Can your data breach detection tool tell you what was breached?

Most security teams share this common goal: create the widest margin possible between their organization’s protected data and the risks that threaten it. What makes this challenging is that potential risks continue to fluctuate and evolve as cyberhackers become smarter. But, that doesn’t mean that your team has to work harder. The right data protection security tools can help your organization’s team work more efficiently and with greater accuracy. Find out what features are necessary for rapid data breach detection and remediation, and what your team needs to proactively look out for to prevent a data breach.

What is a data breach detection tool?

Data breach detection tools are often mistaken for other types of security tools, like antivirus software or intrusion detection systems. Antivirus software can only check a single computer for known malware. Intrusion detection systems work to prevent network break-ins by unauthorized users.

Data breach detection tools take it all a step further by monitoring activity throughout an entire IT network in real-time. Should a breach occur, advanced tools will also be able to give you comprehensive visibility to the key data points your team needs to know or even begin the remediation process immediately with automated workflows that your organization pre-configures.

What data points do you need to know to protect sensitive data and respond to breaches?

Having visibility to key data points helps your team understand what can be done to prevent a breach and develop the best plan of action for remediation, should a data leak occur. Additionally, if your organization experiences an unintentional data disclosure, your team will want to have a full view of why it happened so the proper measures can be implemented to prevent future breaches. Below are a few key data points your data breach detection tool should be able to provide your team in real-time.

Data location

At a glance, you should be able to know where your organization’s sensitive data is stored and if there are proper security precautions in place. Along with where your sensitive data is stored, it should be easy to know when and where data has been accessed or created. Along with data breach prevention, knowing where all of your data is located is essential for maintaining regulatory compliance. Public attention towards privacy rights has increased and state governments have been listening. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) took effect January 2020 and more recently, the New York Shield Act took effect in March 2020. Knowing where all of your sensitive data lives is vital to staying compliant with these regulations.

Data footprint

If your organization collects, processes or creates a high volume of sensitive data regularly, then your sensitive data footprint is likely to fluctuate. This is where having a robust data breach detection tool that operates in real-time comes in handy, as some can report and help reduce your total sensitive data footprint along with how much is unprotected, unclassified or out of compliance.

Data heatmap

A data heatmap will show you who in your organization are the biggest users of sensitive data. This piece of information is extremely beneficial for any security team lead, as they can quickly access suspicious activities from external or internal users. Even if the highest users are internal personnel with authorized access, you can better protect your data by ensuring those employees are regularly trained on proper data security protocol.

What are the common gaps in an organization’s data protection plan?

There are multiple ongoing steps an organization needs to take to prevent data breaches. One of those critical steps that is often overlooked is sensitive data discovery. Since sensitive information can often come in the form of unstructured data, many organizations are at a loss of accurately locating all of that data, when it could be anywhere from emails, to voicemails, or cloud storage platforms.

Organizations that are prioritizing data breach protection need the right tools to quickly find all forms of sensitive data, no matter where it lives, and automatically classify that data. Once data is discovered and classified, then the right measures can be implemented to protect, control, and remediate as necessary.

Scanning software challenges for data breach detection

Sensitive data discovery is a critical step to data breach protection. With the large amounts of data created and processed daily, your security team needs to find the right software to accurately scan for sensitive data. The challenge many security teams are faced with is that many software are built with outdated methods that are incredibly time-consuming. This leads to teams needing to cut corners, like omitting scanning in certain locations. When you sacrifice being thorough for the sake of time, you do not have a true view of your data and potential risks associated with it.

When choosing a data breach detection tool, it’s important to find one with the ability to locate unstructured data, and to scan for data whether it’s located on-premise or on the cloud.

How teams can automate data breach detection measures

Once your team has created policies for data discovery, classification, and remediation, a lot of the heavy lifting is done. That is, if you are able to automate those procedures with your data breach detection tool. If you already know what factors will qualify a piece of data to be classified as sensitive and what remediation tasks need to be executed given certain triggers, then you should be able to automate those tasks.

By automating these tasks, you leave less room for human error. And with all of these automations working in real-time, your team can feel more secure knowing that workflows are always in motion.

How does your data breach detection tool stack up?

The financial, regulatory and reputational risks of a data breach can feel overwhelming, but the right tools can help set your organization up for success. If you’re considering a new data breach detection tool, remember to check to see if it has the following capabilities.

  1. Easily accessible insight to key data points like data location, data footprint and a data heatmap. It’s also important to verify that the way this information is presented to you is easy to understand. Are there visualization options or are they pure text reports? It’s important to find an option that makes sense to you and doesn’t require a large learning curve.
  2. >A robust scanning tool that can accurately locate all types of sensitive data, whether it’s on-premise or on the cloud. Pay close attention to whether or not the software can find unstructured data and how quickly it can locate it.
  3. The ability to automate repetitive and ongoing workflows. This is especially relevant to sensitive data discovery, data classification, and data remediation.

The Spirion Data Privacy Manager checks off all of these considerations, with built-in tools that streamline processes for data discovery, data classification and remediation. Working in real-time with insights towards the key data points your team needs to know, your organization is better prepared to prevent data breaches, and quickly manage data breaches if they occur.