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3 Reasons Why Data Breach is a Difficult Challenge for Most Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs)

Data breach is causing a lot of headaches among global businesses, and it does not seem to slow down anytime soon. In the US alone, businesses and customers suffered 1,120 total breaches and more than 171 million record exposures during the first 10 months of 2017, according to Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). Furthermore, its impact is growing as the average cost of a data breach in 2017 has been reported to be $3.62M globally and $7.35M in the US, according to 2017 Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study.

These numbers may reflect only the reality that big enterprises face; however, to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), data breach is a threat that is just as clear and present. In 2016, Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report reported that43% of data breaches were targeted at SMBs.

Data Breaches Hit SMBs Harder!

Data breaches cause SMBs the financial, reputational, and other organizational damages. A report by Kaspersky Lab shows that average cost of a data breach for SMBs was measured at $117,000 per incident, while more potent and targeted breach cost SMBs $188,000 on average. Some of the key spendings on damage control were as below.

  1. Hiring professional experts and preparing employee training programs
  2. Lost customers or business
  3. Lowered credit rating and increased insurance premiums
  4. Software and infrastructure improvement
  5. Brand image reparation and customer compensation

Monetary loss or business setbacks like above may not be the end of what data breaches can inflict the SMBs; data breaches can lead to business bankruptcy as SMBs are most likely to be lacking in the capital and resources to handle such impact. To According to UPS Capital, “60% of smaller businesses are out of business within six months of suffering a cyberattack.”

Why Do SMBs Suffer More?

SMB owners already have more than enough responsibilities to drive their business forward with limited capital and resources, and this puts data security in a less prioritized position, where it gets either neglected or overlooked without any seriousness. SMB owners and employees are generally unaware of the current state and potential damage of data breach; therefore, they naturally become good, naïve targets of opportunity for the cyber criminals, whether they are inside or outside the organization. This lack of awareness ties closely into the nature of data breach, being not only malicious but also accidental, as most breaches are in fact, caused by mistakes like negligent employees mishandling security configurations or employees clicking wrong links online. Not only that, the limitation of capital and resources will lead to difficulty in covering the costs of implementation of technical measures and damage control. The absence of technical measures undoubtedly puts SMBs in a vulnerable position, which is exposed to data breach threats from various fronts.

Say that SMBs were familiar with and prepared for data breaches, the measures which they implemented can turn out to be insufficient as security gaps can unexpectedly emerge, opened to exploitation by data breach threats. This issue can be considered as a by-product of current trend of data security industry that is focusing on providing enterprise-grade security that demands high investment, dedicated IT resources, and complex configurations. Thus, SMBs are finding it difficult to find the right solutions that will meet their specific requirements, and they are left to settle for cost-effective alternatives that are less capable.

If you, as an SMB owner, have experienced or are worried about data breaches, the important thing is to start seriously considering the potential risks now, and not after the damage has been done. With lack of awareness, capital, and resources, SMBs can be left unsure on “how and what” to do to prevent data breaches. Head to our next blog to learn how SMBs can establish their data security against data breach threats from outsiders and insiders.

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Blog USB Copy Protection

[USB Copy Protection] Secure content delivery on USB drives with copy-protection

Distribution of valuable contents like intellectual properties, marketing materials, and educational publications brings the content producers to decide on the appropriate media with trusted security to prevent unauthorized copying or redistribution. Notably, CD/DVDs were once popular for its low-cost advantage; however, they are now considered obsolete due to its vulnerability to piracy and relatively low storage. Thus came the USB drives that provided portability and practicality with decreased size and increased storage space, respectively. Furthermore, they can be made to protect the stored contents from inside and out, satisfying the needs for trusted security that CD/DVDs lacked.

Secudrive USB Copy Protection (UCP) Basic satisfies the needs of those who wish to distribute their valuable contents without having to worry about unauthorized content copying and redistribution. UCP Basic operates by converting ordinary USB drives into secure USB drives with security policies, file encryption, digital rights management, and application whitelisting. Firstly, UCP Basic creates specific security policies with a wide selection of configurations as below:

  1. Password settings and complexity rules
  2. USB drive usage period
  3. Maximum logins allowed
  4. Maximum offline logins allowed
  5. Automatic USB drive lock/wipe after maximum incorrect password entries, usage period, and logins

Security policies created by these configurations act as the first layer of security that restrict the outsiders’ attempts to access the stored contents after unfortunate losses or thefts. Furthermore, the automatic USB drive lock/wipe feature after maximum usage period and logins give the producers to maintain the exclusivity of their contents.

UCP Basic encrypts all the stored contents and information, making sure that it is protected from start to finish, at the core. Once encrypted, all the activities regarding the stored contents must be performed within the secure USB drives produced by UCP Basic. The significance of this security feature is the ability to render the contents inaccessible and unusable outside the USB drives.

Secure USB drives made by UCP are equipped with digital rights management (DRM) that restricts the users from unauthorized file copy, clipboard copy, print, screen-capture, and network-transfer. It is the core element in security against accidental or malicious insider threats, as it protects the data from being leaked out while in use. The innovative integration of DRM into the secure USB drives made by UCP provides the practicality, as well as the trusted protection against leakage by the insiders.

