WHITEPAPER: Encryption and data protection. Encryption and data protection

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1 WHITEPAPER: Encryption and data protection Encryption and data protection Encryption, what does it mean and if it s so important why isn t everybody using it?

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3 Encryption and data protection Contents Synopsis The value of data Data loss hurts Rules and regulations Policy led security Why don t companies use encryption? The Symantec.cloud solution

4 Synopsis Barely a month goes by without a big data protection story in the media. But where is the real threat and what can you do to protect your business? How do you protect data at rest and data in transit? If encryption is so important, why isn t everyone using it? Is there a simpler, more efficient way to encrypt your data? This white paper aims to answer these questions. Every day, around 294 billion s fly around the internet 1. Around three-quarters are spam 2, so that leaves 75 billion legitimate personal and business s. Only a tiny fraction are encrypted. The rest are like postcards anyone can read them between sender and recipient. In addition, gives every employee a way to send company secrets instantly to virtually anyone in the world. Data at rest in your organisation is equally under threat from espionage, hacktivism, spyware and insider negligence or wrongdoing. The value of data According to Dale Zabriskie, Principal Technologist at Symantec, 75 percent of a company s intellectual property can be found in s, presentations and spreadsheets. This information is often stored and ed without regard to its potential value and the risk of public disclosure, and usually without effective encryption. As if losing data to hackers and thieves wasn t embarrassing enough, the fallout from a data breach is highly toxic. Share prices fall, reputations are ruined and organisations suffer. With all these risks, regulations and problems, it seems extraordinary that companies are not encrypting their data and correspondence as a matter of course Symantec.cloud MessageLabs May 2011 Intelligence report

5 Data loss hurts Recently, data loss stories have hit the front pages. It s a pressing issue for businesses and governments. Some recent examples underline the dangers: Hacktivism - WikiLeaks release of hundreds of thousands of unencrypted but confidential documents, to the acute embarrassment of the US government and many others, should have alerted all CIOs to the threat posed by data leaks. Unfortunately, the message fell on deaf ears. Months later, the Anonymous and LulzSec hacktivist networks got into the computers of companies like strategic consultants Booz Allen Hamilton 3 and security consultancy HBGary 4. Identity theft - When Sony s PlayStation Network was breached, as many as 77 million PlayStation users saw their personal information stolen by hackers 5. The BBC reports that the information was stolen from an outdated database, highlighting the need to protect data throughout its life and as it moves from one system to another. Accidental loss - In 2007, HMRC lost two CDs in transit, containing personal details about 25 million people 6. This highlights several problems. First, the need for a secure way to transmit data from one place to another. Sending those records by unencrypted is just as risky as sending them by unencrypted CD. Second, it shows that employees will usually find a way to circumvent any security protocols or rules unless they can be implemented automatically. While the HMRC story is noteworthy, it is repeated thousands of times every day on a smaller scale. For example, by some estimates, 250,000 laptops are stolen in the UK every year and only a small percentage are encrypted 7. Spyware - Symantec has a global network that manages and related malware detection and prevention services for client companies. In its June 2011 intelligence report 8, it found that one in 50 of Symantec s UK customers were subject to a targeted malware attack, and one in 65 of its financial customers. One in every 130 s contained a phishing attack, and one in every 131 s contained malware of some kind. Espionage - UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox told businesspeople recently that the Ministry of Defence had blocked more than 1,000 attacks on its systems in This was twice the number of attacks the year before. This comes on top of MI5 s warnings about the threats to UK businesses from Chinese hackers 10. No one knows how many attacks get through. Detica, a security consultancy, estimates that the British Aerospace and defence sector loses 1.6 billion a year to espionage and theft of intellectual property. This is almost as much as it spends on R&D 11. Rules and regulations Data protection regulations apply to all businesses when it comes to personal information. The Information Commissioner s Office, which is responsible for enforcing the UK s Data Protection Act (DPA), reported 12 in July that it had received more than 26,000 complaints under the DPA in In many of these cases, effective encryption would have prevented the problem. Anyone who loses data and hopes to get lost in the DPA wash is living in a fool s paradise. The ICO has beefed up its complaint-handling procedures and, last year, the ICO won the power to levy fines up to 500,000 for violations of the DPA. This year, it started to use that power. For example, the ICO fined a company 60,000 for losing a laptop with unencrypted data on 24,000 people who were receiving legal aid

6 Policy-led security Every company needs policies that set out how staff can access, use, store, transmit and company information. A high-level information policy can drive and shape staff policies, training and technical decisions when it comes to encrypting data at rest and in transit. The UK s Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) offers the following general security advice 13. Companies, it says, need constantly to ask themselves: Who would want access to our information and how could they acquire it? How could they benefit from its use? Can they sell it, amend it or even prevent staff or customers from accessing it? How damaging would the loss of data be? What would be the effect on our operations? CPNI suggests the following principles should be central to any decisions: 1. It is not possible to protect everything, so one must prioritise what to protect. 2. The measures should be proportionate to the threat. 3. The cost should not exceed the value of the asset being protected. Finally it notes, Security is more cost-effective when incorporated into longer-term planning. The first step is to classify data, in particular . As Zabriskie says, When you classify information, then you re also able to encrypt the right information at the right time and in the right place. Why don t companies use encryption? There is a perception, cultivated by Hollywood and law enforcement agencies, that encryption is impossibly complicated and only for use by people with really important secrets. Inside this myth, there is a grain of truth. The mathematics than underpins modern cryptography is complex, but tools have evolved that make it easy, even completely transparent to use, while maintaining the security against unauthorised access. For example, voice conversations on Skype are encrypted and no one notices. Online stores use SSL encryption to protect credit card data and very few people notice. Most electronic banking transactions use encryption and many now use crypto devices for login authentication, and no one notices. However, managing your own in-house encryption environment can be complex and potentially expensive. You have to secure it against hackers and accidents, you have to manage the keys used to encrypt and decrypt messages, you have to develop trusted relationships with those with whom you exchange encrypted correspondence, and you have to have robust enrolment, updating and end-ofservice procedures for the people with access to keys and encrypted information

