The exfiltration of sensitive data from your organization can be a major headache for your security team, especially in the current work environment. However, it is a problem that should be taken seriously and given major thought towards effective solutions. In many industries, such as healthcare and finance, the improper storage of sensitive data can lead to severe legal and economic consequences. Strategizing against both the intentional and the accidental exfiltration of this sensitive data protects your organization, your customers, and your employees. Here are some best practices to employ in your organization’s security team.
Identifying the Sensitive Data
The first thing to know is, well, what exactly constitutes your sensitive data. Having a thorough understanding of what your sensitive data is will allow you to focus in on it as you develop strategies for protecting it. In many industries, regulatory bodies will determine what should be classified as “sensitive”. You should also keep in mind that different regulatory bodies may have different definitions of “sensitive” – this is important for all global corporations as the United States, the European Union, and other economic bodies throughout the world will have different standards that you need to follow. And even if some data may not be defined by the state as “sensitive”, you may wish to do so anyway for protective reasons.
Watch the Movement of Data
User activity monitoring is going to tell a lot of the story here and help you make some determinations as to when your users’ interactions with sensitive data may not be secure. Data needs to move from one place to another at some point for it to be useful – the key is going to be regulating that movement within your organization and making sure it doesn’t end up where it shouldn’t. Knowing which vectors insider threats tend to use to exfiltrate data is important – look for data movement to cloud storage, email clients, thumb drives, and other methods.
Create Visibility in Your Systems
Ultimately, transparency and visibility in your company systems will allow your security team to track the movement of sensitive data and identify potential situations before they develop into something more serious.
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