The Perimeter Defense Delusion
For years, businesses have fortified their digital perimeters with firewalls, anti-malware software,
and intrusion detection systems. While these measures are essential, they alone are not foolproof. The reality is that as cyber threats evolve, so must our approach to security. The perimeter is no longer just the physical boundary of an organization; it extends to wherever the data resides or is consumed.
The Multi-Cloud Enterprise
“A recent report reveals that more than 80% of enterprises surveyed have a multi-cloud strategy and nearly that number (78%) already have workloads deployed in more than three public clouds.” CIO.com
The proliferation of multi-cloud strategies among enterprises, has led to an unprecedented dispersion of data across various platforms. This fragmentation of data storage, spanning across multiple clouds and local repositories, not only complicates management but also significantly amplifies the challenge of maintaining robust security. As data continuously migrates across these varied environments, the protection it requires often falls through the cracks, leaving enterprises scrambling to plug these security gaps with a myriad of point solutions.
A significant portion of cybersecurity strategies involves training end users. From onboarding training to annual refreshers, businesses invest heavily in educating their employees on best practices. These trainings, often seen as a checklist item, range from informative videos (often sped up to save time) to tests designed to lodge protocols into short-term memory. The common refrain is "do this, don't do that," placing a heavy onus on employees to remember and adhere to these protocols.
However, there's a glaring issue: the human element. Despite the best training, passwords end up on post-its, and phishing attacks exploit human weaknesses. These attacks are increasingly sophisticated and frequent, occurring through new channels that are harder to spot.
The Limitations of Relying on Users
The hard truth is that we cannot rely solely on users to protect our digital perimeters. Once a malicious actor gains entry, they can move freely within a network. This vulnerability exposes the fundamental flaw in over-relying on human vigilance for cybersecurity.
The Future of Cybersecurity: Frictionless Data Protection
The key to bolstering cybersecurity lies in minimizing reliance on end users. Imagine a system of frictionless data protection that operates automatically, in the background, without requiring any action from the users. This approach ensures protection at the moment of data creation inside the enterprise (or ingestion from the outside from partners and collaborators), maintaining robust protection as data is shared and collaborated on internally and externally.
Consider the following use cases:
Many organizations rely on unprotected mediums like email for gathering and exchanging critical information, exposing them to potential data breaches and privacy violations. But by integrating directly into existing workflows, you can secure sensitive data such as financial records, credit histories, and medical details without disrupting your organization's productivity, all while maintaining integrity and traceability.
Typical SaaS e-signature tools require you to upload sensitive documents and contracts to their cloud. Confidencial works with your preferred backend storage ensuring documents remain protected and accessible only to the designated signing and reviewing group. Post-signature, all emails containing documents are securely protected, with traceable viewing, maintaining confidentiality and control at every step.
Extending security to internal documents, you can safeguard against insider threats by implementing robust internal controls to prevent unauthorized access or manipulation, even if the document is downloaded or travels beyond your perimeter.
In cases where a collaborating entity faces a ransomware attack, frictionless data protection allows you to revoke access, protecting your data from such external compromises.
Advanced Data Protection
With all of these use cases, it’s critical to implement technical protections and controls outside of the perimeter by using advanced encryption, granular access provisioning and privilege management, audit trails, and even AI-driven anomaly behavior detection.
Automatically protecting data from inception instead of relying on the end user to take specific actions revolutionizes how we think about cybersecurity. It shifts the focus from training users to avoid mistakes to creating a system where they can't make those mistakes in the first place. This way, the integrity of business data is not jeopardized by human error.
Reinforcing Security While Minimizing Training
By adopting frictionless data protection, companies can reinforce their security posture and significantly minimize the need for extensive user training. This approach not only safeguards against the sophisticated nature of modern cyber threats but also adapts to the dynamic way we work today. User-independent data protection creates a system resilient to external threats and internal human errors, ensuring a robust defense for our invaluable digital assets.
Learn more about how Confidencial can alleviate end-user burden and automate the identification and protection of your unstructured data.