Recent reports of large data breaches and data theft are alarming for everyone. Customers worry about the implications of having their financial and personal information hijacked. The organizations that were compromised worry about both the near-term and the long-term effects on their business. And other organizations worry if they will be next. Two things are certain, though. The cost of a data breach is going to be really expensive, and it’s not going to be the last time it happens.
The big question everyone is asking is, what do I do about this?
For consumers, if you have shopped at any of the retailers affected, either online or in person, the first thing to do, right now, is to call your bank or card issuer and replace your credit cards. This will be a pain if you have your card tied to automatic payments of other things. You need to do it anyway. The next thing to do is to go online and change your password. If you use the same password for lots of different accounts, change those, too. And finally, begin monitoring your information at the major credit reporting agencies and immediately report anything that doesn’t look right. You can find more details on how to respond to data theft here.
Better Data Protection for your Business
In addition to those people that were individually affected, the question being asked in board rooms across the country today is what can organizations do – right now – to make sure this doesn’t happen to them?
To ensure you are able to protect your organization, you need to establish a network and security baseline that you can work from. This includes three key elements:
1. Perform a Risk Assessment
A thorough risk assessment helps ensure you are focused on protecting and monitoring what’s critical to your business. For many reasons, today’s complex networks mean you may not be able to protect and monitor everything. Instead, you will need to focus your efforts on those risks that have the greatest impact to your business by constantly aligning security initiatives to business objectives.
2. Map your Security to your Network Architecture
Network architectures and designs usually start off good, but over time that network grows in size and complexity, either making security solutions less effective, or more complex. Either way, you often end up with network blind spots, limited asset protection that does not meet your security requirements, or worse, unprotected assets. To fully understand your strengths and weaknesses, it’s important to identify those and apply visibility and control.
3. Identify Assets
Networks are growing rapidly and increasingly span a variety of ecosystems, from virtualized data centers to multi-cloud environments. Combined with the growing number of endpoint devices attached to the network and the explosion in IoT devices, establishing and maintaining an accurate inventory of devices can be challenging. Complex environments also don’t always provide clear centralized visibility into their constantly shifting infrastructure.
Given the ongoing volume of successful data breaches, this isn’t optional. You may need to invest in tools that see across your network to identify devices, operating systems, and patch levels. In a large environment, you also need to tie this information to good threat intelligence so you can see and prioritize your highest risks.
Defending Against Data Theft
Once you have your baseline visibility and control strategy in place, you need to deploy solutions and strategies that can actively protect your critical data and resources from theft and compromise.
Controlling data is integral to achieving effective data protection and complying with current regulations. Granular data control is needed to protect your valuable data as well as manage data flows between employees, suppliers and customers. Access control is key to managing data access, allowing access to those who require it and removing access from those who don’t.
You need to protect your sensitive data in all its forms. Your business relies on data and your brand and reputation depend on its protection. The risk of not protecting your data is equivalent to not protecting your assets.
Galaxkey’s innovative data-centric technologies combined with pragmatic policy management gives you the flexible and extensible data protection that you need to secure the most sensitive data. Galaxkey works seamlessly in the background so that your infrastructure, IT and users are not affected.
Galaxkey works across all platforms, interfaces and environments. Letting you work how, where and when you choose. With Galaxkey you can achieve comprehensive data protection for all data to help you achieve compliance.
Galaxkey ensures that you have effective access control when securing your data. Even once ‘Galaxkeyed’ data has left the physical and logical boundaries of your business and when it crosses geographical boundaries you always have control. This enables you to comply with the adequacy of data protection regulations like the GDPR.
Something Has To Change
While the scale and frequency of today’s data breaches is alarming, the attacks organizations suffer are not unique. Far too many organizations with highly flexible and adaptable network environments still rely on isolated second-generation security solutions and strategies to protect them. However, more than ever, security today cannot be an afterthought. It requires planning, people, and processes combined with adaptive network and endpoint security technologies designed to dynamically scale to today’s digital networks, see and coordinate across the distributed network, and automatically respond as a single, proactive defense system to address the advanced cyberthreats targeting them.