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      • Three-Dimensional Data Protection: Access, Visibility, and Control

        Nov 18 2016, 12:51 AM

        by Sunil Choudrie 2

        Knowledge is power. Whether it’s your proprietary data, customer insights, or strategic plans, data is valuable and needs protection. The problem is large. In 2015, half a billion personal records were stolen or lost, according to the Symantec 2016 Internet Security Threat Report Vol. 21 (ISTR). 

        What’s behind this risk? Our research shows both internal and external threats. Criminals have found that they can obtain your data by breaking into your systems or by targeting your staff who might be softer targets. If your staff use simple or default passwords, over-share data, or don’t follow security measures (such as removing redundant files from cloud services), they put your data at risk. And malicious insiders, such as disgruntled employees, may try to steal sensitive corporate data to further their career or to sabotage your company.

        Data Protection is not just about data loss prevention, it’s also about protection and access control. The key questions revolve around how do we allow open access to everyone, while still ensuring sensitive data is properly controlled? And moreover, how do we do this correctly?

        Symantec Information Protection

        The objective is not to contain data, but instead place the right visibility, controls, and policies to ensure that data is useful and not over-exposed. There’s also the people element. Encouraging the right behavior is better for employee trust and security. Consider a member of your team that attaches a document to an email. If they accidentally attach the wrong file in their haste, it can lead to embarrassment at best or a PR disaster or worse. Ideally, you would want to intercept this email before it leaves the organization, but if this isn’t carefully managed you can block emails that you didn’t mean to. A better approach is to empower your staff. A well-timed alert could inform your staff member that the attachment contains sensitive data, and gives an opportunity for any mistakes to be corrected. This approach allows your staff to make the right decision in what might be complex circumstances, which both plays to their strengths and reinforces and builds a strong security culture.

        Symantec Information Protection helps you identify critical data across all your files and emails using automated discovery and context-based classification. With Symantec, risk is reduced by ensuring you limit access to the right people. You limit the risk of data getting into the wrong hands by managing how it’s stored and the protection that surrounds it. You can easily apply policies to control access and usage―in the cloud, on mobile devices, or on the network—and protect and control data by establishing policies that apply across your entire network via a single point.

        Symantec VIP, VIP Access Manager, Data Loss Prevention all work together to create an information protection platform. Symantec Information Protection covers three areas: Access, Visibility, and Control.

        “Where are my data risks?”

        To protect data, you first need to find it, classify it, and then ensure that it’s properly managed. The challenge here is identifying the highest risks to your data. With data volumes exploding (a five-fold increase in data is predicted between 2015 and 2020), and data formats becoming less structured (photographs of forms or whiteboards), the challenges will only grow. 

        Symantec Information Protection helps you discover where your sensitive data is stored across your infrastructure. You’ll be able to monitor and protect sensitive data on mobile devices, on-premises, and in the cloud. And it’s all done through a unified policy framework to define data loss policies and to help you review and remediate incidents.

        “Who is accessing my data?”

        Passwords are the de facto standard, but bitter experience teaches us that too many users are inundated with them, resulting in the use of weak passwords, passwords being reused or even written down when they are too hard to remember. A recent study entitled Cyber Security Flaws in Working Practices discovered that 21 percent of workers write down their passwords. In another study, sixty-three percent of confirmed data breaches involved weak, default, or stolen passwords, according to the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report. You need to strike the right balance—making it easy for the end-user to access systems while ensuring security without relying on written-down notes.

        Poor password hygiene makes accounts vulnerable to takeover attacks. These attacks can be eliminated with the use of single-sign on and multi-factor authentication technologies, such as Symantec VIP and VIP access manager. Symantec Managed PKI service also provides simple to manage device certificates, enabling secure access from any device, anywhere, to any apps your users need. Symantec increases security because VIP password-less fingerprint authentication makes accessing all approved applications simple, without the user needing to remember multiple passwords for multiple applications. This enables your organization to determine what applications show up as an option for the user based on their role.

        With Symantec VIP, VIP Access Manager, and Managed PKI Service, we offer single sign on with rock-solid authentication to protect all your cloud and on-premises apps.