To ensure that the possibilities of security bypass are eliminated, UCP provides application whitelisting that allows the producers to designate certain applications to be run on the USB drives. It prevents non-whitelisted applications from being installed and run on the USB drives to protect the contents from being harmed by external cyber threats like ransomware.

Understanding the needs of different content producers, the advanced Secudrive UCP+ introduces remote update feature along with all security features of UCP Basic as previously mentioned. This feature is ideal for those who wish to update their contents regularly and USB drive security policies without having to recollect the distributed USB drives from the users. With a few clicks and configurations, UCP+ remote update provides cost efficiency and additional security for content distribution and the USB drives, respectively. Compared to ordinary USB drives or CD/DVDs, secure USB drives with remote management helps achieve cost efficiency as content producers can eliminate extra USB drive production, and shipping duties from and to the USB drive users. As for security, the remote update takes it the extra mile as the producers can reset or renew the security policies if they suspect or confirm that the existing policies have been compromised. Furthermore, content producers can remotely lock or wipe the USB drives. In other words, the remote update feature gives the producers the ability to remain in control of the stored contents, even after the USB drives are distributed to the users.

Secudrive UCP Basic produces secure USB drives on which content producers can store their works for distribution. A wide range of security features guides the producers to set up and apply extensive and persistent security policies that protect the stored contents. UCP+’s remote update achieves cost efficiency when distributing the contents that require regular or occasional renewal, in addition to additional security measures that will help content producers to respond to potential content violations, even when the USB drives are out of the hands of content producers.

Please visit Secudrive UCP product page to discover more about USB Copy Protection and its features!

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Blog Data Erasure Device Control File Server Security USB Sescurity

[General Data Protection Regulation ④] How to Comply with GDPR

Secudrive recognizes the GDPR as a welcoming and progressive leap to protect the rights and freedom of all EU citizens with the new laws for comprehensive personal data protection, and an exciting opportunity for us to solidify our commitment to what we do best: providing reliable data security solutions for businesses and organizations.

The GDPR requires global organizations to comply with its organizational and technological requirements if or to process personal data of any EU citizen. Organizational requirements are considered as clear-cut, as they pertain to appointing the right people for the right positions, such as Data Protection Officers (DPO), and educating the employees and external personnel about the GDPR and the rights of the EU citizens. On the other hand, meeting technological requirements are rather obscure and difficult, as organizations are now flooded with numerous data security solutions in the market and simply unsure where to begin. To guide the organizations to an effective shortcut to comply with the GDPR, Secudrive provides a lineup of four data security solutions.

  1. Secudrive File Server
  2. Secudrive Device Control
  3. Secudrive USB drive solutions
  4. Secudrive Drive Eraser

It is critical to protect the confidential data in storage, and even while being processed by individuals. As mentioned in the previous blog, organizations can consider typical solutions like data loss prevention (DLP), enterprise digital rights management (EDRM), and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). These solutions promise to be effective in protecting your personal data, but are considerably challenging to implement and manage without professional consultants or qualified data security managers. Big, rich organizations may feel indifferent to these potential barriers, but SMBs with limited capital and human resources may look for other solutions that are as comprehensive and straightforward.

Secudrive File Server is a data loss prevention (DLP) solution for file servers, equipped with digital rights management (DRM) and application whitelisting to prevent internal data leaks and external cyber attacks, respectively. As file servers serve as a popular form of repository for confidential and unstructured data like personal data, organizations must consider some of the key security principles like network separation, encryption, anti-virus solutions, and backup. However, insider threat prevention must also be considered as confidential data is most exposed to data leakage when it is being processed. With Secudrive File Server, users are configured with different DRM policies, which can restrict them from unauthorized copy, print, screen-capture, and network-transfer; therefore, all personal data that are either in storage or processing will be prevented from accidental or malicious leaks. Against external cyber attacks like ransomware, application whitelisting prevents unauthorized applications or even malicious malware from being installed and run on the file servers to protect the personal data from harm. For visibility across an organization, Secudrive File Server provides logging of all file and user activities for real-time monitoring and future audits. It also provides security for personal data in motion, as its secure audited copy protocol (SACP) allows users to first encrypt the files for export, transport them in Secudrive USB drives, and decrypt later for access within Secudrive File Server environment.

Secudrive Device Control prevents internal data leaks by regulating the access of various ports such as USB, Wi-Fi, LAN, and IEE 1394, and monitors all activities regarding storages devices like USB drives, external hard drives, and smartphones that are connected to endpoint PCs. Among various ports, it is crucial to regulate the ports to storage devices, as data leaks through storage devices do not leave traces for the organizations to investigate and identify the wrongdoers. Therefore, organizations must either completely restrict or temporarily permit these ports for access. Secudrive Device Control achieves this with an added security feature of real-time monitoring in case of temporary USB port permission.  However, what if it is unavoidable for an organization to use USB drives, and simply restricting USB ports is no longer a viable option? Organizations can consider permitting only the designated USB drives with reliable security features like password encryption, file activity logging, and remote management.

Secudrive USB drive solutions provide a system that helps organizations securely manage the storage and transportation of personal data while being protected from accidental or malicious leaks even outside secure office premises. First, Secudrive USB drives are well-equipped against losses and thefts, the two most common human occurrences during data transport. Furthermore, Secudrive USB drives provide visibility as it records all file activities as logs for future audits. For the organizations that wish to manage multiple Secudrive USB drives simultaneously, Secudrive USB Management Server(UMS)  provides management of monitoring of multiple USB drives in real-time and even lock or wipe them remotely through a centralized console. With UMS,  organizations have the liberty to manage thousands of Secudrive USB drives and security policies remotely and respond to thefts and losses as swiftly as possible.

