There is an old saying that knowledge is power. In the age of smartphones, where everything is digital, data has become the equivalent of knowledge and power. The news is constantly filled with hacking, cyber criminals, identity and data theft and various other incidents. So why are bad things happening to good people? Or, from a business perspective, why are bad things constantly happening to good companies? To answer that question, let’s take a look at the most likely causes of data loss.
1. Uncontrolled use of USB and mobile devices
Although we live in the age of smartphones which are successfully helping employees to perform their job easier and that are dominating the workplace and personal lives, uncontrolled USB use can still pack a pretty good punch in the data loss prevention plan of a company. Data breaches caused by lost or stolen unencrypted USB storage devices are still among the top 3 reasons for such incidents worldwide.
2. Shadow IT
As the business environment and challenges are always changing, new cloud applications like file sharing, social media, and other collaboration tools are constantly being deployed throughout the organization. Speed and flexibility are the main reason for employees to use them without being sanctioned by IT departments, which find themselves in a constant battle to keep confidential file transfers under control and stop sensitive data from getting into the wrong hands.
3. Human Error
We might be talking about technology and smart devices but people are controlling them, fortunately (if technology ends up controlling us, we’re doomed, but that’s another discussion). Take for example the Snapchat breach. Someone pretending to be the company’s CEO requests the employees’ payroll information and rapidly receives it from an innocent, obedient employee who didn’t identify the e-mail as a scam. Graham Cluley explains in detail what happened in one of his famous videos.
If you’d like to read more about the importance of human error, one of our previous articles might interest you: Human Error Steve – the biggest data security threat
4. Smart devices
With an eye on the present and future, smart devices have the potential to be some of the biggest sources of data loss and data leakage. BYOD is no longer a buzzword and smartphones and tablets are part of any organization. Wearables are also becoming very popular and chances are that at least one of your colleagues has a wristband or smart watch. With them constantly connecting to the company networks, especially if they are company issued, the data they hold becomes very valuable and needs to be managed. For a bit more information on them, you can check out one of our recent infographics: Top Data Security Concerns for 2016+
Proactively addressing these 4 causes for data leakage and loss, you can stay ahead of the vulnerabilities and protect information in an incredibly dynamic context. And since we’ve started with a quote, let’s end on the same note. Bad things can happen, and often do – but they only take up a few pages of your story, and anyone can survive a few pages. Right? Would a data breach take just a few pages of your story or would it mean the end of the book?
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Data Loss Prevention Best Practices
Helping IT Managers, IT Administrators and data security staff understand the concept and purpose of DLP and how to easily implement it.