By Charles Leaver

Further prevent data leakage in four steps

In today’s business marketplace, endpoint protection is essential to ensure the safe transmission of shared data. Increased utilization of personal laptops and smartphones in accordance with bring-your-own-device policies has also escalated the instances of stolen or lost devices, which pose a security risk for data leakage.

Data loss can result in significant costs associated with security repairs and device replacement, as well as brand uncertainty and public embarrassment. Research director Randy Abrams told State Tech Magazine that organizations cannot afford to make headlines due to a data breach.

Therefore, institutions need to improve endpoint protection for better ensure data leak prevention. Organizations can follow these steps to lower their risk of data loss.

1. Establish a defense strategy
CSO contributor Gordon Makryllos stated the organizations should evaluate their enterprise IT infrastructure to determine where the system may be vulnerable to data leakage and how cybercriminals could gain access to endpoints. Makryllos advised paying special attention to servers, unified communication devices and the network itself when planning a data loss prevention strategy.

2. Get peer advice
State Tech Magazine contributor Sandra Gittlen suggested asking industry peers for advice and guidance as far as their own security strategies.

“Find out out what your peers are using and how they like their product is very important,” said Jack Rolfs, director of computer technology for Salina, Kans.

In this way, organizations can compare similar establishment strategies and security products used with their own network requirements. Find out what has worked and select the endpoint security provider that is best suited for meeting industry-specific needs.

This can also be beneficial for smaller companies, said Brad Bowers, director of information technology for Saline County, Kans.

“Small organizations don’t always have the resources to do the research,” Bowers said.

However, by asking their peers, organizations can obtain valuable information for their own internal security plans.

3. Plan for Growth
Due to the current environment, the number of endpoints needing protection can constantly expand within any business. An employee that may work in-house at one point in time may need to work remotely in the future, and the endpoint he or she uses to gain access to the corporate network will need protection.

Keeping this in mind, Gittlen advised organizations to allow room for growth in their data loss prevention strategies.

4. Realize the importance of education
Gittlen also recommended that administrators explain the possible risks of sharing information as well as the consequences associated with data breach to their employees.

“Education for users is sorely underappreciated,” Abrams said.  “[Education] can prevent data breaches and losses.”

Furthermore, Gittlen pointed out that informing employees of the activity monitoring and logging practices that come with endpoint protection can serve as a deterrent.

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