How Companies Can Avoid Having a “Kate Upton Moment”

Image via Shutterstock.com

Image via Shutterstock.com

Celebrity iCloud accounts were recently hacked resulting in the widespread release of very sensitive content to the public, and cloud-dependent consumers are panicking. While consumer data breaches involving credit card numbers or medical records have been rampant in the media for some time, the idea of losing highly sensitive personal content is now a hot topic.

Companies that aren’t making data security a top priority could be headed down a dangerous path. Here are some basic tips to avoid having a corporate “Kate Upton moment.”

Educate employees about the cloud
Help employees understand what the cloud is and where their data lives once they opt to store it on a third-party server. Explaining that data stored in the cloud actually lives in a shared virtual space with many other people’s data and that cloud data ownership is ambiguous in many circumstances can help employees judge whether the benefits outweigh the risks both to their personal and to your corporate information. The company should also take a strong stance by issuing an official policy for work documents and the cloud, which should also cover the use of rogue cloud-based solutions and how to disable these features on popular devices.

Implement BYOD the right way
While employees might be encouraged to bring their own devices to work, they should also be made aware that any work-related data could possibly be backed up and stored in the same place as their private information. Contacts, emails, and photos on their personal devices are all living in the cloud, which means the same security requirements – like strong passwords and two-factor authentication – need to be enforced for devices that are also used for business.

Automate rules to eliminate human error
Data breaches are often a result of simple human error. Sharing a file with the wrong party can have significant implications for a company, and cloud-based solutions make “over sharing” mistakes all too simple to make. By implementing a secure file collaboration solution, employers can ensure documents are shared with their intended audiences and no one else. Automated features like watermarking and auditing trails can also pinpoint any leak and close the security gaps opened up by user errors.

Like corporations, celebrities consider their public profiles as brands in and of themselves, and so the damage to those brands from a data leak can be just as significant as it would be for a business. While any leak of sensitive data is unfortunate, there are always important lessons to be learned. By implementing a few low-cost, low-impact controls, a great deal of the risk of a corporate data leak can be reduced or even eliminated.

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