As we approach one year since pandemic lockdowns were initiated and work from home became a fact of life for many workers, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at the big picture with regard to data security. Remote work has disrupted much of our usual work routines and structures, but one of the most important things it has affected is data security. With the shift to remote working, organizations are at a much higher risk of suffering from data leaks than they were before. Securing data is a constant battle – as tech evolves, new strategies need to be developed to plug holes and stay one step ahead of potential insider threats. It’s worth taking a deeper look to identify the most common sources of data leaks at organizations so you can make better decisions on how to allocate your security team and resources.
Most companies have an official IT infrastructure that is promoted as the way to do things. However, the drive towards being more efficient, or outright frustration with these processes, may lead employees to develop an alternate IT infrastructure that may or may not implement officially recognized processes and tools. This is known as “shadow IT”, and while the intentions for its development are often good, the results can be catastrophic. Without official sanctioning, development, and testing, shadow IT is highly risky and is more likely to leak secure data.
Although a lot of focus is given to new tools such as cloud systems and Software as a Service (SaaS), older technologies are still a liability to the security of your data. USB thumb-drives, desktop email client services, and even your office printer can be vehicles for data theft. It takes a comprehensive evaluation of your systems to recognize these potential sources of data leaks and develop strategies meant to limit the risk, if outright eliminating it isn’t possible.
Every organization will have individuals who need to have more access to their sensitive data than others. The key here is recognizing who needs the access, limiting the access they have as much as possible, and frequently auditing access privileges. A robust strategy will help protect the organization from the data leaks that could result, either intentionally or accidentally, from access rights.
Social engineering continues to be an effective avenue for data leaks. The content of these attacks may change over time – we’ve even seen some phishing attacks utilizing the coronavirus pandemic as a means to lure potential victims – many of the tactics have remained the same for years, so constant vigilance and education of your employees is the best way to stop this potential source of data leaks from affecting your business.
Contact ITMG to Assess Your Current Capabilities and Develop Strategies and Protocols Designed to Help Your Company Mitigate Your Insider Risk
ITMG is an industry leader in helping organizations throughout the United States strengthen their insider risk management programs and secure sensitive data and intellectual property. Our team of bona fide experts has the real-world experience necessary to plan out and create holistic security solutions tailored to the special needs and risks in your industry. Contact ITMG today to learn more about how we can help! You can also visit our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for more updates and insights into the world of insider risk management.