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Prevent Leakage Of Vital Information


Data protection strategies and policies are crucial to businesses today. For companies, keeping the information for internal use at the right time and place can be an effective weapon to combat competition. For other companies whose business depends on creating trust with their customers, keeping information safe is imperative.

Portable Devices

Devices like PDAs (personal digital assistants), MP3 players, portable US13 drives, digital video cameras and mobile phones with plenty of storage space have computer interfaces. So they can be easily connected to a PC in the company network, either via US13 or via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.. They can extract huge amounts of data from the PC, company network or file server - They can just as easily introduce a virus program into the corporate network. Solution - Enforcement which includes physically checking staff members for these devices and enforcing disciplinary actions against defaulters.

Knowledge

Corporate data is now kept in virtual files as e-mail attachments kept in PC folders, stored in CDs or disks, floating around in internal networks or in PC waste bins. Without proper controls, they can be stolen. The perpetrators can use digital cameras to capture screen shots or printouts or download large files onto MP3 players. What is worrying is that data thieves can unobtrusively send the data anywhere via their mobile phones, without anyone knowing what they are up to.

Solution - Corporate polices must clearly indicate that data must be kept in approved media, that paper information must be properly printed and stored or disposed of securely. There must also be strict control of access to information, which must be accessed and viewed in a controlled environment. Companies can use encryption, identity management and network management tools to do this.

Conduits

Today, employees have access to the Internet from their desks. Many also carry state-of-the-art mobile phones which have 3G-, Wi-Fi or Wi-Max (coming soon) capabilities. These capabilities are conduits an employee can use to connect to the outside world. What makes them a security risk is the fact that these connections bypass the "virtual" corporate boundary and often cannot be controlled. Solution - There must be a monitoring software to detect unauthorised devices connecting to the network. There must also be physical controls to prevent "data modem" devices from being brought into the workplace.
 

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