Lastly, Secudrive Drive Eraser provides assured and cost-effective data wiping for organizations. The caveat here lies in the danger of potential data leakage through recovery, even after deleting the stored data beforehand. Not only that, PC disposal is often performed by specialized facilities outside the office, and this leaves in doubt the danger of data leakage through loss or theft while en route. Secudrive Drive Eraser eliminates this danger by allowing the organizations to wipe the data on the PCs within the secure, on-site premises, and even to ‘recycle’ them to help cut costs. Furthermore, it provides extraterritoriality with the ability to distribute the solution to the PCs via online, wipe the PCs, and monitor the entire process remotely from a centralized location. Last but not least, Secudrive Sanitizer boasts effortless data wiping for any organizations as it performs with only a few clicks, even while operating systems are running.

The GDPR is out to achieve a common goal across the EU, but organizations of all sizes and industries are considering the Regulation a varying level of difficulty and different perspectives. As a data security solutions provider, Secudrive considers it as an exciting opportunity to provide a reliable blend of data security solutions that are comprehensive and straightforward. With Secudrive Device Control, organizations can ensure that untraceable data leaks through storage devices are restricted at the endpoints. Meanwhile, Secudrive File Server protects the confidential data directly from where it is stored by enforcing user-specific DRM policies for insider threats and application whitelisting for external attacks. When organizations require transporting their personal data outside the secure office premises, Secudrive USB Drive Solutions provide on which the personal data can be stored and protected from leakage with hardware encryption, DRM, and remote management. Finally, Secudrive Sanitizer helps organizations to ensure that personal data are deleted and rendered unrecoverable before disposing of the PCs. With our solutions lineup, will be well-prepared to carry on their operations without having to worry about where and how to begin their action plan for GDPR compliance.

Blog Posts in this Series:
① The GDPR Summary: The 5 Key Points
② Checklist for the Organizations to Comply with the GDPR
③ Data Protection by Design and by Default: Technological Measures
→ How to Comply with GDPR

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Blog Data Erasure Device Control File Server Security USB Sescurity

[General Data Protection Regulation ③] Data Protection by Design and by Default: Technological Measures

Just over five months from now, the GDPR will be enforced for a stricter, thorough, and fair protection of personal data of all EU citizens, and the organizations with the presence in the EU have a tough task of GDPR compliance in their hands. To lighten the burden, we wrote a checklist of requirements for the organizations to follow on our earlier blog. Continuing our blog series on the GDPR, we will take a closer look at a technological aspect of compliance and how organizations can approach it.

For starters, where should the organizations begin to comply with the technological requirements of the GDPR? We turn our attention to “Data Protection by Design and by Default”, or Article 25. It explains that the organizations that fall under the GDPR scope must implement appropriate technical and organizational measures, which are designed to implement data-protection principles to integrate the necessary safeguards in order to:

  1. meet the requirements of this Regulation and protect the rights of data subjects, and
  2. to ensure that only personal data which are necessary for each specific purpose of the processing are processed.

The organizations are explicitly required to implement appropriate technical measures for personal data protection. However, with a plethora of data security solutions out there, some organizations may feel lost. From the technological point of view, we understand the Article 25 as the organizations’ responsibility to apply a cohesive blend of multiple data security principles to the full extent of data life cycle, which largely consists of data storage, processing, and erasure. We believe that this approach will serve as a backbone from which the organizations can start preparing for the GDPR.

After collecting personal data by complying with the GDPR requirements, data storage follows. The fundamental security principle here is to store all the personal data in one or more secure data repositories, separate from, but accessible by individual PCs via local network. The most common data repository is the file server, which is often operated and managed in multiple numbers, dedicated to multiple groups of users that will only be allowed to work on the files while being restricted from unauthorized file exports. To make sure your file servers are kept safe from potential dangers, organizations must consider some of the key security principles as below.

  1. Physical security to prevent intruder breaches
  2. Encryption to ensure protection of data against hackers or theft
  3. Keeping it off Internet to restrict potentially malicious or accidental access from outside of your LAN
  4. Anti-virus solutions to prevent cyber attacks from the outside
  5. Maintain high availability to ensure continuity of work productivity in case of accidental or malicious disruption to file server(s)

Once personal data is stored in the file servers, it will be subject to data processing by diverse personnel such as employees, contractors, partners, and consultants. It is critical to realize that data processing is the breeding ground for both accidental and malicious data leak threats from inside and out. The most common form of data leaks is accidental, due to employee negligence, operational mistakes, or lack of education. However, organizations cannot overlook the risk of malicious data leaks that can be caused by greed, ego, and competition. Therefore, a stringent data security system is required to ensure that only the certain files and folders are accessible by authorized users. Furthermore, all user, file, and folder activities must be logged for auditing and only allowed to be accessible by certain users. When processing personal data, employees may also transfer or share it outside the secure premises. For secure processing of personal data, organizations can consider some of the general countermeasures as below to mitigate the risks of leaking data.

