This is the first installment of the From Arthur’s Desk series discussing such topics as compliance and governance, discovery and metrics and more.
What do most data breaches have in common? Typically, data breaches share two characteristics:
- they are caused by insiders by accident/negligence or malice
- they are discovered after the fact and after damage has been done
For perspective, the Ponemon Institute 2013 report calculates the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. per organization at $5.4 million. And with responsibility shifting towards end users, governance models may be inadequate.
In Google Apps, preventing a data breach or leakage with CloudLock begins by discovering who has access across the organization’s Google Docs, Sites and Drive, both internally and externally. Out of the box, CloudLock provides a domain-wide visual representation of all exposures—public, external and internal—and external collaboration.
Being able to take a security-minded approach to auditing and compliance means protecting the data you care about and being able to maximize the use of collaboration as a result of increased confidence that the right data is being shared, and the sensitive/toxic data is not. Increased confidence (from your employees, your executive team, and your auditors) means that you can use security as an enabler for collaboration and adoption.
CloudLock Compliance Scan uses pattern matching to classify sensitive data such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Social Security Numbers, PCI data like Credit Card Numbers, and any custom regular expressions. When the scan completes, a report classifies or flags documents containing sensitive data that you can take action on and remediate.
Not all data is created equal, and you should begin remediation by setting effective permissions. With CloudLock, you can apply a content-aware policy that removes an unauthorized user from an Access Control List (ACL), based on the content of the exposed file, or other security attributes, returning the system to a compliant state. Risk windows are narrowed by several orders of magnitude.
Monitoring for potential future incidents is vital and response strategies must take a defense-in-depth, multivariate approach.
The ultimate goal is to implement a security solution that allows you to promote the positive collaborative value of Google Apps while minimizing the risk of accidental exposure of your most sensitive data assets. As an organization, you can create the conditions that reduce the likelihood of a data breach and ensure that if one does occur, it is discovered quickly and the damage can be limited.
In the end, there is a balance of collaboration and security in preventing data breaches and loss, it’s up to you as an organization to find the combination of software, solutions, and perhaps most importantly, partners who can bring the expertise to establish that balance.