An engineer is looking to get hold of copyrighted drafts for a particular project, while on the job, and easily prints the required documents. Although he might not have the requisite permission to edit the draft, there seems to be no limitations on his ability to print them. After a few years with the organisation, the engineer quits to pursue work with a contender. He has with him the printed designs of the blueprint and takes them before he leaves. Although he might be violating an NDA or a confidentiality arrangement the impairment has been done.
Steps to prevent data breach
How could this type of breach have been prevented?
- The first step to ascertain is that employees within an organisation or insiders are only able to execute specific functions, for example, was it important for the engineer to have printed the copyright drafts in order to perform his daily duty? In the event that it was necessary to print the documents, was it necessary to have high-resolution copies printed? This particular data breach would have been prevented if the engineer’s access was restrained only to a specific and essential action.
- The second step that should have been taken to safeguard against improper use of essential documents would have been to place specific time criterion on certain activities. For example if an employee requires to perform a certain activity on a document specific period of time, it is important to ascertain that the level of access instantaneously expires after an appropriate window of time. In this case, if it was important for the engineer to print the copyrighted drafts only for a special occasion, the permission to print the documents once again should have been spontaneously annulled after the appropriate window was closed, in order to forestall the improper use of the documents’ access at a future time.
It is important to understand that any digital asset which has been viewed, edited, printed and shared on a particular day should not be given the same access on the next day. Unfortunately, once a classified document has been seen, transmitted or printed unlawfully it is not possible to take back that action.
Consequences of data breach
There are a number of consequences that can result in classified data be accessed by unintended users, ranging from long drawn judicial campaigns, brand damage, compliance encroachments etc. Hence, when offered the option of securely clamping down data files and taking a carefree approach to securing digital files, it makes sense to be extremely cautious. It is far easier to automatize an approval process to render users added permits than to try and manage the colossal downfall that can take place after a data breach.
One particular error that most organisations make is to place permissions or restrictions on the folders of the digital files rather than specific digital documents and provide permissions to groups of people rather than single users. This can create a huge problem because restrictions are not applied as required, for instance, when a group of users are given permissions or rights to access documents it could result in unnecessary broad editing, viewing and transmission of documents.
Solutions for data breach
In order to avoid inappropriate access, it is strongly recommended to apply stringent digital security measures at the very file and individual user level. By automating workflows on the back-end, and organisation will be able to ensure scalability, while at the same time employing precise digital security criteria based on each document’s level of classified nature and each user’s requirement.
It can be a highly expensive error to underestimate the elaborate and expansive nature of DRM and the wide array of scenarios that you would need to account for in order to ascertain digital security across the organisation.