The storage capacity of hard drives continues to increase, and the cost for that storage capacity continues to go down. The up side is that companies can retain almost every bit and byte of data that ever crosses the network–data that seems useless today may be valuable tomorrow. The down side, though, is that it becomes increasingly difficult to track where sensitive information is stored and make sure it is properly protected or securely disposed.
While IT admins are generally aware of, and on top of securing and protecting sensitive information that is part of day to day transactions, or maintained in the primary network storage drives, there may be gigabytes, or even terabytes of archived or forgotten drives containing sensitive data that has slipped through the cracks. Organizations need tools to help identify that sensitive information and prevent it from being exposed or compromised.
Todd Feinman, CEO of Identity Finder, said, “Hackers and identity thieves continue to employ more sophisticated methods to gain access to private information for personal gain,” adding, “Typical hard drives can hold gigabytes of information, and knowing exactly where Social Security numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers and other confidential information may be lurking is an insurmountable task for any one person.”
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse reports that more than 500 million data records have been exposed due to data breaches since 2005. A survey from the Ponemon Institute estimates that each compromised data record costs a company about $200, and that an average data breach costs about $6.6 million. Those are 6.6 million really good reasons to make sure that data is properly protected.
Identity Finder is one tool that can help seek out and identify forgotten or hidden sensitive information so that it can be eradicated or secured. Identity Finder helps reduce the risk of data leakage and identity theft by locating and securing sensitive information in all file types, on file servers, e-mail servers, network databases, company Web sites and desktop hard drives. Once found, Identity Finder gives IT admins the tools they need to shred, encrypt, redact, or otherwise remove or filter the information.
Of course, the data has to be connected and accessible for a tool like Identity Finder to work, so IT admins still need to have some other weapons in the arsenal. Making sure that all data at rest–whether stored on a server or backed up on some sort of removable media–is encrypted, and employing some sort of gateway solution that blocks or filters sensitive information from outbound communications or network traffic are also vital.