  1. Data loss prevention (DLP) detects potential data leaks by monitoring the important data and blocking it from leaving the secure premises from the end-points.
  2. Enterprise digital rights management (EDRM) provides file access control and file activity restriction features that are persistent and manageable even outside the secure premises.
  3. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) runs multiple user desktops inside virtual machines (terminals) with persistent data security policies that only allows users to access the data within the centralized data center(s).

Once the processing of personal data is complete, organizations may undertake data erasure to free up their storage space, or to ensure that personal data remains unavailable to others. Data erasure is closely related to the Article 17, which states that the data subjects have the right to erasure, or the right to be forgotten. Therefore, organizations must be prepared to erase personal data, rendering it unrecoverable in any situation. In this case, direct data erasure on the storage devices, through one or a combination of the general methods as below, is the safest procedure.

  1. Data erasure software by overwriting with randomized data
  2. Degaussing, or elimination of magnetic fields on storage devices to erase all stored data
  3. Brute destruction of storage devices

Despite the advantage of complete data erasure, degaussing and brute destruction carry two distinct disadvantages. Firstly, they make the storage devices unusable, and secondly, they require the devices to be transported to the external facilities, risking them to potential theft or loss. On the other hand, data erasure via software bypasses the two disadvantages by allowing the organizations to ‘recycle’ their storage devices and perform data erasure within their office premises. Therefore, organizations can ensure complete and secure data erasure with a software initially, and by subsequently degaussing or brutely destroying devices.

Meeting the technological requirements of the “Data protection by design and by default” can help organizations to get off to a solid start in achieving GDPR compliance before the deadline. We recommend the organizations to consider implementing the technological measures for the three steps of data life cycle: storage, processing, and erasure. This approach allows the organizations to devise a cohesive blend of multiple data security solutions, which will protect personal data from leaks and breaches from both internal and external threats. Capping off our blog series on the GDPR, we will discuss how Secudrive solutions can technologically help you to achieve “Data protection by design and by default” to prepare for the GDPR.

Blog Posts in this Series:
① The GDPR Summary: The 5 Key Points
② Checklist for the Organizations to Comply with the GDPR
→ Data Protection by Design and by Default: Technological Measures
④ How to Comply with GDPR

Categories
Blog Data Erasure Device Control File Server Security USB Sescurity

[General Data Protection Regulation ②] Checklist for the Organizations to Comply with the GDPR

May 25, 2018, the deadline for GDPR compliance is approaching, and organizations around the world are gearing up to identify what to do and where to begin. More comprehensive and ambiguous than its predecessor, European Data Protection Directive, the GDPR promises to be difficult to comply with. Through its requirements, the GDPR not only places more obligations on the organizations but also gives more power to the EU citizens. If your organization falls within the GDPR’s territorial scope, it is responsible for organizational, operational, and technological requirements to ensure that personal data of the EU citizens are protected.

Some organizations might have a long way to go to meet the GDPR requirements, whereas others might be closer. However, for any organization, meeting these requirements will be unquestionably difficult. To help you prepare to comply with the GDPR, we have drawn up a checklist for you to follow, and ultimately identify what you need to do and where to begin.

Assess the Current Situation. The GDPR and its potential impact on data security and day-to-day operations must be acknowledged on an organization-wide basis, starting with the key decision makers. Initially, it is critical to identify the gaps that may cause non-compliance issues under the GDPR, and arrange the ways to make up those gaps. The next step is to know what the organizations are and will be dealing with, by asking the question “which data can be defined as personal data?” According to the Article 4 of the GDPR, “‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person… directly or indirectly.” Forms of personal data for identification of natural person ranges from common forms like name and identification number, to more specific forms like physiological, economic, and social information. Then, how about when collecting new personal data? Since the Article 13 requires the organizations to communicate how and why the personal data is collected and used, and Article 12 requires the communications to be transparent, organizations must first review their current privacy notice or consent, and make necessary revisions to be GDPR-compliant.

Know the Rights of the Data Subjects. The GDPR gives more rights to the EU citizens; therefore, organizations must examine whether their procedures cover all these rights as declared. Considering these rights, organizations can potentially revise existing procedures and go further, by evaluating their capabilities when the data subjects exercise their rights as manifested in the Articles from 13 to 22.

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erasure
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • The right not to be subject to automated decision-making including profiling

Data Protection by Design and by Default. The Article 25 explicitly articulates that organizations have a general obligation to implement technical and organizational measures to demonstrate that they have integrated data protection into everyday processing activities. This requirement can be considered as one of the key GDPR principles, as the legislators have recognized that privacy cannot be completely guaranteed only by laws, but that it must become a backbone in the design and maintenance of information systems and processing for each organization. In simpler terms, this requirement aims to guide the organizations to meet the GDPR requirements and protect the rights of data subjects through the means of technical and organizational measures. This requirement serves an equal purpose, but there is no one right answer; every organization must approach it differently by adhering to various data security principles and technologies. Specifically, where personal data processing could pose a risk to individuals, the Article 35 declares Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA) as mandatory in the situations. For example, if an organization is deploying new technology, such as artificial intelligence and profiling systems, or is processing personal data on a large scale, such as patient and medical data in health institutions, DPIA must be conducted.

