Protect Your Digital Assets with Unified Access to Enterprise Content Repositories
A highly secure downtown office building has multiple layers of security. Employees must show identification in order to get through the front door and their badges only grant them access to their assigned office suite. Sensitive information is locked up and only privileged users have keys. Businesses mitigate the threat of sabotage or theft when they centralize and restrict access to corporate assets. The same protections must be applied to your sensitive information, which are extremely susceptible to unauthorized access. Confidential data like customer records, financial statements and intellectual property must be closely guarded and restricted to privileged users. To complicate matters, privileged users increasingly include trusted external parties like vendors, suppliers, and consultants. Restricting access to sensitive information lets companies mitigate risky third-party workflow threats and shrink their threat surface.
Third-party workflow threats have a common theme: a user is the actor, and a file is the agent. Complete protection requires a defense that spans the full breadth of the associated threat surface: the collective paths of all files entering and exiting your organization. A comprehensive defense entails securing, monitoring, and managing all third-party workflows, including secure email, SFTP, and secure file sharing, among others.
In my last blog post, I discussed how essential it is to not only limit and secure third-party communication apps, but also make them easy to use without sacrificing productivity or compliance. In today’s post, I’ll examine how unifying access to enterprise content repositories provides an internal security checkpoint allowing you to protect your organization’s most valuable information.
Establish a Secure Internal Perimeter Around Your Content Repositories
To reduce the threat surface of your third-party workflows, you must establish a secure internal perimeter around your sensitive content by unifying access to all enterprise content stores. Otherwise, sensitive files can leak out undetected and files containing malicious code can worm their way in. Unified enterprise content access reduces complexity and provides an internal security checkpoint to protect your most valuable data, whether it’s stored in on-premises ECM systems like SharePoint or OpenText, cloud storage repositories like Box, Dropbox and OneDrive, or network file shares. In addition, granular permissions and content scans ensure that only authorized files are downloaded and sent externally, and only safe files are uploaded and stored internally.
Confidential data like customer records, financial statements and intellectual property must be closely guarded and restricted to privileged users. Restricting access lets companies mitigate risky third-party workflow threats and shrink their threat surface. [source: Accellion secure content communication platform]
While few CISOs would argue against consolidating their digital assets, they will hesitate when it requires a large scale and costly migration that threatens to disrupt business workflows. Viable alternatives include deploying a secure file sharing solution with connectors into select content repositories or segregating sensitive content from less sensitive content within those repositories.
Unified Access Should Be Privileged But Not Daunting
Unified access won’t matter if users have to jump through too many hoops to get to the content. If your content systems are too hard to access, employees will look for easier and inevitably less secure options. For example, if your employees have to use their key to get through three doors and a file cabinet to access confidential documents, they’ll be tempted to make a copy of the document and keep it in their desk – a likely egregious security violation. Make it easy for users to securely access and share confidential information with trusted partners. If these systems can be accessed without requiring a VPN, even better.
In my next post, I’ll explain why the cheapest option for storing your sensitive content is far from your best option. Unless you resist the lure of low cost cloud storage for your confidential documents, a data breach could cost you your business.