I recently had the opportunity to write a series for TechRadar exploring data loss prevention. In part one of the series, "Don't leave your virtual filing cabinet open," I talk about how many companies, in a rush to make data easy to share and save, inadvertently leave their virtual filing cabinets wide open, providing a tantalising opportunity for hackers and other cybercriminals to access confidential corporate data.
There is no question that mobile devices are changing the way employees work. With laptops, tablets and smartphones, employees are doing more work remotely, at all hours, in a variety of on-the-go locations. The "always on" mentality means that employees are walking around with corporate data, stored or accessible, almost all the time - even if it's against corporate policy.
Spurred by the demand for accessible data, IT is barely able to keep up. Even if IT has appropriate security measures in place — employees will find creative (and often non-compliant) ways to move data around. They email files, save files to the cloud, save data to personal devices, and take corporate devices out of the office on a regular basis. Employees don't do these things with ill intents, but with a focus on productivity. Nonetheless, these behaviours put corporate data at risk.
In the article, I discuss how Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology can provide IT with the means to follow corporate data based on end user activity, blocking it or triggering flags for further investigation. DLP has had obvious benefits in IT for many years, though in recent years, many traditional DLP solutions (which were server-based) failed to keep up with mobility and BYOD.
The article discusses the importance of tracking devices once they're off the network, even if someone attempts to wipe the device. IT needs to have accurate status information for each device as well as the ability to monitor the movement of specific data - with tools like Absolute Manage and Absolute DLP, you can lock up your virtual filing cabinet.