As remote working has steadily become the norm in the post-pandemic period, it’s becoming increasingly clear that many organisations are failing to effectively maintain data security. At the heart of this issue is a lack of data access controls.  

According to Varonis, 43% of all cloud identities sit abandoned and unused, while three out of four cloud identities belong to external contacts and remain active even after they have left the business.  

Many organisations simply don’t have a consistent framework for identifying exposed data assets and managing user access to those resources, let alone adhering to the principle of least privilege. This leaves information vulnerable to attackers, and the organisations at risk of data breaches and compliance violations.  

This blog will examine why organisations are failing to implement adequate data security and explain how a data-centric security solution can reduce the risk of a security incident.  

The number one mistake: protecting infrastructure over users  

One of the main reasons why organisations are struggling to manage access to data is because they’re relying on outdated security approaches that depend on ringfencing on-site assets rather than protecting the underlying data itself.  

While this approach was somewhat effective before the widespread adoption of cloud computing, these controls simply can’t keep up with today’s decentralised access to data. 

For instance, today’s users don’t access protected information on a single server, they access it in the office, at home, from a mixture of work and even personal devices.  

This means organisations need a solution that can continuously identify, map, and classify data as it lives and moves within the environment, if they want to maintain transparency over their attack surface.  

In practice, security teams and leaders should be able to catalogue data and users, so they can assign an appropriate level of access to each user, and then monitor/audit how those users interact with the data to ensure that nothing malicious takes place.  

The need for Data Security, Detection and Response  

While identifying and classifying data is the first step to implementing a data-centric security solution, organisations also need to have the ability to respond rapidly when an unauthorised user obtains access to assets or attempts to modify or exfiltrate them.  

In other words, you need Data Security, Detection and Response capabilities to continuously monitor access to structured and unstructured data throughout your environment to detect security threats and contain them.  

With 45% of organisations experiencing a cloud-based data breach or failed audit in the past year, Data Security, Detection and Response is no longer a nice to have, but a must-have for organisations that want to consistently protect their data.  

In-house vs outsourcing: the practicalities of implementing a data-centric security solution 

While many organisations are aware that protecting data is the central challenge of modern security, few have the internal resources and expertise to implement a true data-centric security model, particularly in a cloud-driven environment.  

In fact, research shows that 39% of organisations rank cyber security and cloud computing as their biggest skills gaps.  

However, managed services provide an answer to the skills shortage by enabling an organisation to pay a retainer fee to a security provider who will identify, map, and classify data assets and advise on how to best protect them.  

The Managed Varonis Data Security Service  

Integrity360’s Managed Varonis Data Security service provides you with support from a team of expert security analysts who can help you to deploy and manage the Varonis platform and enable your organisation to discover critical data assets.  

Once the team identifies the assets, they can then provide 24/7 detection and response support for data security incidents and insider risk management from a state-of-the-art Security Operations Centre (SOC).  

In effect, this means you’ll be able to automatically detect malicious activity and alert your analysts to malicious changes, while automating rollback environment-wide changes to users/groups, folder permissions, and AD group memberships.  

Stop your data from falling into the wrong hands  

In a world where hackers attempt to exfiltrate critical data on a daily basis, a data-centric security solution is essential to reduce your exposure. Identifying, classifying, and controlling access to your data is the key to enforcing a zero-trust security model and preventing regulated information from falling into the wrong hands.  

Want to find out more about how a data-centric security solution can protect your information? Click the button to download our eBook.  

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