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Is Your Company Data Really Secure?

Is Your Company Data Really Secure?

Organizations need to consider both the internal and external threats when it comes to securing the access to their critical data.

Studies conducted to review the security of critical data indicated more than half of organizations do not sufficiently understand the accessibility parameters of their critical data.  The participants responses in the study reflect the need for organizations to think more about how both internal and external parties can access the organization’s critical data.

Failing to understand who has access to critical data can blindside an organization.  For example, organizations who dismiss the threats of internal security breaches may find insiders take advantage of the uncharted territory of security.  The insiders who abuse their access to critical data can cause damage by inappropriately handling critical data.  Internal breaches threaten data security, and organizations should not minimize the opportunities internal users may have to abuse their access to critical data.

Organizations should be aware of how data breaches can occur.  The following examples give insight to how data may be breached.

  • Applications are used without clearance
  • Sensitive data is used without clearance
  • Internal users abuse organization’s devices
  • Workers cross between work and personal computers while working remotely
  • Passwords are unprotected or shared
  • Computer malware is initiated
  • Trojan horses are allowed
  • Unnecessary levels of access are given
  • Errors in configuration
  • Critical information is misplaced or stolen

To prevent data breaches, organizations should strive to protect data.  Data protection seminars to education employees and other internal users of the organization’s data policies may help establish a foundation.  Securing sensitive data through encryption may further the organization’s efforts to ensure critical data is protected more.  Policies regarding data protection and how to react to a data breach may also guide an organization to avoiding a breach.  Still, organizations must identify how breaches can occur to effectively manage their plans for data protection.

Monitoring current data allows organizations to identify discrepancies.  Through the active directory, the monitoring becomes more refined and helps the administrators combat security breaches.  Despite the usefulness of the active directory in monitoring data, organizations must note the limitations of the active directory.  The following list provides a few limitations of the active directory organizations should realize.

  • Identifying the source of the change in the active directory is difficult.
  • Reports and alerts are not available.
  • The active directory can only monitor one domain at a time.
  • Audit data can be written over if the configuration is incorrect.
  • Archiving the audited data is not practical given the volumes of data.

The limitations of the active directory indicate organizations should take a different approach to identifying who has access to their data. One reason the active directory would not be useful is information regarding data breaches could not be retrieved in a timely manner.

However, the active directory could be a useful tool for providing information about access over time.  For example, information about users’ privileges and access to data could still be monitored by the active directory.  By monitoring users access, trends in data usage may become more evident, which means administrators could better detect discrepancies.

Users with more access, such as privileged accounts, should be monitored more than those without privileges.  Password protection should be a main part of monitoring these accounts to prevent unauthorized users from accessing information.  By increasing the security for users with more access, privileged accounts should be more protected from security breaches.

Despite some advantages of the active directory, organizations should think about their alternatives to data protection.  Solutions to data protection may include advanced active directory systems, which allow administrators to track information in a more timely manner.  Other features such as alerts about suspicious actively and permission requirements help analyze the information gained through the advanced active directory system.  The alerts provided enhance the usability of the advanced active directory system, which helps combat the various security attacks including malware and unauthorized access that could compromise an organization’s critical data.

Tracking data and having alerts to security breaches helps organization protect data.  However, organizations should still understand insider can breach data.  Therefore, organizations must consider how to protect their critical data and provide requirements for those accessing critical data. By educating the organization on threats to data, security breaches can hopefully be reduced.

Regulations regarding data security will also help the advancements of data security.  For example, the General Data Protection Regulation in the EU is making a stance for data protection.  Modern advancements have been considered in these regulations, which should help better protect organizations from the threats of internal and external data security breaches.  Though some organizations find regulations intrusive, organizations should view the regulations as a helpful guideline in educating their employees.  As mentioned before, organizations who know how to identify and combat security breaches will be the most prepared to control their access to critical data.


Categories: Blog, Data Centers