Data Security Goes Beyond Encryption

Over the weekend Bell announced that more than 22,000 SMB customers’ user data was compromised and posted online. So what was the source of the breach? A third-party supplier.

While not directly related to encryption, this particular incident highlights another key aspect of data security that is often overlooked, how partners handle data. In this particular instance, a company Bell works with was hacked and information stolen. While not a large-scale breach in comparison to recent events in the news, it’s a breach nonetheless.

This really highlights the importance of ensuring all partners and third-party suppliers are regularly audited to guarantee compliance with organizational security policies. Security always starts with an internal look, but should always expand outside the walls of the business. Key things an organization should take into consideration include:

  1. Have you had an independent assessment of the data/information risks within the business?
  2. Have you identified high-risk business associates, partners and suppliers?
  3. Have you validated which information and security controls they have in place and where any gaps may be?
  4. How do you know your business associates are actively managing the security of your company’s data?
  5. Is someone assigned the responsibility of keeping up with privacy and security governance including monitoring outside associates and suppliers?

It’s simple really and it’s summarized easy in this graphic:

EnsureCompliance

While hindsight is typically 20/20, it’s the last thing you want to rely on when it involves the security of your customer’s data.

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