Managing Data Security and Privacy

We all know the advantages of Cloud computing for businesses. With Cloud, you are at liberty to access everything anywhere. When traveling to an offsite destination, you can access everything that your employees do at the office. In addition, you are able to access information from all mobile devices.

And even though data security is high in cloud, even the cloud is not 100% safe from the threat of data breaches and security attacks. Human error, poor passwords, weakened password security, staff accidentally deleting files, BYOD (Bring your Own Devices) that are left unattended without locking, misplacing them, sharing files without proper encryption software installed etc., are some of the ways by which an organization’s and thereby their client’s data are left to chances of compromise.

Let’s see some of the predictions for 2016 by AppRiver’s security analysts:

  • The Internet of things (IOT): With wearable tech, mobile devices and payment portals all syncing together, one breach gains entry to considerable amounts of data. When vulnerabilities exist in any popular OS, and hackers know about them, it is only a matter of time before they are exploited
  • Bring your own device (BYOD): While it saves costs, allows employees the flexibility to work from anywhere and to choose their own devices, BYOD makes security policies, such as updates and patches, cumbersome to implement and nearly impossible to enforce since the security rests in employee hands. With these combined factors, attacks targeted at businesses through their employees’ personal devices is likely to increase

Avoiding data and privacy breaches is of utmost importance for organizations and even the remote possibilities for such instances would be intolerable for such businesses who rely upon their customer’s or client’s satisfaction.

And this is what’s happening now in the corporate world with Apple taking on FBI in defending their customer user privacy policy.

Apple vs FBI

The recent FBI request for Apple to create a backdoor that would allow the government to access the phone of the San Bernardino shooter (the attack On December 2, 2015, which killed 14 people and seriously injured 22, the deadliest in the U.S. since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and also the worst terrorist attack to occur in the U.S. since the September 11 attacks), and Apple’s refusal to unlock San Bernardino Shooter’s Phone is a highly debated topic on customer privacy breach.

On February 9, 2016, the FBI announced that it was unable to unlock an iPhone 5C cellphone they recovered, used by one of the shooters, due to its advanced security features. And FBI is asking Apple, to write a code for a new tool that would be able to eliminate security controls put in place on the iOS operating system.

Apple refused to unlock the phone, due to its policy to never undermine the security features of its products. The FBI responded by successfully applying to a federal judge to issue a court order.

Apple announced their intent to oppose the court order (which ruled in favor of FBI, mandating Apple to create and provide the requested software), citing that the security risks that the creation of a backdoor would pose towards their customers. It also stated that no government had ever asked for similar access.

Meanwhile companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook and organizations like EFF, ACLU along with a horde of privacy activists, stand by Apple.

Data breaches of 2015

Anthem, Premera, LastPass, Ashley Madison, Experian and the Office of Personnel Management were some of the biggest breaches of 2015. The data breach resulted in more than 18 million current and former federal employees’ records being breached, while the insurance company breaches resulted in more than 90 million patients’ health records being compromised.

No matter how efficient and effective a tool you have, if you don’t know how to use it or if it’s in the wrong hands, the tool becomes nothing to be desired for.

Stats shows more companies aligning with MSPs to combat security challenges

According to the Webroot 2015 SMB Threat Report, 81% of SMB respondents agreed outsourcing cybersecurity to MSPs would improve their bandwidth for addressing other tasks.

Organizations have to be assured that their mission-critical data and applications are protected from network and cybersecurity threats which is the first line of defense that has to be ensured. Failing which only, mitigating the effects come into play through BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) solutions and business continuity programs.

According to a 2016 SMB IT survey by Clutch (a B2B research firm), the results of a survey of 402 small business owners and their attitudes regarding IT service providers revealed that

  • 69% of the respondents hire a managed IT service provider, a proportion that is relatively consistent across company size
  • 39% of small businesses working with service providers plan to increase their spending in 2016

Managed IT services providers takes care to keep their clients’ data secure at all times by closely monitoring their network to avoid several threats like spams, phishing, malwares, data breaches and comes up with ways to enhance cybersecurity.

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