Combating File Sharing Data Leakage: Part Two



by Scott Gordon

This article is the second in a two-part series. Read the first part here.

Certainly, the most widely adopted file security control is that of legal terms and conditions that set requirements for the protection and use of sensitive, confidential and regulated data often agreed between parties in a disclosure section of a business agreement.

Ultimately, an organization would apply a set of controls based on sensitive file types and business transactions depending on business requisites, resources, cost, impact, practicality and risk appetite.

Of the file protection technical controls listed above, the majority lack necessary persistent access controls, usage controls or means for successful adoption by users outside an organization. Many of the controls above simply involve allowing secure network access to a file, or the encryption and decryption of files between authorized users. In this regard, once the recipient has local access to the file, other controls, such as restricting means to further prevent sharing of the file, limiting the use of the file, or tracking the subsequent access and use of a file are no longer active. Nor do these systems have a means to delete a file after it is local, having been removed from a repository or container. File-based digital rights management (F-DRM) solutions address many of these file collaboration control limitations and more.

For example, FinalCode F-DRM is agnostic to file storage, distribution and content management. As such, it can work with popular applications, devices, cloud storage, content management systems, and collaboration tools. FinalCode employs both strong encryption and an array of granular usage controls including file traceability and means to remotely delete files even after they have been distributed. This provides a last mile defense as files are obtained by a recipient outside of corporate file governance. And the approach preserves user experience by integrating within existing file sharing workflow and allowing the recipient to work in the applications they are used to. Next-generation F-DRM solutions can also be deployed as needed for an individual, department, business project or enterprise-wide.

It is a matter of when— not if—a material file data leakage incident will occur in your organization. File collaboration security need not be an all or nothing, all encompassing, nor all costly undertaking. IT professionals can extend defenses today; whether an enterprise-wide initiative or applying these controls to specific business activities and collaboration projects. Most employees understand and want to protect sensitive information. The key is to make file security easy, intuitive and aligned to corporate policy. F-DRM solutions, such as FinalCode, in conjunction with other available technical controls, offer an effective and flexible means to reduce file data leakage risks across different infrastructure, collaboration methods and business requirements.

Scott Gordon (CISSP) is the Chief Operating Officer at FinalCode.

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