Protect Your IP With Complete Visibility Into Every Sensitive File Exchange

Visibility - Begin With the End in Mind

What if you could see every exchange of sensitive content between your organization and your customers, your vendors, your partners, your attorneys, your investors, and all other external parties? Where is it going to? Where is it coming from? Who is sending it? Who is receiving it? How sensitive is it? Is it infected? What if you had a CISO dashboard that could analyze those communications along relevant dimensions, such as content sensitivity, origin and destination, time of day, and file type. What if you could implement dynamic security and governance policies based on that information, such as blocking a transfer of unusually sensitive information to a specific country by a specific user at a specific time of day? Security, privacy, transparency, governance and compliance all rely on visibility. If you don’t measure it, then you can’t manage it. Therefore, you should begin with the end in mind: total visibility to all activity across your secure content sharing channel, including a complete, real-time audit trail of all shared content that can be recorded, aggregated, sliced, diced and archived.

Visibility - the Key to Protecting Your Digital Assets

CISOs must enable secure online collaboration that balances the protection of sensitive content with the overwhelming need to share it, easing access while preventing breaches, ensuring privacy alongside transparency, and adhering to complex regulations without getting in the way of efficient communication. Each trade-off entails risks. This blog series explores these trade-offs and offers six guiding principles for creating a secure content sharing channel that enables work across the extended enterprise and protects your most sensitive digital assets.

In my last blog post, I explored the need for CISOs to provide smooth online workflows enabled by simple, easy sharing of digital content, even when that information is highly confidential. Today, I’ll discuss how CISOs can protect their most prized digital assets by controlling and monitoring every file that enters or leaves their firm.

Balancing Content Accessibility with Security and Governance is Easier Said Than Done

The simplest way to accomplish total visibility would be to force all sensitive content communications through a single user application attached to a single content repository, e.g., a consolidated private cloud storage and file sharing service. Then, you’d have a single point of data collection. Unfortunately, people don’t work this way. They use email, web browsers, mobile apps and even SFTP clients to exchange sensitive content. And, that content gets stored all over the place in local drives, network file servers, enterprise applications, ECM systems and cloud storage services. Moreover, the most sensitive content will likely be segregated and maintained on premise. While some consolidation of user sharing applications and enterprise storage locations is certainly beneficial, it will always be limited in any reasonably large, complex organization.

Visibility Across All Activity, Including a Real-time Audit Trail

Total visibility entails tapping into all the endpoints where users share content, as well as all the locations where content is stored. With rigorous data privacy laws like HIPAA and GDPR, visibility is more than an aspiration; it’s a requirement. [source: Accellion secure file sharing and governance platform]

Achieve Complete Visibility With a Connection to Every Data Source and Endpoint

Total visibility to all shared sensitive content is clearly much easier said than done. However, it is not simply an aspiration. With rigorous data privacy laws like HIPAA and GDPR, it’s a requirement. In the real world, total visibility entails tapping into all the endpoints where users share content, as well as all the locations where content is stored. Whatever the final system architecture, an essential requirement of your secure content sharing channel will be a connection to every content repository and sharing application that monitors and governs each request to save, retrieve, send or receive a file. Every missing connection will be a blind spot that enables a potential breach.

In the next post, I’ll explore the pitfalls associated with providing simple, seamless access to content. Given the variety of applications and user workflows, providing simple access is a very complex challenge and securing authorized access is just the first step.

Don’t want to wait? Download the eBook now!
The Risky Business of Online Collaboration

The Risky Business of Online Collaboration

Discover the 6 principles for securing sensitive content without getting in the way of efficient communications with this informative eBook.


*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Cyber Security on Security Boulevard – Accellion authored by Cliff White. Read the original post at: https://www.accellion.com/blog/protect-your-ip-with-complete-visibility-into-every-sensitive-file-exchange/

Cliff White

Cliff White

Cliff White is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Accellion. Mr. White joined Accellion in 2011. He has more than 15 years of experience in the software industry and web-based technologies. He has also managed global engineering teams and advised C-level executives on software product engineering and best practices. Before joining Accellion, Mr. White developed highly scalable software for imageshack.com, an online media hosting company and one of the most visited websites on the internet. Previously, he led the engineering function for rentadvisor.com, a peer review and recommendation website for rental properties before it was acquired by apartmentlist.com.

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