Cybersecurity from the Inside: Protecting Structured, Unstructured, & Semi-structured Data

The latest Verizon and Symantec data breach investigation reports demonstrate that breaches are on the rise, especially the ones from within

Visibility is crucial in security. Who is doing what, where, when and how? How is the information being used? Who is accessing sensitive information? Who is deviating from the organizational policies? Active systems can answer these questions. In the process, they can reveal who in the organization can do what. Looking at the big picture of granted entitlements across the enterprise is vital to accurately estimate potential exposure and risk factors to sensitive data. Having entitlements information from millions of files, folders, mailboxes, and sites, centralized and analyzed can easily answer important questions such as who should have access to sensitive information (HR, medical, financial, etc.) and what types of information are accessible to what audiences (IT department, domain admins, etc.). Add this information with knowledge about the actual activities and you can find out who is using his entitlements, who is not and, what permissions are stale.

These activities and capabilities help organizations achieve real-time protection. Organizations need to know about and treat violations as they happen; otherwise the information is as good as lost. Defining real-time policies based on various user, machine and information attributes dramatically increases the odds of preventing information leaks and the damages that comes with it.

Cybersecurity and separation of duties (SOD)

You have hired the best people to do the best job possible. Or so you think. Maybe Joe in customer service had a girl friend who recently broke up with him and wants to doctor her mobile bill for revenge. Maybe Jane in accounts receivable has decided that she needs a few thousand dollars to pay off some debts. You need to ensure that you have strong separation of duties policies and enforcement in place to ensure these types of scenarios cannot happen. Managing exceptions is key to managing risk. Ensure that each access requirement matches up to clearly defined security controls. Fine-tune the defined roles to lower their number and increase efficiency. Integrate what-if analysis to access requests processes. Strong internal controls on SOD will further strengthen the barriers to fraud driven from within the organization itself.

Security in action

The full security context is far and beyond the most important thing for telling rightful activities from violations. Knowing that someone has accessed the highly sensitive HR payroll spreadsheet is one thing. Knowing that they are in IT is another. Knowing that this activity occurred at 4 a.m. from an external, unmanaged workstation via the organizational VPN is great. Getting the alert by 4:01 a.m. is critical. Your cybersecurity data access governance system needs to be able to deliver the who, what, when, where, and how in real-time to fully protect your greatest corporate asset – your data.

Hidden ROI from a highly efficient data access governance & cybersecurity system

A really good data access governance-focused security system can protect the organization against theft, legal liabilities, reputation loss, and potential fines and even jail time for senior management.

A few more benefits are hidden within an efficient system include: identifying and removing unused data from high-end storage reduces storage costs; eliminating inactive accounts reduces license costs; and streamlining compliance processes such as preparation for an audit or access requests frees a noticeable amount of manpower.

Strong cyber-security, compliance, and data access governance policies will allow you to take specific steps to protect your structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data and pay significant dividends well beyond.


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