October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).
Now in its 15th year, this annual event is an important reminder about our personal and professional cyber hygiene and the technology that now forms the foundation of society and life as we know it. This year’s NCSAM theme is Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. — and that message couldn’t be more timely or relevant.
With the abundance of mobile apps, collaboration platforms, cloud computing and extensive data supply chains, data sovereignty/ownership is a real challenge. But given the risks that come with the extensive journey most data travels these days, the ownership issue is more important than ever. Legal and regulatory responsibility still resides with the original data owner – the entity that collected or created it in the first place. But beyond just compliance, there are potentially significant impacts to confidentiality, trade secrets, product development, competitive viability and many other corporate functions that could be harmed if sensitive data gets in the wrong hands.
Considering the pace at which current business moves and the continual sharing of data far and wide, owning (and thereby controlling) it is harder than ever. Consider, for example, a critical product development document that a company houses on a commonly used collaboration platform like SharePoint, Box or DropBox. That document may be shared with contractors outside of the organization, but the moment the contractors are given access to it, the ownership of that file leaves the company’s oversight. These third parties may download it, share it with others, edit it or print it – not out of bad intent, but in the course of activities necessary to do their work. The company may well have no knowledge of what happens to that document, and they certainly won’t be able to stop whatever does happen. The more the file is passed around, the greater the risk of it going where it shouldn’t.
Changing that predicament is why VERA exists – it’s our mission to empower business owners to retain ownership and full control over their data assets, wherever they may travel. By applying military-grade encryption, security and policy directly to the data itself, VERA gives granular authority to the creator of any file for its entire lifecycle. That includes defining access permissions to ensure only approved users can access your information; the ability to automatically revoke access for internal and external users; dynamically applying policy and permissions; and easily tracking data access through an intuitive dashboard.
Armed with these powerful capabilities, data owners can truly own their highly valuable assets. And Owning IT is the first critical step in cybersecurity.