December 25, 2012, 9:05 PM — This vendor-written tech primer has been edited to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.
A string of high-profile data breaches in 2012, from LinkedIn to Global Payments, have kept enterprise data security in the limelight. But most organizations still tend to be reactive and focus on firefighting when it comes to data security, rather than implementing a more effective long-term strategy. Let's examine the four most common pitfalls of this short-sighted approach.
* Lack of standards. Ad hoc security is often based upon multiple "standards" and solutions across disparate functional IT groups. For example, data encryption is often poorly implemented by IT professionals who don't really understand data security requirements. Some organizations are adopting emerging industry standards for encryption like the Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP). However, it is still immature and thus no panacea. This overall lack of IT security standards leads to higher management costs, redundant processes, and greater risk of a data breach.
YEAR IN REVIEW: Worst security snafus of 2012
* No central control. In a similar fashion, individual security and encryption tools provide their own management consoles for administration, monitoring/auditing and key management. Each ad hoc solution needs to be configured separately and will provide different levels of functionality, sophistication and certification. This creates an operations quagmire. It also introduces varying degrees of risk depending upon each tool and how it is implemented. Of equal concern, CISOs have no central way to assess, monitor, address and report on how effectively these disparate security measures are working. That's because each individual security tool has its own policies, provisioning and management system. This translates into escalating costs and complexity.