Notify Data Breaches. According to the Article 33 and 34, organizations must ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to detect and investigate personal data breaches, and to notify the details to both supervising authorities and affected data subjects. Even though not all personal data breaches are subject to reporting, breaches that carry a risk to the rights and freedom of the affected data subjects, such as discrimination, damage to reputation, financial loss, loss of confidentiality, or other serious economic or social disadvantage, must be reported. However, the GDPR also provides exceptions to this requirement, if an organization has

  • implemented appropriate technical and organizational protection measures that render the personal data unintelligible to those without authorization for access;
  • taken actions to ensure that personal data breaches do not risk the rights and freedom of the affected data subjects; and
  • determined that notification to each affected data subject would “involve a disproportionate effort.”

Appoint A Data Protection Officer. As a core part of organizational requirements by the GDPR, organizations must appoint a data protection officer (DPO) in some cases. The Article 37 and 38 reveal the legal details on the designation and position of the DPOs. If your organization falls under the GDPR scope and satisfy the three conditions as below, you must appoint one or more DPOs.

  • Your organization is of public authority
  • Your organization conducts monitoring of individuals on a large scale
  • Your organization conducts processing of specific types of data such as criminal records

The Article 39 explains the minimum tasks of the DPOs as below:

  • inform and advise the organization and its employees for the purpose of GDPR compliance
  • monitor the processing of data to maintain GDPR compliance; and
  • act as the first point of contact for the supervisory authorities and for individuals whose data is processed.

However, who do they need to appoint as the DPOs? Not everyone can perform as a DPO, after all. While the GDPR does not specify the definite qualifications which the DPOs are expected to have, it requires that DPOs must be experienced and educated in the field of data protection law.

With organizational, operational, and technological requirements, this checklist may seem overwhelming. It is no doubt that getting started is the most difficult, yet the most significant step to take. However, how can we really get started for GDPR compliance? Among the requirements, we believe the organizations can start technologically. Head to our next blog and find out what the key technological requirements are for GDPR compliance.

Blog Posts in this Series:
① The GDPR Summary: The 5 Key Points
→ Checklist for the Organizations to Comply with the GDPR
③ Data Protection by Design and by Default: Technological Measures
④ How to Comply with GDPR

Categories
Blog Data Erasure Device Control File Server Security USB Sescurity

[General Data Protection Regulation ①] The GDPR Summary: The 5 Key Points

After four years of discussion and preparation by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now ready to become effective on May 25, 2018 to achieve more comprehensive enforcement of personal data protection laws for all EU citizens. The importance of protecting personal data with legitimacy has been a major talking point in the recent times, and the EU is taking its bold step to set the bar for the rest of the world to follow.

Leading up to the GDPR

Let’s roll back the years to 1995, when the European Data Protection Directive was imposed to regulate the processing of personal data in the EU. Back then, personal data was simply a component of vast information database in the private scope, and was protected solely under the notion of ‘right to confidentiality.’ Fast forward to now, personal data plays a key role in achieving prolonged growth and greater success for global enterprises, as collecting, processing, and exchanging personal data has become the cornerstone of any business activity. This transition has been apparent and rapid with the various technological and business innovations like social media, complex data analytics, and data storage to achieve superior customer relationships. To keep pace with this unstoppable transition, global enterprises required, and have been obtaining a much wider range of personal data from more people around the globe. Consequently, personal data protection laws had to be reformed to acknowledge the notion of ‘right to protection,’ rather than that of ‘right to confidentiality.’

Understanding the GDPR

Come May 25, 2018, all organizations, even outside the EU, that are currently processing or planning to process personal data of the EU citizens must be prepared to comply with the GDPR. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be an easy task; therefore, we have summarized the GDPR into five key points.

One Law for 28 EU Members. Superseding the former European Data Protection Directive, the GDPR is unified legislation that applies to all 28 member states of the EU. Under one set of laws, each EU member state will establish independent Supervisory Authorities (SA) that will receive and investigate complaints or data breaches, issue warnings or fines, and cooperate with other SAs if required. This change can be considered as welcoming, as the organizations are only required to comply with one set of laws, even if their activities are widespread across multiple EU member states.

More Power to the Data Subjects. The GDPR promises increased power for the data subjects. Data subjects are the natural persons whose personal data is processed by an organization. First and foremost, the organizations must provide clear and concise consent to the data subjects before collecting their personal data, signifying the end of long, illegible terms and conditions that are full of legalese. Furthermore, data subjects can lawfully request the organizations for the access, rectification, erasure, restriction of processing, portability, and objection of their personal data. Accordingly, the organizations must provide documentation that proves the completion of the data subjects’ request(s). Also, the GDPR provides the data subjects with the explicit right to lodge a complaint with the SAs, if any processing of their personal data infringes the GDPR requirements.

Strengthened Authority and Heavier Sanctions. The GDPR declares strengthened authority and heavier sanctions for non-compliance. Through the SAs, written warnings or periodic data protection audits will be imposed in cases of the first and unintentional infringement. Severe infringements may be punishable by a fine up to 20 million Euros or 4% of the annual worldwide turnover. Stricter sanctions dictated by the GDPR certainly put pressure on enterprises and organizations to invest substantial capital and resources to ensure that personal data remains protected and data subjects’ right and freedom are not harmed by non-compliance.

