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It’s time to go beyond lowest-common-denominator, compliance-dictated security

Beyond Basic

Regardless of what your business does, there’s a regulatory agency—usually several—demanding compliance with their definition of how to keep data secure. The alphabet soup of regulations used to be limited to specific kinds of data used by well-defined industries. The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB) are the most well-known. But a host of other acts and laws have piled on, demanding that organizations comply with a never-ending list of requirements and offering little helpful guidance about what that looks like. In a quick search, more than 20 additional acronyms appeared on the first results page alone.

And more appear to be on the way. What’s an organization to do? So far, most have adopted a slew of security technologies over time, leading to silos of data and controls that don’t really talk to each other and require hours of valuable IT staff time to manage. The worst parts?

First, these technologies focus on securing the systems, networks, and devices that house data—not the data itself. For example, Network Access Control (NAC) solutions focus on devices, users, and network segments. They aren’t designed to look at data. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) only focuses on regulatory data and regular expression with limited, if any, ability to detect and prevent actual threats. Zero trust models are about authentication—they have nothing to do with where the data is, how it’s moving, who’s using it, or how it changes over time.

Second, judging by the accelerating number of data breaches, these technologies aren’t working well. Security teams are left with lots of data silos and no consolidated, consistent approach to securing it all. This is where data surveillance steps in to vastly improve an organization’s ability to know exactly the status of their data. Any data—not just data required for compliance. They can know in seconds what every piece of data is doing, where it goes, how it proliferates, who’s accessing it, who’s using it, and how it changes.

With a data chain of custody, it becomes a simple matter to demonstrate compliance with any—and all—regulations. Having bit-level visibility of all data and user activity also enables organizations to optimize other security measures. Data surveillance integrates easily with NAC, firewall, SIEM, DLP, IoT, and cloud security solutions. It detects and isolates threats—such as ransomware, botnets, malware, Bitcoin, back doors and command-and-control software—in real time. It reports anomalies, breaches, and exfiltration in real time. For SOC teams or analysts, data surveillance provides reconstructed events, extracted payloads, and play-by-play analysis to accelerate response and remediation.

Don’t settle for lowest-common-denominator compliance-level security that can’t scale, cope with today’s high data volumes, or adapt to a changing threat environment. Get visibility into the actual thing you’re trying to protect—the data itself.