Wednesday, 03 March 2021 14:51

Why consumer privacy is crucial in a remote work era

By Anurag Kahol, Bitglass
Bitglass co-founder and CTO Anurag Kahol Bitglass co-founder and CTO Anurag Kahol

Guest Opinion by Anurag Kahol, CTO and co-founder of Bitglass. The past year proved to be a time of dramatic change for companies and consumers all around the world, as the shift to remote work led to a surge in cloud usage as users, devices, apps and data were forced to move off-premises.

In fact, 54% of organisations confirm that the pandemic accelerated migration of workflows to cloud-based apps. Hacking and IT incidents are on the rise.

Most companies were unprepared as their technology, built solely for on-premises environments, was not sufficient enough to protect the new cloud-based remote workforce.

Consequently, data breaches have become a regular occurrence and consumers are increasingly discovering that their personal information is being gathered from these incidents and used without their consent.

Over the next year, we will see a permanent blend of in-office and remote work, and organisations must ensure that all their data remains secure.

Know where all that data lives

Companies can begin by keeping an accurate inventory of all data they control. By managing the data they have and where it goes, companies can maintain compliance with data privacy regulations while also protecting the privacy of their customers.

To address this issue, companies need to monitor all file, app, user and web activity with comprehensive activity logs to uncover the whereabouts of consumers' data.

Ensure secure access

In addition to consistently tracking data, organisations must limit access to sensitive information, as well as the storage systems that hold the information. This can serve as a challenge for organisations that leverage cloud technologies but do not use the proper technology to secure it.

Consequently, consumer data can be potentially accessed across numerous applications and on various devices.

To verify that users are truly who they say they are, organisations must enable single sign-on (SSO) and multi factor authentication (MFA). These solutions can ensure all employees are authenticated prior to accessing sensitive information, as well as create limits for who is accessing the data.

As more companies migrate to the cloud, it's critically important that they have a clear understanding of data jurisdiction, as well as the security challenges that may arise.

Data privacy regulations dictate that data can only be stored or moved when an agreement is in place or when the state has authority to do so. To adhere to such regulations, companies must adopt security solutions that provide contextual-based access control, advanced threat protection and data loss prevention capabilities.

For consolidated ease of use and cost-effective operations, organisations must utilise a comprehensive security platform that integrates all these capabilities into one offering. Only then can the modern enterprise ensure that all sensitive data is secure.

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