Some of the world’s largest companies have been subjected to both reputation damage and humiliation because critical information has been leaked from right under their noses.
A couple of high-profile leaks to hit the headlines recently involved Coca-Cola and Apple. In Coca-Cola’s case the secret formula for a new drink was leaked (and then attempted to be sold to Pepsi for a reported $1.5m). At Apple, secret details of a new product – codenamed Asteroid – appeared online.
As you would expect, both Coca-Cola and Apple had gone to great lengths to hide their trade secrets. However, in each case the information did get out and the implications both to their businesses and the respective industries have been huge. What makes this even more disturbing is that Apple still has not been able to pinpoint the mole.
Both these incidents have ended in long and drawn-out law suits, which only heightened the publicity and embarrassment of the situation. For Apple, the end result was the complete termination of the Asteroid product development.
Information leakage and data loss create a major dilemma for companies that, in wanting to grant the necessary and appropriate access to both their employees and business partners, run the risk of exposure. It’s also much more than a question of trust because most of such reported incidents have accidental causes, whether it is an email that has been sent to the wrong person or an unsecured laptop left in the back of a taxi.
Help is now at hand to protect against such data loss. What’s more, the source of leaks can be identified immediately.
If a company is suspicious that information is being leaked, a reseller should provide it with a Data Loss Risk Assessment Service to answer four key questions. Where is your confidential data? Who has access to it? Where is your data going? How do you prevent it from leaving?
From this assessment the reseller is able to provide the customer with an in-depth analysis on all specific data loss incidents.
Most importantly, the VAR can identify their source, right down to the individual.
As best practice, the reseller should then recommend that the customer implements an appropriate data-loss prevention solution to provide visibility and protection against all future attempted information leakage and data loss. The mole will then finally become extinct.
Nick Garlick is managing director of Nebulas.
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