The State of Data Protection Today

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, organizations need real-time access to data.  But there’s a fine line between enabling access to information and protecting it. The business and IT environment and threat landscape continue to evolve in several ways. Here’s some current developments that you need to understand to properly protect your business.

  • The borderless enterprise

Data is less centralized than ever before due to disaggregated supply chains, outsourcing, and a mobile workforce.

  • The consumerization of IT

Users are increasingly defining the IT environment by bringing their productivity tools (mobile devices, flash drives, etc.) into work.

  • Increased insider risks

These are the hardest to catch, as they involve employees (sometimes with external help).

  • Lost/stolen laptops

The Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report notes that laptops are the most common target. Thirty-nine percent of cases of physical theft occur in the work area, and in 33.9% the theft is from employee vehicles. However, the report also indicates that these items are being lost far more often than they are stolen—more than 100 times more often.

  • Organized cybercrime

The value of information has driven the rapid expansion of sophisticated organized criminal networks, which are shifting their focus from credit card data theft to corporate intellectual property.

Concerns over data loss/theft have spawned myriad regulations ranging from global and country to industry-specific and local government. Regulations like SOX, HIPAA, HITECH, and PCI add another level of complexity for IT. When organizations fail to comply and data breaches occur, customers lose trust in the business, brand equity is reduced, and the fines can be tremendous. In a recent HIPAA settlement, a health provider had to pay more than US$2.5M due to a stolen laptop that wasn’t encrypted and contained protected health information (PHI). The laptop was stolen from the care of an employee.

When you’re developing your data protection posture in this increasingly challenging environment, it’s important to balance the rewards of accessible data (and the collaboration/productivity it enables) with the risk of losing your data. Ivanti’s data protection solutions are comprised of a device control module and a disk encryption add-on.

With it you can:

  • Find all the endpoints in your network, and who is using what removable devices / media on those endpoints; use “audit mode” and “shadow copy” to collect the information about what is copied and when, without disrupting productivity.
  • Centrally create and manage encryption of endpoint hard drives and removable devices / media. Use a whitelisting approach to create rules at both default and machine-specific levels for groups and individual users. This proactive approach limits your burden to defining what is allowed instead of trying to keep up with the ever-changing list of what is bad.
  • Implement data encryption and USB security policies to ensure sensitive information is secured by encrypting hard drives and removable devices / media, controlling file transfers, and more.
  • Control and manage the use of USB drives and other external devices. Enforce policies like prevent write and/or read and audit user activity. 
  • Generate reports that show how your data protection policies safeguard critical business information, prevent unauthorized data access via lost or stolen laptops or removable devices/media, and demonstrate compliance with internal security policies and external government and industry regulations.