IT security is tough, and just when organizations believe they have covered all possible threats others emerge that require immediate attention.
And so it is with the need to secure endpoints, those myriad of devices each capable of storing corporate secrets, social security numbers, names, addresses and other private details, and each capable of being lost or stolen.
There is no doubt that laptops, removable media, handheld organizers, smartphones, memory sticks and cell phones all improve business productivity and their sensible use can only be encouraged.
In light of the increase in use of endpoint devices it is the role of business to understand the costs of not securing these productivity tools and the impact of an endpoint security breach on profits, reputation and personal executive liabilities. Data protection is now a strategic imperative and the purchase of a solution will increasingly be made by business executives.
Similarly, it is the role of IT security to step up to the mark and support the safe and secure use of these business tools using a cost effective strategic approach, rather than tactical end point solutions that address the problem piece meal.
This paper explores the protection of enterprise data on endpoint devices. Key recommendations include:
- Understand the cost of mandatory disclosure following private information data loss. Remediation is expensive and reputational damage difficult to recover from. Preventing data loss is more cost effective than dealing with the aftermath of an incident.
- Educate the business to take steps to secure endpoints from physical loss or damage. Any solution is only as strong as its weakest link.
- Ensure key executives understand the governance, compliance and regulatory framework that will affect them should a data loss occur.
- Encrypting key data so that any loss will become irrelevant.
- Put in place a solution that will prevent data leaking in the first instance.
- Adopt a strategic approach to solving this problem. Central management of a full suite of data loss and leakage prevention tools is key to a cost effective solution.
- Select a solution vendor that has a clear and demonstrable history of building and deploying strategic endpoint protection solutions.