Shine a Light on Third Party Threats With a CISO Dashboard

Shine a Light on Third Party Threats With a CISO Dashboard

If you’ve ever fumbled around in a dark room, looking for the light switch, you know what it’s like trying to protect an organization’s sensitive content. If you had a flashlight, you could find the light switch right away and avoid stubbing your toe on that chair in the corner. A CISO dashboard works the same way because it lets you see all your third party workflows, the channels your employees use to share confidential information with trusted external partners. Otherwise, you can’t protect what you can’t see.

These external workflow threats have a common theme: a user is the actor, and a file is the agent. Complete protection requires a defense that spans the full breadth of the associated threat surface: the collective paths of all files entering and leaving your organization. A comprehensive defense entails securing, monitoring, and managing all third party workflows, including secure email, SFTP, and secure file sharing, among others.

In my last blog post, I presented an overview of the common external workflow threats and the key strategies CISOs must employ to avoid a data breach. In this post, I’ll discuss the importance of visualizing who in your organization is sending what to whom. A real-time visualization lets you answer the most important security questions about the PII, PHI, intellectual property, and other sensitive information entering and leaving the organization.

A CISO Dashboard is Like Your Organization's Browser History

Protect Sensitive Information From Leaking Out and Malicious Code From Coming In

If your business is like most others, it generates, collects and shares sensitive content all day, every day. Confidential and proprietary information such as contracts, budget forecasts, and customer data are frequently shared with trusted third parties like consultants, lawyers, accountants, vendors and others. Unfortunately, whenever you share this information externally, you expose yourself to numerous threats, including malware, phishing attacks, and data leaks.

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With a CISO dashboard, you see your organization’s content sharing activities and detect anomalies you might otherwise miss. You see a product marketing manager downloading pro-forma financial statements and sending them to someone with a personal Gmail account. Is there a business purpose for this activity? You see numerous failed login attempts from Hong Kong, and because you don’t have any offices or customers there, you know there’s a good chance a malicious actor is at work. Lastly, you see a file containing malware that an employee tried to upload to your SharePoint server. Having this information in real time helps you avoid a data breach, cyberattack, or a compliance violation.

Use a CISO Dashboard to Visualize the Threat Surface
Once CISOs have a full visibility, they have a complete picture of every file moving through the enterprise and can prove it to regulators. [source: Accellion secure content communication platform]

Monitor All File Activity to Demonstrate Compliance With Privacy Regulations

Real-time information on an organization’s file activity is clearly an asset but only if that visibility covers every single file and exchange. Until then, you only have partial visibility, which is like having a boat that is only partially seaworthy. A CISO dashboard must be able to monitor all activity, down to the file level, including users, time stamps and IP address. A customizable CISO dashboard connects to both on-prem and cloud content repositories so it captures every employee’s uploads, downloads, file shares and even file scans. Think of a CISO dashboard as your organization’s browser history but instead of tracking the websites your employees visit, it’s tracking the files your employees touch.

Once CISOs have full visibility, they have a complete picture of every file moving through the enterprise and can prove it to regulators. A robust CISO dashboard lets you track and log file activity for further analysis or generate detailed reports that demonstrate regulatory compliance with industry requirements such as HIPAA, GDPR, GLBA, CCPA and others.

Implementing a CISO dashboard is just one best practice for protecting your sensitive content. In my next post, I’ll discuss the importance of securing all third party communication apps to protect the sensitive information your employees access and share.

Don’t want to wait? Download the eBook now!
Ten Best Practices for Protecting Sensitive Content

Ten Best Practices for Protecting Sensitive Content

Explore the ten best practices that provide actionable steps you can take to build a holistic defense of the third party workflow threat surface.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Cyber Security on Security Boulevard – Accellion authored by Cliff White. Read the original post at:

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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, an online media hosting company and one of the most visited websites on the internet. Previously, he led the engineering function for, a peer review and recommendation website for rental properties before it was acquired by

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