Data Protection by Design and by Default. It is the organizations’ legal responsibility to establish appropriate organizational and technological measures to meet the requirements of the GDPR and protect the rights of data subjects. Organizational measures pertain to appointing appropriate personnel, who can dedicate their expertise and responsibility for the GDPR compliance, while technological measures are associated with the integration of necessary security into the processing of personal data to ensure that rights of the data subjects are protected. This responsibility alludes to the GDPR’s new obligation of appointing Data Protection Officers (DPO) and establishing organization-wide data security.

Data Breach Notification. Unfortunately, data breaches can always occur. In this case, DPOs must take it seriously and notify it to the SAs immediately, or within 72 hours of discovery, by specifying the details such as the number of affected individuals. Furthermore, the affected individuals must be notified of the data breaches as soon as possible. Failure or refusal to notifying such data breaches to the SAs can result in sanctions.

Due to comprehensive and strengthened enforcement, complying with the GDPR will neither be an easy nor avoidable task for many organizations that wish to operate in the EU. As our commitment to data security stays true, we felt obliged to seriously approach and understand the GDPR, and share its implications to data security. The deadline to compliance, May 25, 2018 is approaching rapidly, and we hope that your journey to GDPR compliance will start off positively with Secudrive.

Blog Posts in this Series:
→ The GDPR Summary: The 5 Key Points
② Checklist for the Organizations to Comply with the GDPR
③ Data Protection by Design and by Default: Technological Measures
④ How to Comply with GDPR

Categories
Blog USB Sescurity

How to Protect Top Secret Information on USB Flash Drives.

On October 28, Daily Mirror reported a severe data breach through an unencrypted USB flash drive that was discovered by a pedestrian in the street of west London. The USB flash drive contained 2.5 GB of classified data, in the form of at least 174 documents, maps, and images. Discovering what this data detailed alarmed the authorities at Heathrow Airport, as it revealed top secret information that was critical to the UK’s national security such as Queen’s route to the airport, security patrol timetables, IDs for restricted areas, and operating manuals for Doppler radar surveillance system. The shocking details did not stop, as the USB flash drive was not even encrypted, meaning that anyone could access it without entering a password. The Metropolitan Police is seriously considering this happening as a terror threat and is currently investigating how this critical information was originally leaked out. Furthermore, the authority may have to invest a massive budget to build a new security system for Heathrow Airport, as the current system may have been already compromised and possibly leaked out to the wrong hands.

Without a doubt, this security lapse has been a hot issue in the IT security industry. Right after the news broke out, Spiceworks, one of the biggest online communities for IT professionals, has been conducting a poll to find out if IT professionals or organizations prevent data leaks by encrypting data or disabling USB ports. As of November 14, the results showed that 325 of 865 respondents (38%) neither encrypt data nor disable USB ports to prevent data leaks. Among those that impose security measures, 26% disabled USB ports, 13% encrypted their data, and 18% implemented both.

Organizations that appreciate data security disable USB ports on employees’ PCs, as 44% of the respondents answered in the poll above. This security measure allows the IT administrators to monitor who transferred and worked with what data through which network, only by permitting data transfer online. However, this measure presents a shortage, as the data security still remains in doubt due to the inability of managing the file activity once the files leave the secure office premises. In response to this shortage, organizations often store the files on USB flash drives that will be given to trustworthy employees who monitor the file activity with naked eyes, ensuring that nothing gets out and the files return safely to the office premises. Additionally, organizations use USB drives in other numerous ways to store and transport data within, or outside the office premises. Therefore, USB drives are considered as the widely accepted means for data management and transport, as 51% of poll respondents do not disable USB ports or only encrypt their data.

However, is USB drive encryption or USB port restriction, or even a combination of both truly enough to achieve reliable data security standards? Are we covering all the possible fronts?

Going back to the security lapse concerning Heathrow Airport, it is beyond belief to learn that an authority that is responsible for the national security of the highest order does not use encrypted USB flash drives. However, even if they did encrypt their USB flash drives and top-secret data, would this solution be sufficient to prevent data leaks in the future?

The answer is a clear no, as the risk of data leakage by an insider with the highest security clearance, who can copy and export the top-secret files to the wrong hands via USB flash drives, can never be overlooked. Even worse, it is almost impossible to identify the ‘what,’ ‘who,’ and ‘when’ about the data leakage.

If you must store ‘top secret information’ on USB flash drives, they must be not only encrypted but also copy-protected. If an employee, who is carrying one or more USB flash drives with top-secret information, must work with a co-worker out of office, it is imperative to restrict the employee’s right to copy, print, screen capture, and network transfer the files on the USB flash drives. Moreover, the USB drives must be configured to be only accessible via specifically permitted IPs, and the administrator must be able to monitor all activities real-time through the internet. Secudrive USB drive solutions are designed to prevent any leakage of top-secret information from USB flash drives.

If you expect a potentially catastrophic result from leakage of top-secret information, Secudrive USB flash drives are the perfect solution that provides infallible security with hardware encryption chip, copy-protection with digital rights management, and remote monitoring and management. Before trusting your employees or official documents like a non-disclosure agreement, protecting your data from leakage, malicious or accidental, begins by establishing a robust and dependable security system that protects your confidential, top-secret data from both internal and external threats.

