Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Guarding your Cyber Castle

In the days of lords and ladies, knights and pages, the lord of the manor decided what was important and not important to him.  If it was important it stayed in the castle.  If it was disposable and easily sacrificed it stayed outside the moat.  Then all the lord’s efforts were spent defending the castle and watching the crown jewels, ignoring all that he owned outside the walls.
Organizations need to follow a similar approach and focus their efforts on protecting the crown jewels of the organization.  These are the trade secrets, critical deal files, sensitive employee information, and confidential customer data.  This approach allows you to prioritize your investments in security initiatives.  If that critical data is stored in a folder on a file server, we need to watch that directory like a hawk.   Here is checklist of what we want to do:

  • ·        Restrict access to the folder to people who have a legitimate business need
  • ·        Backup the data, with a least one off-line copy
  • ·        Track permission changes to the folder
  • ·        Track permission changes to the groups associated with that folder
  • ·        Collect user activity and send activity reports to the business owner of the data
  • ·        Identify unusual patterns of behavior by a user or a system
  • ·        Alert on access by a new user or system correlate with the access approval process
  • ·        Periodically review people’s access rights to the sensitive folder
  • ·        Classify the data in the folder with tags
  • ·        Track the motion of files once they leave the folder
  • ·        Encrypt the data

Of course, there are other things you want to do protect the infrastructure (firewall = moat), but with this focus on your important digital assets, the odds of defending your castle are much higher.

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