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Insider Threats: 10 Ways To Protect Your Data

While IT focuses on outside threats, danger lurks from within -- your employees. Whether intentional or unintentional, data breaches resulting from workers mishandling data can be prevented. Here's a look at 10 ways it can be done effectively.
Restrict Copy/Transfer Of Data
Role-Based Authorization
Geo-Fencing And Time-Fencing
Improve Management Of M2M Accounts
Baseline Computing Behavior Of Employees
Encrypt Data At Rest And In Motion
Wipe Lost Or Stolen Devices
Destroy Unnecessary Data
Stop Using Production Data In Dev/Test Environments
Know Exactly What Vendors And Partners Are Doing On Your Network
Conclusion
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With so much attention placed on protecting corporate infrastructure from external threats, it often comes as a surprise to IT leadership that over 40% of data loss is the direct result of internal threats. While we must generally think of our employees as trusted individuals, their mishandling of data -- both intentional and unintentional -- is a tremendous risk in the world of IT security.

The situation is not helped by the changing ways workers are interacting with and handling data. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement has made employees lives much easier, now that they can perform work duties in ways that before were difficult and in places previously unreachable. But at the same time, BYOD has also introduced far more ways for data to leak out of IT's protective hands.

As a result, IT administrators must begin to think more seriously about internal machine-to-machine transactions -- and how they pose as much of a threat of data loss as employees do. The Internet of Things (IoT) will undoubtedly increase the risk of machine-account theft and usage. Adding to the risk is the fact that machine-account security standards are far less secure when compared with employee user accounts.

[Read 14 Security Fails That Cost Executives Their Jobs.]

Needless to say, simply preaching about employee education and patch management won't quite cut it in today's ever-growing problem of data loss, which, along with associated downtime, costs enterprise organizations around the world $1.7 trillion a year. IT security, with IT leadership championing the effort, must move well beyond the basics.

The following pages present 10 different ways your organization can help reduce the risk of internal data breaches. Most enterprises have likely implemented one or more of these security practices. But there might be some methods listed that many may not have thought of or seriously considered.

Take a look and tell us what you think of our list. Are there other data security measures that your organization uses? Let us know in the comments section below.

 
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