chris-walker

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap

You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your content in the cloud is dangerous. The truth is that top tier cloud storage is more secure than most organizations’ on-premises data centers. Consider that most of the high profile data breaches have been on on-premises data centers.

During an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) assessment project, I mentioned to a client (in Canada) that I was willing to bet that some of their users were using consumer file sharing services. There were noddings of heads, murmurs of assent, and an “OMG how does he know?

cloud-client-shocked

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

In a meeting less than five hours after I mentioned it, an executive from one of the stakeholder groups got a call from security stating that her team was violating policy by using a well known consumer grade file sync and share (FSS). This client had deployed an ECM platform; one of the key drivers for the platform was sharing of content among collaborators. Consumer grade FSS services were not supposed to be necessary. One of the key inhibitors is Citrix.

What Options?

cloud-cloudtweaks-comicSo, what do the users do? They email documents to each other. They store stuff on local drives. They get laptops with intellectual property and personal information stolen, and can’t wipe the laptops or recover the content. They use cloud services to store sensitive information. And security struts around proudly thinking they’ve done something. They have; they’ve created a security hole bigger than the one they tried to plug with Citrix.

I mentioned to the client that they may want to use an Enterprise File Syncing and Sharing (EFSS) service. Their Director of IT Infrastructure told me that the executives were scared of any cloud service that stores data in the U.S. because of the PATRIOT act. Really? Do they not know that Canada has an equally odious piece of legislation? Do they not realize that if the U.S. government wants to get at stuff in Canadian data centres they will? And dig this … some of the better known cloud providers have been working on tools that would let the customer (that’s you, btw) maintain control of, and access to, encryption keys. No more sneak attacks by the government. Hey, they can still come to you and ask, but at least you’ll know, no? Can you imagine!?!

Blocking access to file sharing services doesn’t work. People will find other ways to connect (e.g.: phones make great wi-fi access points) or email documents around.

Instead of blocking access to consumer services, IT and security ought to:

  1. find out why staff is using the services in the first place;
  2. identify and provision SECURE enterprise grade services;
  3. develop appropriate policies for using EFSS services, including remedial action for violating the policies.

If staff are using consumer services to share business content, it’s a pretty safe bet something is wrong with the corporately provided tools. Fix them.

Part of the fix may actually be to provision EFSS to staff. Think about this for a moment; EFSS providers make money by providing a secure way for people to share content and collaborate.

How do you make money? What’s your core strength?

By Chris Walker

Chris Walker

Chris is an independent consultant that is involved in the Information and Content Management space. Chris is also a prominent keynote speaker and writer who has published articles on sites such as CMS Wire and Tech Target.

View Website
The Key To Improving Business Lies In Eye-Interaction Tech

The Key To Improving Business Lies In Eye-Interaction Tech

Eye-Interaction Technology Analysts at Goldman Sachs predict virtual reality revenue will surpass TV within the next decade. More than just ...
Death of Traditional Enterprise Storage

Death of Traditional Enterprise Storage

Traditional Enterprise Storage Back in 2003, Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black, two engineers working for Amazon.com, proposed a dramatic overhaul ...
The Economics, Concepts and Fundamentals of Cloud Computing

The Economics, Concepts and Fundamentals of Cloud Computing

Fundamentals of Cloud Computing Addressing security concerns of the Public Cloud Enthusiasm for cloud computing has as much to do ...
Cloud Services Providers - Learning To Keep The Lights On

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

The True Meaning of Availability What is real availability? In our line of work, cloud service providers approach availability from ...
Data Analytics and Human Heuristics: How to Avoid Making Poor Decisions

Data Analytics and Human Heuristics: How to Avoid Making Poor Decisions

The “hot hand,” a metaphor applied frequently to the game of basketball, is the idea that a basketball shooter, after ...
Malware Will Cripple Cloud And IoT Infrastructure If Not Contained

Malware Will Cripple Cloud And IoT Infrastructure If Not Contained

The Malware Cloud Concern This year we’ve had two cyber attacks in which malware was used to cripple government computer ...
Amazon, MLB add machine-learned stats to cloud deal

Amazon, MLB add machine-learned stats to cloud deal

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will provide a new set of real-time statistics and graphics on live baseball games later this season, expanding its cloud computing deal with U.S. Major League Baseball, the two ...
Protect Your Small Business

2.3 Billion Account Credentials Compromised from 51 Organizations in 2017; New Research Shows Breadth of Breach Impacts

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Shape Security, the provider of advanced security and fraud technology for the world’s largest companies, today released its second annual Credential Spill Report, shedding light on the extent ...
Kodak Bitcoin mining 'scam' evaporates

Kodak Bitcoin mining ‘scam’ evaporates

The company behind a Kodak-branded crypto-currency mining scheme has confirmed the plan has collapsed. In January, a Bitcoin mining computer labelled Kodak KashMiner was on display on Kodak's official stand at the CES technology show ...