The current IT outlook is replete with classified information. From credentials, securities, SQL connection threads, storage account lists, passwords, SSH encryption pairs, data encryption files and more, the list goes on and on. Regardless of the role played by the IT department in managing and monitoring the classified data in the organization, controlling these secrets and safeguarding them against data theft more often than not becomes a high-stakes management concern.
According to security experts, finding the exact, precise way of understanding how to better control and manage the situation of corporate secrets is the biggest challenge in modern IT security. All too often, organizations are not even aware when their classified data has become exposed, or even how they will be ill-used – and it’s a self-imposed issue.
[pullquote]More than 85% of data thefts or infringements take place due to ridiculous errors by people who are actually accountable for managing the sensitive data.[/pullquote] And in such cases, the data criminals may not have been so sophisticated. The problems originating from inadequate data security management are infinite and go beyond the apparent issue of data leakages and account compromise. In some cases, loss of reputation can also occur due to breakdowns and invalid certifications. In addition, when businesses do not adhere to proper management of company secrets, it can invoke the ire of compliance regulatory; and this could mean a complete shut-down for some businesses.
In organizations where data security systems are implemented, fragmentation is rife. While some employees possess private keys and connections managers, classified data is irresponsibly passed around in unencrypted emails or placed irrelevantly on unprotected servers or in the cloud.
Although the data might be encrypted, it is basically spread out all over the place, without knowing where to find the classified data when needed. This is why, it is extremely vital to place all the classified data in a central location, for permitted staff or management to retrieve the information from the collective place within the organizational data tree. With a centralized access to classified data management, it naturally becomes urgent to ensure access to the data. Granting permissions to specific resources within data and applications must be well thought off and granted discerningly.
Another best practice to look into is the use of logging. By gathering data spontaneously and every day, it becomes manageable to view the practices on how classified data has been employed—and this intelligence can help organizations build permissions protocols.
Most importantly, organizations must realize that classified data has a lifespan. If sensitive information has been shared or seen, its awareness levels rise manifold. Hence, such data must be rotated periodically and modified on a regular basis.
Most organizations find doing all the above tasks daunting and a time-consuming chore, which is why an important aspect of managing corporate secrets should be through automation. Automated management assists businesses in reacting to industry issues and keeping on top of relevant and contemporary issues such as security bugs.
At all times, organizations must be ready to assume that a data breach would take place, irrespective of the data security put in place, and hence the IT department must plan much ahead on how to cut down the impact, if and when it takes place, on the company. Incident responses for the organization must be known in advance, firstly by building an inventory of every affected piece of data, and ensure that the IT department is spreading out the credentials from the highest conceptual level and working it down to the details. When a data breach occurs, it is important to validate that all leaked data work no longer, preferably in an automated manner—and then to analyze team practices to avoid a repetition.
Author Bio: The article is written on behalf of Locklizard, a DRM solution provider. They provide applications for management of internal documents and information in organizations. Visit www.locklizard.com for more information.