Data loss prevention strategies for hybrid working
The past year has led to an evolution in not only how we think about work, but more importantly, where work gets done. For many, a fragmented hybrid workforce has become the new normal, vastly expanding the threat landscape and making it more challenging to secure data and IT infrastructure for companies.
With the shift to remote work, people are creating, storing, and sharing data in new ways. Collaboration and productivity are critical to getting work done, but you still need to ensure that the data remains safe wherever it is.
When considering cybersecurity threats, we often think of external threats and attacks. After all, when these incidents occur, they make headlines. However, recent studies clearly indicate external bad actors aren’t the most critical risk. A company’s employees often pose a more prominent cybersecurity threat. A small human error by an employee can cause severe damage to the brand. Employees commonly and inadvertently compromise company data through poor password hygiene, accidental data sharing, improper technology use, phishing scams, and more. Any such data leak can cause both monetary as well as reputational damage to the brands.
By embracing defensive best practices, every organization can significantly reduce the risk of the hybrid working model.
Deploying a comprehensive DLP strategy
Enabling a comprehensive and flexible approach to data loss prevention solutions is one of the most important ways to protect your data, during these times of remote working. DLP solutions are easy to install and deploy. By implementing an endpoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution, organizations can protect sensitive data regardless of an endpoint's physical location. It protects all types of data, at both managed and unmanaged points, regardless of where it is accessed and who is accessing it. Such solutions are deployed on each endpoint, providing content discovery, preventing data leakage through storage devices as well as safeguarding data when a device is outside the corporate network.
Our new normal of Remote work makes DLP crucial practice as employees WFH for the foreseeable future.
It’s likely that more than a third of your workforce never update their account passwords. Since billions of login credentials have been compromised in the past several years, this is an obvious vulnerability with an easy solution. Prompting employees to regularly update account passwords can keep bad actors out, and simple on-screen prompts reduces risk in a meaningful way.
At the same time, enabling readily available security features such as two-factor authentication can prevent threat actors from accessing data even when armed with the correct login information.
Use a VPN Service with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
It’s always a good idea to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing your company’s network remotely. A VPN provides an encrypted communication channel between the employee’s device and the server to which it is connecting too.
Likewise, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) should always be used where possible. MFA provides a more robust authentication process as it requires additional factors, such as something you know, something you are, or something you have. However, most VPNs require a traditional username and password combination, which can easily be guessed or stolen. Since attackers are often looking to obtain VPN credentials through brute-force, social engineering, or some other means, it is a good idea to use a VPN service that provides MFA.
Train everyone to secure data
Most people want to be a part of the data security solution. Training all employees to manage data effectively, identify phishing scams, and protect their accounts turns your entire workforce into a defensive asset rather than an extensive liability.
In this strange time, where companies are entering uncharted waters in the form of the largest work-from-home experiment in history, it will be impossible to account for every threat in this ever-evolving landscape. However, that doesn’t mean that they are powerless.
Many cybercriminals are not inventing new attack methodologies. Instead, they are targeting organizations that can’t or won’t keep up with best practices, exploiting their ineptitude for their own benefit.