It seems like no matter how many times the headlines scream that yet another big company or government office has been hacked, tons of businesses continuously fail to take heed and invest in adequate security. We cannot help but wonder what exactly it is that has to happen in order for leaders in all sectors of the economy to begin to take these matters more seriously. The latest security breach involved hackers illicitly obtaining various companies’ press releases. The press releases contained information that the schemers involved used to engage in insider trading, with many earning millions of dollars in the process.
Although there have been assertions that security measures were actually in place, it seems fairly safe to say that they were subpar at best. And, it seems plausible that the press releases, although chock full of evidently valuable information, didn’t really get the protection they obviously warranted. This failure to recognize the importance of protecting data is an all too common problem, especially since this particular information was set for release to the public. It is also within the realm of possibility that hackers are continuing to up their game in the pursuit of making a quick buck. Regardless, there are plenty of platforms that provide sound security controls.
To avoid an embarrassing leak of valuable information and prevent company news from becoming the news, companies should consider storing all of their documents in a secure online data room. And, companies should rely on a data storage service that provides the following:
1. Robust Security
This is obviously a pretty vague phrase and subject to interpretation. However, solid security standards incorporate a broad range of measures. These should include physically secure data servers, as well as unique security features, such as disabled printing, watermarking, and a privacy blind function, to name a few. When researching prospective servicers, companies can determine whether their data will be safe by assessing both the quality and scope of the security protocols employed.
2. Advanced Encryption
Now, this is clearly a specific security measure encompassed in “robust security.” And, it is an absolute must when using an online data room. Companies should look for a provider that encrypts data at every point, whether at rest or in transit, and should use a distinct method of encryption for passwords or other access controls. Even if hackers manage to intercept data that is saved in a highly secure online data room, however unlikely it is, data that is strongly encrypted will be illegible and thus protected.
Here we have another specific security measure and also a non-negotiable necessity. Passwords can be surprisingly easy for hackers to figure out. Some of these savvy intruders have programs (and somehow the time and patience) to play around with loads of letter and number combinations. Eventually, one of the combinations is bound to be the right password to access an important account. In the unlikely but nevertheless likely event that this happens, companies should ensure that their data room has two-factor authentication. With this feature, there will be a second password or code required to proceed, thereby keeping hackers at bay.
4. Access Control
The more people know a secret, the more likely it is for it to be divulged further. It’s simply math and human nature. As a result, companies should think long and hard about who will be allowed to access company information. One way to limit information from becoming improperly disseminated is to implement access control. An online data room administrator can categorize data and assign users as appropriate. By keeping the circle of those in the know small, it is a lot less likely for accidental disclosure to occur.
5. Activity Tracking
One of the best ways to protect data is to monitor how it is used and when. An online data room with user activity tracking allows the administrator to keep tabs on every action taken within the room, including the user’s name and the date and time of each click. Thus, if something strange happens with important data, the administrator can scour the audit logs to figure out what may have transpired.
Companies have far more to gain than to lose when they invest time and money into safeguarding data.