7 The Symantec.cloud solution We ve seen that there is a clear and present threat to businesses from data loss, whether it is the result of accidents or deliberate attack. The consequences are severe and increased by regulations. It s clear that classifying your data accordingly is essential, as are policies and processes that protect it. An essential part of any data protection plan is encryption. However, we ve seen that it can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming to use. Fortunately, there is an alternative: using internet-hosted, managed encryption systems. Many companies already outsource much of their system. When so much carries spam and malicious content, running an service is a costly overhead most companies sensibly prefer to leave to specialists such as Symantec.cloud. The same approach helps companies protect against data loss, and Symantec.cloud has several services that can help: Boundary encryption - Symantec s Boundary Encryption.cloud allows clients to set up secure private networks that link up with their nominated partners. Every part of every sent or received via these networks is fully and securely encrypted. As with Skype and mobile phone calls, both sender and recipient remain unaware that their messages are encrypted, unless you tell them. The service works seamlessly with leading servers such as Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and Sendmail. And of course, it works with other Symantec.cloud services such as Security and Endpoint Protection to scan all incoming and outgoing encrypted for viruses, spam and other inappropriate content, thus preserving the integrity of both your IT systems and your information. Policy-based encryption - This lets you encrypt sensitive data using flexible rules to decide what s should be encrypted; for example, based on sender, recipient, words or attachments. Recipients can read encrypted s easily and send encrypted replies without installing special software on their PC or smartphone. Content control - Symantec Content Control.cloud reduces the risk of data loss over by scanning outgoing s and attachments for keywords, phrases, URL lists or particular wildcards (e.g. credit card numbers). s of concern can be blocked, redirected and deleted. Spyware prevention - Keeping your computers safe from spyware and intrusion is an essential part of data loss prevention. Symantec Endpoint Protection.cloud does exactly this for endpoint PCs and other clients, while Symantec Security.cloud AntiVirus and AntiSpyware block spyware coming in via web browsers and Symantec Antivirus.cloud blocks malware including targeted attacks coming in via . Because they are all hosted internet services, they can block most threats before they even reach your systems and they can do more checks (e.g. link inspection on web links embedded in s) than most on-premise systems. Although these services are hosted in the cloud, you still retain complete control over the security policies you wish to enforce via a web-based console. When combined with sensible security policies, employee training and information classification, Symantec.cloud can help you keep your critical data away from prying eyes and protect it from accidental leaks. Easy-to-implement encryption adds a further level of protection that protects a vital channel of communication. In a world where leaked s, spyware and data theft can cost companies millions, it pays to have comprehensive protection. For more information please visit our website at or contact us at 4

8 Office locations EUROPE HEADQUARTERS 1270 Lansdowne Court Gloucester Business Park Gloucester GL3 4AB United Kingdom Main +44 (0) Fax +44 (0) Freephone +44(0) DACH Wappenhalle, Konrad-Zuse-Platz 2-5, München, Deutschland Tel +49(0) Support +44(0) NETHERLANDS WTC Amsterdam Zuidplein 36/H-Tower NL-1077 XV Amsterdam Netherlands Tel +31 (0) Fax +31 (0) LONDON 3rd Floor 40 Whitfield Street London, W1T 2RH United Kingdom Main +44 (0) Fax +44 (0) Freephone +44(0) NORDICS Business Center Nord Lyngbyvej Copenhagen Denmark Tel Fax Support FRANCE 17 avenue de l Arche Tour Egée Courbevoie France Tel +33 (0) Support +44 (0) AMERICAS UNITED STATES 512 Seventh Avenue 6th Floor New York, NY USA Toll-Free ASIA PACIFIC HONG KONG Room 3006, Central Plaza 18 Harbour Road Tower II Wanchai Hong Kong Main: Fax: Support: AUSTRALIA Level Kent Street Sydney NSW 2000 Australia Main: Fax: Support: CANADA 170 University Avenue Toronto ON M5H 3B3 Canada Toll-Free SINGAPORE 6 Temasek Boulevard #11-01 Suntec Tower 4 Singapore Main: Fax: Support: JAPAN Akasaka Intercity Akasaka Minato-ku Tokyo Japan Main: Fax: Support:

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10 About Symantec.cloud More than 55,000 organisations ranging from small businesses to the Fortune 500 across 100 countries use Symantec.cloud s MessageLabs services to administer, monitor and protect their information resources more effectively. Organisations can choose from 14 pre-integrated applications to help secure and manage their business even as new technologies and devices are introduced and traditional boundaries of the workplace disappear. Services are delivered on a highly scalable, reliable and energy-efficient global infrastructure built on 15 data centers around the globe. A division within Symantec Corporation, Symantec.cloud offers customers the ability to work more productively in a connected world. For specific country offices and contact numbers, please visit our website: World Headquarters MessageLabs 1270 Lansdowne Court Gloucester Business Park Gloucester, GL3 4AB United Kingdom +44 (0) Copyright 2011 Symantec Corporation. All rights reserved. Symantec and the Symantec Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Symantec Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. 2/

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