What privacy issues began with a few high-profile celebrities has turned into a laundry list of famous folks whose phones (and selfies) have been hacked and exposed across the Internet. Leaked photos of Oscar winners and pro wrestlers alike continue to make headlines. It all reinforces the critical need for data security in both our private lives and in our workplace.  Selfie privacy

Businesses in particular should acknowledge the importance of these privacy breaches in highlighting the rise in cyber attacks and growing risks of theft and data loss. Data has value and will always be a target for would-be hackers and adversaries. But data is also the lifeblood of most organizations. Managing risk by recognizing and shoring up points of vulnerability is the difference between using data as a competitive advantage and being the victim of a catastrophic data loss.

Data that is safely locked away in business systems can be protected by establishing IT security controls. Data that is moving beyond the firewall introduces risk factors into the equation that can be difficult, if not impossible, to control.

For businesses that are forced to deal with compliance and legal implications, transferring information is even more complicated. Many businesses are turning to a managed file transfer (MFT) system. This system enables the reliable and secure transfer of files between third parties across the Internet. MFT offers end-to-end encryption, guaranteed delivery, and centralized logging to allow administrators to always know where files are located, with accuracy.

Unlike traditional or manual file transfer options, MFT incorporates much higher levels of security, scalability, integration, reporting and other features. With MFT, organizations can bring order, predictability and security to file movement. This improves business performance and reduces risk. (Check out “5 Must-Haves for File Transfer Compliance” to learn more about a clear framework to improve compliance processes and infrastructure in borderless enterprises.)

Ensuring that files arrive at the intended destination securely and without incident will never create the level of excitement generated by the news of celebrity hacks. That is a good thing. Avoiding security related headlines is the goal of every organization. The results of a breach or hack can be devastating from both a financial and reputation perspective. Anyone who doubts this need look no further than Sony or Home Depot. So when it comes to securing critical assets in motion and keeping intellectual property under organizational control, MFT should find its way onto everyone’s A-list.

 

 

On January 28th, the U.S. and many countries around the world join to celebrate Data Privacy Day. The annual celebration of Data Privacy Day is intended to promote awareness about how information is collected and to educate individuals of all ages about best privacy practices.  In today’s digital world, where we submit a vast amount of personal information on the web, we need to know how to protect our key information and ask the questions ‘Who is collecting this data?’ and ‘What are they doing with it?’

The National Cyber Security Alliance offers many resources for teens and young adults, as well as parents and kids in hopes of raising privacy issues at home, in the classroom, and throughout businesses.  Visit Staysafeonline.org to explore these educational resources and to spread awareness about Data Privacy Day!

Here at Ipswitch, the WhatsUp Gold offers many products, resources, and tools to help protect the infrastructure of your business and to guard against security threats and loss of key information. Learn more about solutions available from WhatsUp Gold.

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Here’s a great article by Brian O’Connell of CPA Site Solutions on how to deal with email security difficulties.  The context of the article is from the perspective of the accounting industry, but I’d say it’s an extremely universal topic that actually impacts almost every kind of company today.

The premise of the article is that email is generally accepted as a dependable way to communicate and share files…. And then he points out that in reality, email isn’t very safe.  Sound familiar?  – And for you encrypted email lovers out there (you know who you are), I’d like to quickly mention that while encryption can make it harder to open an email or attachment, it does nothing to prevent it from being intercepted.

Brian draws a very important difference between “security” and “privacy” that I want to highlight.

“Privacy is the shield that protects a person’s identity while actively sharing information via the web.

Where privacy is about keeping the door locked, security is about the lock itself.

Security is the actual online authentication and authorization protocols that networks use to protect information and the audit system used to verify the overall system’s effectiveness.”

While I agree that the distinction is important, I’d also like to point out that an organization must protect both the security and privacy of confidential information in order to comply with the growing number of data protection laws and compliance mandates.   I wouldn’t worry too much about the distinctions, but instead focus on the need to have visibility and governance over all files, data and information that are being shared both within your company and also externally with business partners and customers.