Information, by definition, exists to be shared and consumed; hence, data will travel way beyond typical network-centric security defenses. Simply stated, the perimeter is fading and organizations are searching for ways to mitigate the risk of a security breach, by controlling who gets to do what, when, how and for how long with their data – wherever it resides – on a corporate server, a USD disk, a web-based drive, on a smartphone or tablet.
In a recent report by Radicati Group, 89 billion business emails are sent per day and Litmus reported that 48% of email opens occur on mobile devices. The ‘secure network perimeter’no longer exists and those who haven’t yet realize it, are faced with the choice to either lock data down so tightly – which ends up hindering productivity, or relaxing on the controls – which is to say data uncontrollably sprawls to devices, storage locations and eventually unauthorized users.
These companies must embrace a new way of thinking to identify and protect sensitive information that could be leaked or disclosed, in a way that renders the information useless to anyone without the rights and credentials to use it. The way to accomplish it is to embrace a paradigm shift and think of embedding security into the document itself, instead of building protective walls around places where sensitive documents are held.
The technology to offer this kind of security and data protection is available, however getting organizations on board has been a tall order to fill. The data-centric approach is the answer to the compromised perimeter or the insider accident or malicious share. However, the approach of having each and every object (email, document, report, spreadsheet, etc.) with its own key security perimeter challenges IT teams to do more and think beyond piling on firewall after firewall and appliance after appliance in their data center.
Data-centric security solutions can prevent data breaches – period. By classifying and encrypting information anywhere it resides, you are, in fact, placing a security perimeter around every single data file, thus allowing it to move around – on a laptop, or in transit across the network, on a file sharing site or on a USB key hanging around someone’s neck is the key to true data security.
Data-centric security also implies role-based access control policies to be applied, thus ensuring that only those users with the need-to-know over the information will, in fact, be able to access and use the information for as long as that need-to-know exists.
By Rui Melo Biscaia, Director of Product Management at Watchful Software