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Is Your Business Leaking Data?

Is Your Business Leaking Data?

Take a moment and consider the data that you have collected during your business’ operations. How valuable is it to you? What would it mean if it were to leak out of your business’ control?

Many businesses have had to deal with the negative ramifications of their data making its way out from under their protections and into the wild. If you want your own operations to continue without having to deal with any added complications, you need to make sure you can prevent your data from leaking out.

The first step is to understand just how many ways this leakage can occur.

The Three Kinds of Data Leaks

Each of the many means that data has to leave your control can be classified into one of three categories, based upon its level of activity. These categories are:

  • At Rest - This data is data that is effectively in storage, waiting to be accessed. If a cybercriminal steals your data from your database or from one of your workstations’ storage centers, your data was stolen while at rest.
  • In Transit - Naturally, if your data is stolen while in transit, it was intercepted as it traveled from one point to another. This can happen if sensitive information is left unprotected in an email or other web traffic - but more on that in a moment.
  • In Use - This kind of data leak is particularly insidious, as it takes place while the data being stolen is actively being used. This is often how insider threats are carried out, screenshots captured, and documents snatched from printers.

Securing Your Data Against Leaks

If you’re concerned about data leakage (as every business really should be), there are a variety of ways that you can make it a less likely risk for your operations.

Your first step should always be to educate your users about the risks that they potentially present to your business’ data. Sure, you may know what data is and isn’t able to be shared… but your employees may not. Making sure that your employees have some awareness of how data can leak out into the wild will help to reduce the chances of it happening due to their activities.

There are also a variety of information technology solutions that can help you prevent data leaks from influencing your business’ success.

Encryption
We’re starting out with the big one here - encryption protects any information that leaves your network by rendering it effectively indecipherable to anyone without the means of decrypting the data.

Content Filters
In addition to preventing certain threats from getting in, content filtering can also be used to prevent certain pieces of information from getting out by alerting the administrator when such a data transfer is attempted.

Access Control
The fewer people who have access to your data, the fewer chances there are for one of them to allow it to leak out of your business. Keeping data access to those who really need it will help cut down on your risk.

This has been but a brief list of ways to help prevent a data leak. For more assistance, reach out to the professionals at Data Net by calling (760) 466-1200.

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