Achieving Enterprise File Security In A Mobile World

Posted by Ankur Panchbudhe on June 29 2015

Achieving Enterprise File Security In A Mobile WorldToday, there are more mobile devices than people in the worldwith these gadgets multiplying at a rate five times faster than humans.

Given the sheer volume and frequency of file access and sharing via mobile devices across the enterprise today, security-minded IT departments need to work hard to stay ahead of the curve. Digital rights management (DRM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) technology are now essential for IT departments worldwide.

When enterprise files move beyond the corporate network in the mobile era, a lot can go wrong if you’re unprepared.

We’re all more connected to information faster than ever. Mobile devices and third-party apps are used to consume an ever-increasing amount of information.

For the enterprise, this means the way end users expect to access and share data is defaulting toward the quickest and most convenient means, such as sharing files via Skype and Dropbox or through social media. These exchanges are so prevalent that it’s a challenge for IT chiefs worldwide to control how enterprise data is shared, stored and manipulated.

This in turn creates an equal number of points from which data can be leaked, lost or stolen, plus many additional security issues that CIOs, CISOs and other IT executives must prepare for.

Enterprise File Security: What’s At Stake?

Imagine a large insurance company using a network of agents to serve as points of contact for its clients. On behalf of the insurer, these agents collect various personally identifiable information (PII) such as banking data, social security numbers and documentation.

As data is passed between clients, agents and the insurance company, the potential for data loss, leakage or theft rises with each exchange. This possibility grows because the insurance company has inadequate policies for regulating data sharing beyond its network. Some agents use FTP servers to send and share files, while others send clients’ PII via email, sometimes over open wireless networks.

What’s wrong with scenario?

With no rules or technology in place to ensure data is safeguarded as it travels beyond the corporate network, the insurer could be complicit in an episode of data loss, leakage or theft. Especially if PII is involved, the enterprise might face fines, legal action or other penalties, not to mention a damaged reputation.

To avoid facing the consequences of data loss or leakage, enterprises must consider the mechanisms in place to protect information not just within the corporate network, but beyond it as well. 

The most effective option for protecting data as it gets sent and shared beyond the corporate network is to implement DRM and EMM protocols into your information security architecture.

 The State Of Data Today

The way data is distributed across the enterprise is changing. The sheer volume of data produced — some 2.5 quintillion bytes daily — is staggering. According to IBM, 90 percent of the data in the world today was created in the last two years. 

Amid this critical mass of data, the inevitable has occurred: decentralization. With more data moving into the cloud via affordable public and private cloud storage and networking options, people are relying less on traditional databases such as physical file servers and mail servers.

Decentralized data is so pronounced partly because about two-thirds of all the information created is unstructured; so much data is created through assorted endpoints and end users, resulting in a disparate tangle of information that’s more difficult to manage and apply policies on.

As more enterprise data is decentralized, the number of points at which data can leave the enterprise’s control grows. Examples include someone physically losing a mobile device containing enterprise data, or something less tangible, such as an unwitting end user compromising the integrity of enterprise file security through insecure file sharing processes, like sending sensitive or proprietary information without the protection of DRM and EMM.

Tools like DRM and EMM go a long way toward helping IT teams bolster enterprise file security, but tools are only one part of the solution. A complete enterprise file security solution requires a paradigm shift that focuses on protecting data, rather than the device it’s on. Once you change your mindset, you’ll be able to get the most value out of your enterprise file security tools.

Ready to learn more about how enterprise DRM could benefit your organization? Download your free copy of DRM, EMM & You: Controlling Data Beyond The Corporate Network.  

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