In today's interconnected world, your company's reputation can be won or lost on the strength of your data security. Almost every day, you can read news reports about data breaches that expose confidential customer information. Credit card numbers, banking information, even home addresses and telephone numbers have been exposed by unscrupulous hackers and inattentive employees. Social network and online news outlets quickly spread the word of any potential breaches, exposing your company to public scrutiny and ridicule. Data breaches also expose your business to legal liability and sanctions. Once the data is out, there is no putting the cat back into the bag. You will be forced to explain what precautions you've taken, and why they didn't work. If you fail to meet any federal, state, or industry standards for data security, you could find yourself in a very precarious position.
Data breaches come about in a variety of ways. Many highly publicized exposures are the result of direct efforts by hackers. These hackers can have a variety of motivations, from purely financial to personal ideology, but the end result for your company is the same. If they get in, and get useful information, your bottom line and reputation can suffer irreparable harm.
Another infamous, but no less harmful, form of data loss can be caused by employee negligence. Lost laptops, misplaced flash drives, and low-quality passwords can all lead to data loss. A common thief who steals a notebook computer from a car may find himself in possession of your most sensitive data. Even though these exposures can't be directly attributed to any failure on your part, your business will still be responsible for a breach notification.
To adequately protect your data from all conceivable threats, you need to be protecting it with encryption and key management, which goes farther than just access prevention. A dedicated hacker or inattentive employee can circumvent the most secure firewall and bypass the most stringent security protocols. The only way to make sure your data is truly secure is to make sure that, no matter where it's located, it's useless to unauthorized personnel.
It's almost impossible to ensure that your sensitive data remains where you put it. Whether intentional or accidental, there is always the possibility that sensitive data will be removed from your site. The best defense against harmful data breaches is a comprehensive security protocol that utilizes data. When your data is properly encrypted, compliance regulations state that you aren’t responsible for a breach notification – because there is no useable data!
Townsend Security provides NIST-certified AES encryption for all major enterprise platforms and a FIPS 140-2 certified encryption key management hardware security module (HSM) – technology that will help you avoid a breach notification. There is no better way to securely store data and minimize your exposure.
Download our white paper "AES Encryption Strategies - A White Paper for the IT Executive" to learn more about key issues in data security, how to choose the right data security partner, and how to develope a strategy that insures early successes.