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Blog File Server Security

Secudrive File Server: A File Server Data Loss Prevention with Digital Rights Management

Most organizations have file servers: Even small ones usually have at least one file server. However, larger ones have multiple file servers for teams or task-forces. File servers are storing sensitive files such as customers’ privacy, proposals for bids, drawings for new product development, and, etc. multiple users such as employees, consultants, contractors, partners share the information. Therefore, it is imperative to establish and manage an intricate and assured security system to prevent both accidental and intentional data leaks.

Secudrive File Server manages user rights by using Data Rights Management (DRM) technology to prevent data loss from the Windows file server. Even though a user has permission to access a file server, Secudrive File Server makes it possible to prohibit the user from copying or transferring a file from the server to anywhere out of the server. It whitelists applications to use specific applications and not to use an unknown one on the file server so that it can protect file server data from a ransomware attack. It filters file activity logs by users so that it can enable an administrator to monitor user activities at a glance and to use them for post-audit. It can be installed on an existing file server keeping existing Windows Active Directory(AD) environment so that existing shared folder, user, group, and permission can be utilized without any additional operation. Finally, it supports Microsoft Distributed File System(DFS) to manage remotely and collectively scattered multiple file servers in an organization.

Data loss prevention using DRM. Secudrive File Server can restrict user rights for copy, print, screen-capture, and network-transfer which cause data leakage from a file server. It can block all ways relating to copy such as ‘copy and paste,’ ‘save as,’ ‘clipboard copy’ as well as general ‘copy.’ Clipboard copy on a file server can be exceptionally allowed for productivity. Print can be prohibited, or only water-mark printing can be allowed for post-audit. If screen-capture is blocked, not only ‘print screen’ as a basic function of Windows but also screen capture trial by using a third-party sniffing tool does not work. Finally, it can also prohibit network-transfer by using ‘copy to web’ which can copy to the public cloud like ‘OneDrive.’

Ransomware attack prevention using application whitelisting. Prohibiting user rights using DRM technology works only if a user uses specific applications which are supported by Secudrive File Server. Secudrive File Server offers supportive applications including computer-aided design(CAD) files as well as various Office files, and then an administrator can whitelist apps among the list. By doing so, other applications including ransomware except the whitelisted are blocked from being installed and run on the file server so that the file server can be protected from ransomware attacks. An administrator also whitelists domains, IPs, and ports for network-transfer, if he/she enables a user to save a file onto groupware in the intranet.

User and file activity log monitoring. An administrator can monitor detailed file activity logs on when a user creates, modifies, deletes, copies, prints, screen-captures, and network-transfers a file as well as user activity logs on when and where a user accesses a file server. If file transfer out of the file server is allowed, the transferred file can be automatically backed up, and the log can be left for post-audit.

Easy installation and operation while keeping the existing system. Secudrive File Server can be added to the existing file server(s) keeping existing settings relating to information on users, folders, groups, and permissions. Secudrive File Server shows existing shared folders and enables an administrator to choose one among them and change it to ‘a secure shared folder’ on which DRM policy for users can work. Secudrive File Server also provides an easy user interface to add, modify, and delete a user, a folder, a group, and permission in an administrator’s console.

Compatible with enterprise environment. Secudrive File Server is compatible with AD environment so that existing AD environment can be maintained without any modification. It supports Windows Distributed File System to remotely and collectively manage scattered multiple file servers at a glance in large organizations.

Secudrive File Server could be an easy and efficient data loss prevention solution for a file server(s) with DRM technology so that it can make file server(s) a secure cooperative workspace for enterprises by protecting data from insider threats as well as outside attacks. Secudrive provides more detailed information and 30-day free trial of Secudrive File Server from its website.

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Blog USB Sescurity

Four Basic Requirements for USB Drive Security

USB flash drives are still popular portable storage devices because they are small and have relatively large storage capacities. Data on USB flash drives are not only readable but also editable, while data on CDs/DVDs are only readable. Users can edit the data on USB flash drives anywhere and in any situation.

You can place data on a USB flash drive to keep it physically separated from the rest of the data on a laptop and minimize the effects of a data breach if you lose the laptop. You can also use data on a USB flash drive by plugging it into a computer even when you’re offline; in contrast, you can access data on the cloud only through a network, meaning you can only use it when you’re online.

Although USB flash drives have significant advantages over other storage devices, many organizations now prohibit employees from using them by blocking the USB ports on their computers. These organizations make employees use and transfer data only through their networks, through which they monitor their data activities. The reason for this prohibition is that USB flash drives are vulnerable and lack security safeguards—unlike computers, which various information-security solutions protect to prevent data breaches.

However, many organizations still use USB flash drives. Some allow employees to use them freely to increase productivity, while others allow them in special cases despite prohibiting them generally. Companies that allow USB flash drives should use ones that are safeguarded by security solutions as secure as laptops are to prevent data breaches. If the data on a USB flash drive is as important as the data on a laptop is, it is easy to understand why it is imperative to protect the drive’s data. Below, we describe basic ways to protect data on a laptop. These basic methods can also promote USB security.

First, encryption software should be installed on a laptop in case it is lost or stolen. Second, antimalware software is required to prevent malware infections. Third, data-loss-prevention software protects against unauthorized data transfers outside the office. Finally, laptops should be managed collectively and remotely. The organization should require these four basic principles of laptop data security.

