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Sensitive data often follows former employees out the door

Andy Patrizio | April 28, 2017
Almost 70 percent of employees take data on their way out. Here's how to stop it.

"Instead of being Big Brother, you put up walls and shut down avenues that people use to take the info," Kelley says. However, he cautions that one area where that approach could backfire is when firms prevent writing to USB drives. People in sales may put a presentation or samples on a thumb drive, for instance, so write restrictions could be a nuisance for some employees.

Since no enterprise is going to block cloud storage completely, there needs to be better policy enforcement for sanctioned and unsanctioned apps, Narayanaswamy says. Firms can use a cloud access broker to implement a data classification program, segmenting data as important to one group or individual but not others and paving the way for a contextual access policy.

But perhaps the most critical factor relates to data policies and the human element - something that many companies don't handle well, according to Kelley.

"Companies are not good at communication," he says. "It's important to understand that in order to protect their information properly, they need proper written policies in place. Those policies need to be communicated to the employees. They need feedback from employees to find out if they are slowing down business. You're not just going to have just a tech solution."

Narayanaswamy is a bit more cynical about this.

"How many employees really read the policy and are aware of it? Probably not a lot," he says. "Here's where tech can help. If there are apps with sensitive data and you see unusual activity in terms of downloading the data, you can put up warning screens to remind them this is sensitive data and ask why they are doing it."

Source: CIO Australia

 

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