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The Invisible Hole in Your Data Security

Anne Bisagno

96 SECOND READ

Data security is about a lot more than just passwords and firewalls. You may be overlooking serious risks to your business simply because you don't realize they're risky.

 

One current IT trend is a perfect example: allowing your employees to use their own smartphones and tablets on your corporate network. Letting employees access business information on personal devices wouldn't be so popular if it didn't have obvious benefits. On the other hand, it also has some potential drawbacks you may not have considered.

Imagine one of your employees losing a smartphone to a street thief. It shouldn't take a huge stretch of imagination -- smartphone-related street crime is growing nationwide and now accounts for more than half of all robberies in San Francisco. (In fact, one of our own team members was recently waiting at a bus stop when someone ran up and snatched an iPhone from the hands of the person standing next to her.)
Now, imagine your employee emailed himself an unencrypted document containing sensitive data like banking information, health records, or Social Security numbers. He intended to retrieve and work on it later on a secured laptop, but all his email gets pushed to his now-stolen smartphone, too. That document is now out of your company's control.

Granted, most thieves simply wipe stolen devices and resell them, but money and business secrets aren't the only things you could lose. With privacy laws requiring you to disclose the loss of confidential information, you now face potential fines for noncompliance -- not to mention the hit to your company's reputation.

Theft shouldn't be your only worry, either. What if you're accused at a trade show of trying to steal a competitor's business secrets by taking photos with the personal phone you also use for business? If your accusers seize your phone to copy its contents, they now have access to all your personal and corporate data. If you refuse to turn over your phone, your competitor may sue and subpoena its contents, which puts your company at risk of both a data breach and a hefty legal bill.

Security breaches often happen for one of these reasons:

1. You didn't follow your own data security policies.
2. Your data security policies aren't reasonable or realistic.
3. You don't have data security policies to begin with.

Let Xantrion help. We'll work with you to find the holes in your data security, patch them, and create security policies that make sense for the needs of your business. Contact us today to schedule an assessment.

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