Since the emergence of cloud computing, few small and big organizations had started deploying a remote workforce, usually limited to sales force only.
We have seen a huge number to organizations adopting and allowing work from home during the recent COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in the increase of such users in great number to keep operations running reducing the impact of the outbreak to an extent.
The remote workforce provides various benefits to both employers and employees. But they also raise some critical security concerns. Remote workforces access enterprise data through their personal devices and networks, and from remote locations. This increases the potholes in network security through which cybercriminals can pilfer critical business data. To address these security concerns, companies need to have network security with advanced features that can prevent data leak and enhance data security for these roaming/remote working users.
Features that can enhance Data Security for a remote workforce
A remote workforce requires seamless access to enterprise applications and data for optimal performance. Hence, a security infrastructure should have features that can enable enhanced data security along with seamless access to data for employees.
Data-first security approach
Organizations usually deploy firewalls to secure the network. This becomes ineffective to protect data due to its approach towards security. While the data-first security approach enables businesses to deploy data-centric security. It allows companies to monitor every bit of data leaving the organization.
The present-day network or device-centric cybersecurity alone won’t be a foolproof solution against data exploitations, as data itself needs to be secured. And by following a data-first approach, businesses can ensure that they stay well ahead of cyberattackers in the fight with them. And to do that, they need cybersecurity devices that can help them seamlessly integrate a data-centric strategy with their existing enterprise networks.
Companies also need Firewall Solution that can provide data leak prevention by monitoring data as it leaves the network using the web as well as SaaS/Cloud applications. Appropriate data leak prevention systems deeply inspect data level information, application data, control the inflow and outflow of data, and provide context-sensitive leak prevention, thereby eliminating cyber risks. As a result, by taking the data-first approach, businesses can future-proof their data and cybersecurity efforts.
Context-based data leak prevention
Context-based data leak prevention feature enables organizations to define data leak policies where they can include what type of data should not be sent outside the enterprise network. It identifies, monitors, and protects data in motion on the network by enforcing security policies. For instance, they can restrict sending of emails with keywords such as “tenders” or “quotations.” This provides organizations with complete control over the inflow and outflow of data.
The context-based data leak prevention can scan for data leak based on file type, size when trying to upload or send as an attachment. It further using the power of Contextual Intelligence Engine, inspects context of applications like mail body, subject, message on IM, etc. to identify data leaking possibilities and report it while blocking the communication.
Enhanced cloud solution
To protect your enterprise data from being misused or leaked by remote/roaming users, you probably have a clear and strict set of data security policies laid out for all employees. However, implementing such policies in growing enterprises can be hard, due to the rapid influx of new devices. This results in the introduction of non-compliant devices into the network.
Also, there may be users who are not aware of enterprise data security policies. This leads to instances of non-compliance and can potentially lead to data breaches. This can also leave your critical data and applications stored on the cloud open to being accessed by hackers who can use the same to launch cyberattacks on a larger scale.
Thus, it becomes necessary to use an enterprise cloud solution that offers enhanced security features for enterprises’ roaming users. These solutions can identify critical pieces of data and monitor them for misuse and leaks over Email, Web and SaaS. You can define critical business data and set strict access and usage policies for such data using an advanced data security solution.
The enterprise cloud security feature enforces all communication passes through the firewall solution at the Head Office which automatically applies Data Security Policies to remote / roaming users. As a result, regardless of the level of awareness among users and devices used by them, the most vital pieces of your enterprise data remain safe.
Monitoring and Controlling
Monitoring and controlling user’s activities are important to identify and keep bad actors away from the network. The remote users use multiple web, cloud and SaaS applications for business operations. These applications pose a major threat to data security if enterprises cannot control and monitor activities on such platforms.
Contextual intelligence controlling use of such platforms. It restricts personal use of such applications by allowing corporate login only. It also enables businesses to block or allow specific data types, file extensions, file content, and much more. Thus, it allows businesses and cybersecurity teams to get in-depth visibility over the data that is downloaded or uploaded by employees. This in-depth visibility becomes more beneficial with a remote workforce to monitor what data employees are sharing. Hence allowing enterprises to monitor user activities while controlling how the application is being used.
Improved SaaS security
SaaS is used by almost all the enterprise and it has found its own place in keeping enterprise operations running. It does provide various benefits, but security concerns are revolving around SaaS applications. Since several third parties access SaaS applications, organizations must ensure enhanced SaaS security. Features to improve SaaS security will monitor each and every bit of data received from and sent to the applications. This will help businesses prevent data exploitation and to detect the entry of any malware through SaaS applications.
Improved SaaS security will also enforce data transmissions to abide by all the policies defined by a company. To enhance SaaS security, organizations can encrypt sensitive data before transferring it over the network. The encrypted data can then be decrypted once received by the authorized receiver. All these practices will allow businesses to have complete visibility on how their data is being transmitted and for what reasons.
Firewall with Data Security approach for Data security in your organization
A data security approach goes beyond the third generation of firewalls and includes all the features as mentioned earlier. Unlike the traditional layer 7 security, the data security approach will not just monitor applications but also the data that is accessed and transmitted by them. It protects data leaks on browsing, SaaS applications, and network, ensuring that data is not exploited. One of the biggest advantages of having a data security firewall is that it starts monitoring and prevents data exploitation right at the gateway.
GajShield Firewall is one of the most suitable firewalls as it can be deployed both on-premise and on the clouds. Plus, it provides security to remote workers without impacting their device performance with its Enterprise Cloud Solution. Thus, it not only maintains data security but also ensures that remote workers’ productivity is not affected for enhancing security terms and policies.
Sonit Jain, CEO of GajShield Infotech