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Establishing Data Loss Prevention Policy

A data loss prevention policy defines how an organization can share data while ensuring the data being shared is protected. It also lays down the guidelines for using the data for decision-making without exposing it to anyone who should not have access to the data. In general terms ‘Data Loss Prevention Policy’ can be broadly defined as processes that identify confidential data, tracks data usage, and prevents unauthorized access to data.

Why Is It Important To Establish Data Loss Prevention Policy?

Before understanding ways to establish data loss prevention policy, it is important to understand the need for the policy. As the organizational setup has changed with an increase in number of remote employees and employees accessing the data on different devices, the risk of data loss has also increased.

Under these circumstances, there are three main reasons for setting up a Data Loss Prevention Policy:

  • Compliance
  • IP Protection
  • Data Visibility

Once the need for Data Loss Prevention is clear, it is time to understand the best practices to establish the policy.

Best Practices To Establish Data Loss Prevention Policy

  • Take time to understand and get an insight into the data. Classify the data according to its vulnerability and risk factors. Once classified, identify the data that needs to be protected and fabricate the data loss prevention policy around this data type.
  • Establish strict criteria for choosing data loss prevention vendors. Create an evaluation framework with right set of questions to choose effective data loss prevention solutions for the organization.
  • Identify the people who will be involved in the data loss prevention process and clearly define their rules. It is necessary to segregate the responsibilities of every individual and clearly convey the responsibilities to avoid data misuse.
  • Start by choosing the data set with highest level of priority and risk. Once an effective policy is set up to secure most critical data, build up on this policy to further secure other data sets as per their level of priority.
  • Educate all the employees on importance of data, sources of data loss, need for data loss prevention policy and steps to be taken in case of a data loss or breach.
  • Document the data loss prevention policy and make sure that every employee has a copy for reference.

For more information on establishing data loss prevention policy, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

What Is Whaling Attack?

PDF Version: What-Is-Whaling-Attack

Ways To Verify Data Breaches

A data breach is an incident where a hacker gains access to a database that contains the user’s personal details such as login information, financial details, Social Security Number, address, PHI, etc. In the case of an organization, a data breach can result in revealing of trade secrets and other critical business information. Once stolen, this information is then sold on the dark web to cyber criminals who use it for their profit.

The damage caused by a data breach can be minimized if it is detected in time. Here are some ways to verify a data breach:

  • Online Tools: A number of online tools are available to help users in verifying if their email account has been breached. Another way of verifying a data breach is via a data breach database. A data breach database such as HIBP (created by Troy Hunt, a Microsoft regional director, and MVP) contains a list of compromised email accounts and passwords. Users can search these databases for their email to see if their email and password are among the compromised lists.
  • Updated Browsers: Using an updated browser that has special features can help users in knowing if their password has been compromised. Browsers such as Chrome 79 include ‘Password Checkup Feature’. When a user enters a password, the feature warns the user if the password has been compromised without the need of saving the password.
  • Unauthorized Activity: Regularly check your accounts for any unauthorized activity in your account. Keep an eye on your sent emails. If you notice any emails sent to anonymous accounts, this indicates that your email account has been hacked. In case of any social media account, make a note of any unusual posts, messages, etc. Any unauthorized activity indicates a data breach including username and password.

Whilst these methods may be helpful, there is no bulletproof method of verifying a data breach. An ideal way of approach is to employ stringent data protection strategies. Some of the most efficient personal data protection strategies include access controls on the network, use of automated backup system, equip the data storage center with a protective suit, robust monitoring & reporting, and use of a secure password.

For more information on ways to verify data breaches, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

Comprehensive Guide To Mobile Data Security

PDF Version: Comprehensive-Guide-To-Mobile-Data-Security

The Risks Of Cloud-Hosted Data

With the increasing need of improving efficiency and reducing latency, most organizations are opting for cloud-based services. However, there are some risks associated with using third party cloud hosting services. These risks may have an impact on various aspects of business which could have financial, legal and technical implications.

Some of the common risks associated with cloud-hosted data are:

  • Consumer Visibility & Control: As the operations of an organization are transitioned to the cloud, it results in shifting of some responsibilities to CSP (Content Security Policy), which may lead to organization losing visibility or control over certain operations and assets. For example, network based monitoring and logging, limits an organization from accessing the details about its own application or data which should otherwise be easily accessible to the IT department. Thus, it is important to thoroughly ask the cloud service provider about various cloud hosting models and the level of control available before transitioning the operations.
  • Unauthorized Use: In order to inculcate user-friendly approach, some cloud hosting service providers may allow self-service to the users. This gives end users the authority to add more services without seeking necessary permission from the IT department of the organization. The lack of extra security increases the chances of addition of malicious links or code in the application and use of unsupported software, which can lead to enormous security breaches. This makes it important to understand access levels and service specifications provided by cloud hosting company.
  • Cloud Data May Be Compromised: Most of the business applications use APIs (Application Programming Interface) to manage and interact with the cloud services. If there are any vulnerabilities in API security, hackers may access and attack cloud resources and data of an organization. Compromised organization assets can be further used to perpetrate attack against other linked customers.
  • Exploitation Of Software Vulnerabilities: A shared cloud hosting service is simultaneously used by different organizations. Thus, it is important for the service provider to maintain clear separation between the resources of different cloud hosting users. If the infrastructure fails to maintain this separation, it leads to the risk of cloud data leakage. This loophole provides the hackers a chance to access the cloud resources and assets of an organization to launch a successful data breach.
  • Stolen Credentials: If organization’s credentials are compromised, hackers can easily take over the entire application which could result in Identity Theft attacks, deleted information, defamation of application interface, etc.

The risks associated with cloud-hosted data may lead to financial losses. Also, the cyber-attacks resulting from these risks mark a blow to the reputation of an organization. Thus, it is important to choose a cloud-hosting model and service provider after thorough diligence.

For more information on managing the risks of cloud-hosted data, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

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