Both issues tied to compliance and the ever-growing list of compliance regulation acronyms (HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOX, etc.) are constantly on the minds of the IT folks who must meet tough mandates and complicated rules.
Meeting compliance requirements can be daunting, especially with so many in place today and the thousands of possible routes to meet them all.
So, what can you do to silence the nagging feeling your organization's not meeting compliance requirements?
Unfortunately, the reason we must now expend so much effort on compliance is the criminal (or clumsy) actions of others. Somewhere along line, a few malicious malcontents just had to succumb to the voice of greed and abuse their technological skill sets. All IT professionals' jobs are tougher thanks to those that, through hacking, exploiting, or simply exposing data sources, chose to steal and sell inadequately secured information.
The truth is, though, that all data contains sensitive information and we live in a mistrustful world where colossal damage can be done with a simple phishing email.
In response to the cries of outrage among impacted citizens and consumers, politicians worldwide passed legislation designed to protect the data entering any organization's databases.
Three Types of Data Protection
Because IT is typically responsible for a company's data, they are usually the ones carrying the brunt of the burden needed to stay abreast of how data protection laws apply (although organizations are, thankfully, realizing that data protection is a company-wide effort). IT therefore also needs to fully understand and implement the three types of data protection: physical, transitional, and procedural.
Physical data protection is probably the easiest to carry out. We secure the data on our servers, backup tapes and offsite facilities with technologies such as passwords, drive encryption, backup encryption, data center surveillance, physical locks, etc. We spare no expense in securing the physical because we can see it and believe it is secured. Or so we think.
Transitional protection is a little more difficult. Any data files that leave our networks should be secured with managed FTP solutions that encrypt the files with SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS, PGP, and other protocols. Firewalls are set up to control what can leave or enter our data domain. DMZ secure gateways are set up to increase the virtual protection of the data and still allow designated users access to it.
Learn More: DMZ Secure Gateways: Secret Weapons for Data Security
Procedural security is a type of data protection that is least understood and implemented. A clear and understandable security policy needs to be communicated to the end users so they become familiar with sensitive data is secured, and what consequences may loom if procedures aren't followed.
Related Reading: How to Revamp Your Organization's Cybersecurity Program
Protecting Your Data
The majority of us in IT are protective about who has access to our own sensitive data, so we can understand the reason for protecting everyone else, too.
With this necessity comes the need to know who has data
access, how much access they have, and how they’re viewing, sending, and otherwise
interacting with it. Using a tool that provides insight to these questions,
alongside built-in auditing and reporting systems, can quiet those nagging
fears about data access and usage. Plus, those features often help with compliance
Discover how you can meet various compliance requirements with GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer, a secure FTP solution that helps achieve data security.