Friday, February 26, 2016

Blast from the past: Is resurrecting the fax machine actually helping Sony’s CEO to protect sensitive information?

In November 2014, Sony Pictures experienced a particularly damaging cyberattack, when information about employees and their families, including executive salaries, was obtained by hacker group, Guardians of Peace. The group also leaked private email exchanges between top executives that left the studio running around doing damage control with the media over use of the material.

As a result, earlier this week, Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton revealed that he has reverted back to writing sensitive messages by hand and faxes them to their destination.

However, is this really doing anything to improve data protection at Sony Pictures?

Fax machines have to be viewed as one of the least secure ways to share data. In the last three months of 2015 alone, the ICO reports that sending sensitive information to the incorrect recipient (for example, entering the fax number incorrectly) caused 38% of data breaches in the legal sector, 25% of incidents in the justice sector and 23% of incidents in the health sector.

In addition, even if the information is sent to the correct machine, the data owner – that is, the person sending the information – then has absolutely no control over who picks up the printout and what they subsequently decide to do with it. (Loss of paperwork is another leading cause of data breach incidents.)

Why, then, is the CEO of such a large tech company like Sony trusting in a system that is proven to put sensitive data at risk?

Encryption solutions exist that can protect organisations’ sensitive information to industry and government accredited standards while keeping tools like email usable to all members of the business and third parties. Technology is available with the ability to control what recipient do with shared information – such as save locally or print – and see detailed audit logs of what they’ve done with it. Companies like Sony should therefore be setting an example to the wider industry by adopting data security technology that offers genuine protection and information assurance to their employees and their customers.

If organisations are genuinely going to learn the lessons of the Sony cyberattack, they need to make sure information security is a natural part of how all employees collaborate to ensure they remain productive but to importantly also protect sensitive customer and corporate data.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Why is real-time, online editing a game changer?

With the latest release of Egress Switch Secure Workspace, users can create and edit documents collaboratively online whilst enjoying the advanced security levels for which Egress Switch is renowned. In this blog post, we explain why Switch Secure Workspace 3.0 is a game changer for the secure collaboration and file sharing space.

Working in a digital world

The 21st Century workplace faces a dilemma. The digital revolution has brought about three trends:
  • Organisations are embracing remote, even transnational, working practices
  • More and more data is being created and communicated electronically
  • Threats to information security are more widespread and insidious than ever

As workers collaborate on tasks over the internet, the vast amounts of data transferred makes it tremendously difficult to maintain control of and protect sensitive information. Alongside this, organisations are going paperless and moving workflow to the cloud, bringing cost savings and efficiency – but how do you balance maintaining quick and easy access to documents whilst upholding security? When the data is out of sight, it can sometimes be easy to keep information security out of mind – however security infrastructure must keep pace with the current trends in working practices if organisations are to avoid data breach catastrophe.

With online editing, Switch Secure Workspace solves this dilemma.

The compromise with file sharing and collaboration products has always been between usability, security and cost, but with Switch Secure Workspace there is no more compromising. No more cost-cutting at the expense of security or paying more for a secure solution that’s left unused due to its technical complexity.

Teamwork made easy

Real-time, online editing is an instrumental feature in Switch Secure Workspace’s innovative solution to these crucial issues. Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint files can be edited within Switch Secure Workspace in an easy-to-use editing window. All the main features you associate with MS Office products are there, from chart creation and complex formulas to presentation animation.

Using the discussion and chat features it’s simple for colleagues to discuss the work they are producing. All document changes are tracked and highlighted so you can see who’s been working on the documents.

Detailed auditing of all editing and collaboration is another impressive feature not seen in other products, and something of an Egress Switch trademark. Throughout a document’s lifecycle, you’ll always know who’s viewed or edited it, while fine-grained permissions controls mean documents always stay within trusted circles.

Switch Secure Workspace works on any modern browser, as well as on tablets and mobiles; it’s remote working without resorting to email and getting lost in version mismatches, or worse still, using insecure FTP services. No additional software needs downloading, so there’s no stepping outside the secure platform to edit – everything happens within a workspace and within your control.

Collaboration without compromise

Switch Secure Workspace 3.0 is the first solution to bring all these features together and satisfy the plea for a user-friendly collaborative platform that doesn’t sacrifice security, reduce efficiency or negate cost savings with exorbitant deployment expenditure. The online, real-time editing is the best of its kind, and the auditing and permissions controls are powerful and unique. That’s why Switch Secure Workspace 3.0 is a game changer.