Six Principles for Securing Sensitive Enterprise Content in a Hyper-Connected World
Author: Cliff White
To succeed in today’s hyper-connected world, businesses, governments and NGOs must enable easy online collaboration across the extended enterprise. Employees, suppliers, partners, investors, customers, doctors, patients, constituents and other stakeholders expect smooth online workflows enabled by simple, easy sharing of digital content—even when that information is highly confidential.
- Hospitals must provide lab results to doctors and patients directly over the Web
- Financial institutions must offer investors digital account statements and contracts
- Law Firms must share case information with outside counsel and clients
- Insurance companies must provide claim details to agents and policy holders
- Government agencies and contractors expect to share RFPs, contracts, and plans by email
- Global manufacturers share product designs and proprietary IP across international borders
While employees and their partners expect data privacy, regulators require it
Alongside these new requirements of transparency and immediacy are heightened concerns of privacy and security. The conflicting demands to both provide and protect this shared, sensitive information has led to a surge in regulatory compliance requirements, such as HIPAA, FISMA, 23 NYCRR 500, PCI and GDPR. While competitive organisations must provide easy online access to account statements, contracts, policies, health records, product designs and the like, they must also secure this highly sensitive data against unauthorised use and theft.
CISOs must enable secure online collaboration that balances the protection of sensitive content with the overwhelming need to share it. [source: Accellion secure file sharing and governance platform].
Balance data protection with the overwhelming need to share it
CISOs must enable secure online collaboration that balances the protection of sensitive content with the overwhelming need to share it, easing access while preventing breaches, ensuring privacy alongside transparency, and adhering to complex regulations without getting in the way of efficient communication. Each trade-off entails risks. These trade-offs require organisations to establish a secure content sharing channel that enables work across the extended enterprise and protects your most sensitive digital assets.
1. Visibility – begin with the end in mind through total visibility to all activity across your secure content sharing channel, including a CISO dashboard that provides a complete, real-time audit trail of all shared content
2. Security – prevent breaches while enabling workflows by implementing complex access rights and privileges across many user roles, including security integrations that allow consolidated access management through single sign-on and a directory service
3. Confidentiality – balance privacy with transparency with data encryption in motion and at rest; the more granular the governance, the greater your ability to enforce confidentiality and strike the right balance between privacy and transparency
4. Simplicity – eliminate shadow IT by providing simple secure file sharing, a secure communication channel for sharing sensitive content that is also incredibly simply and easy to use; simplicity is just as important as security
5. Uniformity – ensure nothing falls through the cracks with enterprise content access, connectors to content repositories that intercept, monitor, and manage file storage and retrieval requests; complex, varied storage locations increase the risk that sensitive information will leak undetected
6. Auditability – prevent regulatory compliance failures with complete auditability of all content, all content sharing, and all content-related systems, policies, and procedures.
In short, security, privacy, transparency, governance and compliance all rely on visibility. If you can’t see it, you can’t defend it.
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