        “How do I better protect my data?”

        Data Breaches have almost become a weekly, if not daily, occurrence. According to the ISTR, the number of publically disclosed data breaches has risen steadily over the last number of years to reach 318 in 2015. What about stolen laptops or USB thumb drives and data breaches? Breaches caused by stolen or lost devices are real threats organizations face. In fact, this type of data breach makes up 45 percent of healthcare industry data breaches, according to the Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigation Report. And the cost? The Ponemon Institute found that the average consolidated total cost of a data breach grew from $3.8 million to $4 million last year, but of course this is highly variable with costs escalating significantly depending on scope, scale, and nature of the breach.

        Fortunately, you can take some measures to help protect your organization from data breaches. Symantec offers four broad ways to help.

        • Symantec Endpoint Encryption helps prevent breaches by protecting critical data sent by email, as well as with files shared on network drives and in the cloud.
        • Second, Symantec’s unified policy controls the flow of information everywhere it goes—in the cloud (with Office 365, Box, Gmail and others), on premise, and with mobile applications. We deliver powerful protection without added complexity.
        • Third, Symantec Data Loss Prevention (DLP) integrates with encryption to prevent accidental leaks through user error and secures devices against data loss or theft.  
        • The fourth area is that Symantec ensures you limit access to only trusted users and devices. Symantec VIP, VIP Access Manager, and Managed PKI Service offer rock-solid access control, reducing the risk and consequences of account takeovers.

        In upcoming posts of this series, we'll take a closer look at specific features of Information Protection. 

        • Products
        • Identity Access Manager
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        • information protection
        • Data Loss Prevention
        • VIP (Validation ID Protection)
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      • Bridging the Gap between IT and the Business with Next Generation Cloud Security

        Mar 18 2015, 11:16 AM

        by Mike Smart 0

        To those of us that have been brought up in the world of IT, there is nothing scarier than users and lines of business choosing and deploying their own IT.  We’ve labeled it ‘Shadow IT’ because it’s technology that is used in the dark, without the knowledge of the IT Department.

        But actually, to the user or the line of business, it’s just innovation. The typically risk-averse IT departments are all about mitigating risk; after all we’ve deployed Anti-Virus, Intrusion Prevention technologies to mitigate the risk of viruses and intrusions. This attitude of preventing risk is making us unpopular and irrelevant to the business, and this is why they often choose to bypass the IT procurement process.

        The fact is, users are more mobile than ever, and are comfortable taking corporate data and storing it on mobile devices or cloud storage applications all in the name of innovation and increased productivity.  Perhaps those of us in IT should find a way to embrace this and at the same time protect the business without imposing impractical policies and process.

        To help you bridge the gap, and allow users and the business to adopt flexible working practices that drive innovation through the adoption of mobility, cloud based systems and infrastructure, Symantec has released Identity: Access Manager.  Symantec™ Identity: Access Manager is a next generation access control platform that offers users and administrators control, convenience, and compliance for cloud-based applications.

        Access manager starts by using Symantec Validation and ID Protection (VIP) and Symantec Managed PKI to bring integrated single sign-on (SSO) and strong authentication to mobile devices. With Access Manager, users can login one-time using a password, PIN, or even a fingerprint to safely access all of their cloud apps and information. This helps secure mobile devices by eliminating bad password practices and gives your users fast, easy access to the resources they need.

        Also, Access Manager provides flexible, easy-to-create connectors and unified identity and context-based access control for virtually any cloud app or service, which means you can enforce your security and compliance policies, log your activities to stay compliant, and ultimately turn those rogue apps into legitimate productivity tools.

        Access Manager is every bit as flexible as it is powerful. You can choose to deploy it on-premise or in the cloud, depending on the needs of your organization. And because Access Manager integrates seamlessly with your existing infrastructure, it reduces complexity by providing a convenient central point for managing all of your different user directories.

