Do you know where all your valuable information resides in your organization? Do you know what valuable information resides in your organization? Not having a current data inventory can be devastating. Consider what could happen:
- Your datacenter is hit with a ransomware attack that encrypts and exfiltrates some amount of data from three of your servers and is threatening to publish the acquired data on the Internet unless a fee is paid. Unless you know what data is hosted on those machines, you may have to assume all the data on these systems was accessed and exposed. This typically includes the notification of all partners, customers, employees and will result in higher legal, communications, and public relations costs. Also the loss of customers and reputation risk is a common result.
- Your HR Director has just reported their laptop is now missing after a recent business trip. Unless you are absolutely certain what data resided on their machine and if the drives were encrypted, you cannot rest easy.
- The FBI has just informed you of a web breach that has been seen to be accessing multiple company systems and performing data transfers. Unless you know what type of data could have been compromised, you cannot begin to accurately enact your incident response plan.
Too often, companies involved in a cybersecurity incident lack the formal controls to identify what systems were accessed by hackers and which data files were encrypted or stolen. Not knowing, vastly complicates an existing incident response plan (IRP). Your response to a cybersecurity incident is held to the same universal truth as your core business – time is money. Time is an attribute you will not have immediately following a data breach or ransomware attack. The time of discovery is now, and there are many reasons why.
The Cost of Data Mobility
Companies are undergoing their digital transformations in order to increase their mobility and agility, but these attributes have a cost as well. Just as you may have the best of intentions to put your tools back in the proper place after every use, sometimes data gets temporarily deposited someplace forever. There is a big difference between where a data file should be located and where it actually is. In an era in which one can place a data file anywhere in the world at any given moment, lack of organization and discipline can wreak havoc in quick fashion. Proper file placement isn’t the only challenge however. Data duplication is a big problem for companies today as well. Multiple data versions of a file can result in poor data quality which leads to waste. In terms of cybersecurity, the attack surface of a file expands each time that file is copied to another location. The more copies that exist of a file, the higher the level of uncertainty and vulnerability for the data contained within that file.
Confirmation for Mergers and Acquisitions
In the case of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) for businesses, it has always been standard procedure to perform a financial audit of the targeted business. Today however, it is no longer enough to confirm the debits and credits involved. You need to verify the potential cybersecurity risks of that organization as well. The first step is to know what sensitive data assets they have and whether they have reasonable and appropriate controls to secure and monitor it. This is especially imperative for industries that must comply with strict regulatory compliances that exist for financial services, healthcare, or manufacturing.
For law firms or privacy attorneys, it is an even more daunting challenge to achieve privacy compliance for a client who does not know where all their sensitive information is located. The foundation of their data policies depend on this inventory, and they must do their due diligence to get as much information as possible to update their data inventory through sensitive data scanning.
Sensitive Data Scanning Provides Visibility
Should you experience a data breach or ransomware attack, you cannot begin to asses the situation at hand without an accurate inventory of your valuable data. This is the purpose of sensitive data scanning. Acquiring the services of a sensitive data scanning company provides the visibility you need to confirm how much sensitive data you have and where it is located. The process involves the use of software discovery tools in the hands of an experienced and trained professional in order to locate every sensitive data file within your enterprise as well as its copies that litter throughout. These intelligent-based discovery tools are programmed to seek out designated file types as and formatted numeric patterns such as credit card or Social Security numbers as will provide the ability to look for company specific intellectual property using custom search criteria Leveraging sensitive data scanning is an integral part of a cyber security strategy and recovery from an attack.
Best practice suggests organizations review their data inventory on a regular basis. With continuous changes in physical locations, systems, teams, and access to valuable information, it makes sense to update your data inventory documentation and management processes to ensure proper security.
Take a good look at your data. Do you feel your information catalogue is current? It may be time to re-evaluate your data management. Start the process to understand what you have. HALOCK can partner with you to conduct a thorough interview process to learn what types of data you work with and what we can expect to find. Through sensitive data discovery, we can help identify and locate your private information. We then analyze and compile our results into meaningful reports that your team can understand and act upon. We review these results with the company stakeholders and recommend strategies to remediate sensitive data we discover. HALOCK has the scanning technology to find your sensitive data, and the strategies on how to secure it for you.