4 data crimes you don’t need to commit

Picture a crime scene after a break-in. The images in your mind might include broken windows, shattered glass and signs of a struggle. Does that vision change if you learn the break-in took place virtually, affecting the contents of a data center – instead of a home?

When a data breach occurs, there’s no physical evidence left behind. The organization may not experience the full ramifications of the event for days, weeks or months. If there’s a hostage situation involved, data, not humans, are held for ransom. Business and IT leadership, in turn, tend to view security breaches in abstract terms, rather than hard crimes against the organization. As a result, organizations risk underestimating the severity and resounding effects of security risks.

In a recent white paper, Intellyx Principal Analyst Charles Arujo discusses how organizations can combat cybersecurity risks by thinking about them in real-world terms. By understanding specific vulnerabilities and how they could negatively affect your organization, you prepare your team to build and execute prevention, response and recovery plans. For example, consider some of the major data security risks within today’s landscape:

Grand IP theft: If current or former employees are stealing intellectual property or external agents are securing privileged access to proprietary data, approach data theft with the mindset you’d apply to a stolen car: keep your doors locked and get insurance before you come to regret it.

Digital extortion: Ransomware is a hostage situation, but it’s your data that faces the risks. As you gauge whether to pay your attackers and recover from the incident, don’t lose sight of the factors that led to its occurrence.

Indecent data exposure: Data is abundant and prevalent in today’s workplace – and your staff might be desensitized to its need for monitoring and protection. Educate your employees about how to avoid exposing sensitive information through inattention, carelessness or outright malfeasance.

Data trespassing: If an employee backs up his iTunes library to a company-owned laptop, it may seem like an innocent breach of rules. However, such actions can snowball into more serious incidents, and even minor rule violations represent unauthorized use of your team’s organizational assets. Establish strict data use policies to avoid unknowingly introducing malware or sensitive assets to your environment.

From a business perspective, the effects of the above data “crimes” can be just as significant as physical actions taken against your organization – or more so. With the average cost of an enterprise security breach now coming close to $1 million, don’t take a chance on something as serious as security and protection for your sensitive data.

Is your system at risk of a data crime? Find out with a free security assessment.

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John Joseph

John Joseph

President and co-founder of DataGravity, John Joseph leads company’s sales, marketing, operations and customer initiatives. John previously served as vice president of marketing and product management at EqualLogic, leading these functions from the company's initial launch through the successful acquisition by Dell in 2008. He subsequently served as vice president of enterprise solutions, marketing at Dell for three years after the acquisition.