Efficiency and Performance

Another key reason why organizations should prioritize visibility in their data transfer solutions is to maximize efficiency and performance. Protecting your data ties into how you manage your system, technology, and processes. Visibility can give you an advantage, helping you with the following:

  • Mitigate internal and external security risks, from shadow IT practices to hackers
  • Met and maintain compliance requirements
  • Support employees, governing access and monitoring activity 

While there are many ways to protect your data, one of the best ways is to take a proactive approach with a managed file transfer (MFT) platform. With an MFT platform, you gain full operational visibility, which will help you maximize file transfer efficiency and performance.

For organizations using disparate methods of file transfer or ad hoc file transfer protocols, visibility is often limited to unwieldly. An MFT centralizes the management of file transfer activity, keeping you in control over file transfer activity and data security. Here’s a look at how an MFT platform provides visibility:  

  • Protect data in transit or at rest on file transfer systems
  • Track and audit user activity and file movement
  • Meet requirements for data wiping and sanitization
  • Monitor and alert in real-time on potential violations of security standards
  • Capture compensating controls and generate reports on compliance statuses

Ready to gain more visibility into your organization? Contact us today for your free trial!