Not long ago, the critical digital information moved away from the enterprise in tapes and disks to be stored at an offsite location for backup and archiving. That was the only time when the digital information left the boundaries of the enterprise. Even now, many enterprises follow this practice. The vaults where these tapes and disks are preserved are highly physically secure. This method provides peace of mind when it came to security and privacy of enterprise data. This peace of mind may have been compromised with the increased adoption of new methods and technologies as illustrated in the following paragraphs.
- With the spread of internet and advances in networking, the resulting paradigm shift has had far-reaching consequences. Email is probably the most common conduit of the modern data egress in an enterprise. There are many instances of emails containing confidential information reaching unintended recipients. The servers can now be accessed from anywhere and sensitive data lands in the hands of unauthorized personnel.
- Mobile computing devices provide unparalleled flexibility to the employees. These devices now can be a part of the corporate network with ease and they have access to all the corporate data. Information can be easily transferred from the back end systems to the mobile computing devices thereby compromising on the security and privacy of the information.
- Managed data centers and outsourcing of IT infrastructure management have many significant advantages like efficiency and cost reduction in addition to shifting away from capital expenditure. However, the IT vendors of the enterprises have access to the critical digital information.
- With the advent of IOT, many gadgets like printers and air conditioners are now connected to the internet. More often than not, enterprises operate these gadgets in a managed outsourced model. Since these gadgets are now monitored remotely by a third party vendor, there is a risk of exposing critical business information.
- The adoption of cloud is growing at an exponential rate every month. With the increased usage of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, enterprises are investing less in their own data centers. Instead, the data gets stored remotely at the data center of the cloud provider in a very cost effective manner. The use cases include CRM, spreadsheets, end-point backup, server backup, archiving, VMs for workloads, file sharing, NAS, block storage, and many others. The advantages of using the cloud are very significant. However, there are many security and privacy gaps.
Enterprises would like to focus on their core business, and hence will increasingly entrust competent third party vendors with the task of managing their data needs in a pay-per-use model. This model will gain pace further if the current security and privacy gaps are bridged. The good news is that there are solutions in the market today, which can bridge most of the gaps. The most efficient solution is to host a security broker to obfuscate the information before it leaves the enterprise. Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) are one such example to bridge the gaps while adopting cloud for data storage.