        In summary, there are five good reasons to try Symantec Identity: Access Manager in your environment:

        • Ensures control, convenience, and compliance for public and private cloud applications
        • Enhances security with strong authentication and identity/context-based access control
        • Streamlines compliance auditing by consolidating access logs for protected users and applications
        • Boosts users’ productivity with Single Sign-On – one password grants access to all apps
        • Offers flexible deployment options, choose from on-premise or hosted service

        If you want to find out more, visit our home page here:

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      • Information protection everywhere begins with Symantec Identity: Access Manager (SAM)

        Feb 02 2015, 8:44 AM

        by Teresa Law 0

        So information protection everywhere begins with Symantec Identity: Access Manager (SAM)?  But what is information protection everywhere?

        • It’s prevention - scanning on-premise and in cloud apps to find sensitive files that should be secured
        • It’s user friendly protection – securing identities and access with simple, smart, and secure strong authentication; and protecting data in the enterprise or the cloud, at rest and in transit
        • It’s fast detection and rapid remediation – quickly identifying suspicious or risky behavior and automating responses
        • It’s about standards so integration with vendors' products is easy
        • And it begins with SAM

        Access Manager (SAM) is the platform on which Symantec’s information protection solution will be built.  A comprehensive information protection solution that not only includes identity and access protection, but also information management, and a way to intelligently correlate unusual behavior or events identified by both.  Access Manager acts as the single access point for all cloud apps and services to ensure secure access and data integrity; similar to a Control Access Security Broker (CASB) or Cloud Access Control. 

        But why does Symantec’s information protection start with Access Manager? The single access point provided by Access Manager is necessary, not just to help ensure that legitimate users are the only ones to gain access to sensitive corporate data, but also to identify users if there is a need to take action - enabling rapid response.  Identity provides the best means to correlate disparate events and Access Manager provides the unified identity.

        The introduction of Access Manager is just the beginning of information protection everywhere. Read more about Access Manager http://bit.ly/1H8H33G or visit the Access Manager website

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      • To protect your enterpise, protect your vendors

        Nov 10 2014, 10:04 PM

        by Teresa Law 2

        We talk a great deal about using strong authentication to secure access for enterprise employees, but often we don’t think about how breaches to vendors could make our own enterprise vulnerable.  In some cases all an attacker needs is to steal the username and password from a vendor to begin their attack on your enterprise.  That is exactly what happened to Home Depot; and it is an excellent example of why not only you, but also your outside vendors should be using strong authentication like Symantec VIP – Home Depot hackers exposed 53 million email addresses.  This kind of breach not only damages customer trust but also Home Depot estimates that the theft would cost about $62 million.

        “According to Home Depot, the attackers stole login credentials from an outside vendor and used this information to infiltrate Home Depot’s systems. They could then move from a peripheral third-party vendor system to the company’s main computer network by exploiting a Windows vulnerability. Microsoft released a patch for this bug after the breach began, but while Home Depot applied the patch when it was released, it was too late. The attackers could then move to more Home Depot computers, eventually reaching 7,500 of the company’s POS terminals at self-checkout lanes. However, the attackers may have missed 70,000 of the retailer’s standard cash registers as these terminals were only identified by numbers.

        The attackers moved through Home Depot’s network during regular business hours and used malware that stole data, transmitted details to a remote location, and deleted its traces. According to the investigation, the breach could have gone unnoticed for much longer if the attackers hadn’t put some of the stolen credit card details on sale while a number of Home Depot executives were on vacation for Labor Day. “

        The Symantec Internet Threat Report highlighted how attackers are using smaller businesses and the supply chain to attack larger entities - the Home Depot attack dramatically reinforces this finding.  Attackers are becoming more relentless, using multiple avenues to stage attacks.  Enterprises need to engage in a layered security approach to mitigate the risk.  A mandatory first step is ensuring that not only your enterprise but your vendors are securing access to their networks and applications.  Symantec VIP is a simple, smart, and secure way to easily add a second layer of protection to secure access.  A username and password may be compromised but a secure second factor will not.

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        • Identity and Authentication Services
        • VIP (Validation ID Protection)
        • Identity Access Manager
        • Products and Solutions
        • Managed PKI for SSL