3 Steps to Unsharing and Protecting Sensitive Data

Last updated: 16 May 2016

In today’s global economy, data is king. Organizations are mining their available data to personalize customer experiences, automate processes, outperform the competition, and guide other important business initiatives and decisions. As a result, they’re not only producing more of it, but they’re also storing, processing, and distributing it in more places.

Unshare and Encrypt Your Data ImageSo what does that mean to you as an IT or security professional? Your company’s data is everywhere – literally. Like it or not, we live in a world of sharing, and sometimes we share a little more than we should. Of course, we’re not only referring to those photos from last week’s happy hour that you were tagged in on Facebook, this also includes what is happening with your organization’s high-value assets and information.

With the possibility of sensitive data being stored, sliced and diced, and shared outside of your control, you must have a way to keep it safe, especially in cloud and multi-tenant environments. Approved users and processes need to be able to leverage the data that’s available, while you ensure any sensitive information, such as company financials, personally identifiable information, and intellectual property, remains on lock down wherever it resides.

We call this unsharing your data.

If you don’t have a plan to secure your data in today’s shared environments, it’s time to take action. Follow these three steps to start unsharing and protecting your sensitive data today:   

First, locate your sensitive data.  Identify where your most sensitive assets reside at rest in your on premises data center and move to your extended data center which includes virtual and public cloud environments. Search everything – your storage and file servers, applications, databases, and virtual machines. Don’t overlook the data in motion flowing across your network and between data centers.

Next, encrypt it. The encryption solution you deploy should meet two core requirements. It should apply protection and controls that sit with the data itself, and allow you to define who and what can access the data once it is encrypted. A true, enterprise-ready solution will enable you to protect data in motion moving across your network and infrastructure, and data at rest at every layer of the technology stack across on-premises, virtual, public cloud, and hybrid environments. You should be able to encrypt data at scale and in a centralized, unified way that does not disrupt the flow of business.

Finally, own and manage your keys. Don’t forget enterprise key management. By managing and storing your keys centrally, yet separate from the data, you maintain control and ownership of both the data and keys. The solution you choose should also provide comprehensive logging and auditing capabilities so you can easily report access to protected data and keys. Check out the Crypto Foundation page to learn more.

With data security in the headlines, your executive team is likely taking notice and turning to you to ease their concerns. You’re in the spotlight, but don’t worry. We have your back, and can deliver the know-how and solutions you need to keep your sensitive data safe, even in the event of a breach.

Visit our website today to learn how to protect and unshare your sensitive data and access a growing library of encryption resources, including the new encryption eBook, Encrypt Everything: How to unshare and secure your sensitive data wherever it resides.

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