Encryption. Encryption guards against data breaches in the event the device is lost or stolen. Some encryption software can encrypt general USB flash drives. Some USB flash drives include preinstalled encryption software, and others include an encryption chip or keypad. Generally, USB flash drives with encryption chips are recommended for the enterprise level of security (read about Types of Encrypted USB Flash Drives).

Anti-malware. A USB flash drive also needs anti-malware software to prevent malware infections. When a USB flash drive is plugged into a computer that malware has already infected, the malware can easily infect it as well. The infected USB flash drive can then spread the malware to other computers in the organization.

Digital Right Management. You should prevent users from taking files from your USB flash drive without your permission. You cannot monitor an unauthorized data breach if a user uses the drive outside the network; therefore, you need to prohibit user rights to copy, print, screen-capture, and network-transfer files containing sensitive data before giving the drive away. That is the only way to protect against a data breach.

Remote Management. Finally, you should remotely monitor what users do with the files on USB flash drives they borrow from you. Before you give one to a user, you should set the password, usable period, usable IP bandwidth, and user rights. When a USB flash drive is lost or stolen, you can remotely destroy its data or block access to them. When using a USB flash drive offline, you should save its usage logs and transfer them through the network when you return to online use. You should also manage user rights and usage for offline users.

Secudrive prepares its USB solutions to meet the four basic requirements for USB security. It equips all its USB flash drives with AES-256 encryption chips, so only users who know the passwords can access them, and all their files can be transparently encrypted by the chip every time a file is storing on the drive. Secudive can preinstall the Trendmicro malware module for USB security to prevent malware infection by client request. The antimalware module can automatically update when a USB flash drive connects to the Internet. Secudrive USB Office and CAD make it possible to protect users from unauthorized copying, printing, screen-capturing, and network-transferring various Office and CAD files. Finally, Secudrive USB Management Server enables administrators to manage security policies—including user rights—and monitor file-activity logs remotely.

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Blog USB Sescurity

How to Protect a File on a USB Flash Drive from Being Copied

We are usually nervous when we hand over sensitive files to an employee who recently started, one who may soon quit the job, or a partner whom we have been working with for only a month. If a sensitive file contains a new product design or a proposal for a big bid that our company spent considerable money and time to develop, that file is vital for company survival. We may also be anxious when we have even a trustworthy employee, whom we have worked with for a long time, carry the file outside of the office.

We usually use a USB flash drive to manually carry files due to the following reasons: 1) the data file size is too large to send via email, 2) the public cloud or a file transfer service is not as secure as our on-premises storage or service, and 3) a sender wants only the appointed person to handle the files. Thus, we send a trustworthy employee with a USB flash drive containing crucial files to someone to manually retrieve, and we pray that the files will not be breached; however, a USB flash drive is small and can easily be lost or stolen. Moreover, we cannot be assured that a USB flash drive is not intentionally or unintentionally given to an unauthorized person when carried out of the office.

When we ask how to protect a sensitive corporate file on a USB flash drive from being copied, many IT pros first recommend encryption. An encrypted USB flash drive can protect the content—if the USB flash drive is lost or stolen—from a person who doesn’t know the password. General USB flash drives can be encrypted using USB flash drive encryption software. There are encrypted USB flash drives with a physical keypad or embedded with an encryption chip.

But what if a person who knows the password copies a file from the USB flash drive and pastes it to some unauthorized storage or gives the USB flash drive with the password to an unauthorized person?

When we ask about it, some IT professionals say, “That’s not the job of IT. HR should have hired trustworthy employees. And if you are worried about it, you can get employees’ signatures on a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) when they are hired.” Employees who were trustworthy when they were hired can change. They may develop a grudge against their boss or company, or they could get in personal financial trouble and need money. Of course, NDAs can make employees hesitate before performing any wrongdoing; however, at the decisive moment many people “forget” that they signed an NDA when they were hired. Once the data is breached, NDAs cannot save a company, and a company may be awarded significant financial damages in court that an individual cannot indemnify. Worst case scenario: a company can go out of business because of a breach in security.

Finally, someone says, “You cannot protect any file on a USB flash drive from being copied if somebody can see the file, because he or she can write down the content on paper, take photos, or record a video.” This means technology cannot protect you from a data breach. And, what about the security solutions that we are using? Those “analog attacks” are the slowest, most difficult, and most incorrect ways to breach data.

Locking a door cannot completely prohibit all thieves from opening the door without a key, but it can take more time for thieves to open or destroy the lock. The time could result in thieves being caught, hesitating to break in, or giving up before they attempt to break-in. That is the purpose of locks. Similar to how we don’t open a door because there is not a perfect lock for every thief, we should not give up on technological security safeguards for a data breach because we cannot protect from analog attacks.

Meanwhile, if the sensitive information can be copied by analog attacks, the information should be kept in the founder’s brain. Then that would not be a job of IT.

However, Secudrive USB solutions provide a clear, easy way to protect sensitive files on a USB flash drive from being copied. Secudrive USB Office and CAD edition are secure USB flash drives equipped with encryption chips. These chips make it possible for users to securely read and write Office and CAD files on the secure USB flash drive while protecting the files from being copied, printed, screen-captured, and/or network-transferred. They also record all user activity. Secudrive USB Management Server enables an administrator to manage the USB flash drives and user rights and to monitor file activity logs through the Internet.