Keeping internal information internal

ITworld.com, Enterprise Networking |  Security

Firewalls keep hackers out. What keeps your company's intellectual property in?

Filters on e-mail servers and even SANs are getting smarter and able to log inappropriate material sent out of the company. However, a log file of your new product plans going out to a competitor doesn't block those plans. For that level of protection, you may want to visit with Fidelis Security Systems.

Taking the next step beyond security policies, content filters, and intrusion detection, Fidelis' DataSafe works to stop important information from leaving your company. They call it "extrusion prevention" but I always think of extruded aluminum when they say that, so I'll call it security-enabled content management.

Most of Fidelis' customers worry about intentional intellectual property theft, but new federal data restrictions make it painful to let all sorts of data out of your network. When a teacher sends their gradebook home to work over the weekend, they may be violating security constraints for student records, especially if they use a public account like Hotmail. The same may be true for an executive sending employee records home. Like the old song says, "paranoia strikes deep," but network administrators aren't paranoid when everyone from hackers to the federal government are out to get them.

Sad, but today we need a way to apply security policies to outgoing files, just like we have on our firewalls for incoming traffic. That's what Fidelis works to implement.

Intentional fraud makes the most painful impression on executives, of course. That's why the demonstration Fidelis uses takes customer credit card numbers, copies them into a Microsoft Word document, zips that file, and e-mails the file out. Their system stops the e-mail before it leaves, and includes details about who sent that e-mail. They can monitor for a variety of file types, including AutoCad drawings.

This level of security is complex and expensive. Only company executives who don't faint at six figure systems should call Fidelis. But for those of you at large companies, paying six figures and up will be less painful than having federal investigators crawling through your network with magnifying glasses and subpoenas.

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