The corporate threat landscape is evolving at the speed of light – this is literally true in a digital world, powered by miles of fiber optic cables. With more than 96% of the US population engaged in online shopping and commerce, corporate digital assets represent a juicy target for hackers. How can you empower your team to operate safely and efficiently in the digital jungle? Too often, the security measures forced on employees by security-conscious executive teams only slow down commerce. Customers and employees expect business to be conducted quickly and efficiently. Shutterstock Licensed Photo The security tools in this article will help free your team from unnecessary burdens, while empowering them to utilize all of the tools available to them to wow your customers. #1. Virtual Data Rooms The way that militaries, sovereign powers and Fortune 500s handle classified or proprietary information is with SCIFs, or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities. These physical locations, usually a room or sections within an office space, are designed to allow cleared personnel to interact with secret data in a closely monitored space. All interaction with secure data is logged, and no hard data or wireless signals are allowed out of the room. This is a powerful tool for companies engaged in merger discussions, or executives meeting to discuss sensitive topics. And, while effective, this technology is getting a digital overhaul in 2018. Now companies of all shapes and sizes can afford a virtual data room – the cloud-based equivalence of a traditional SCIF. These digital data storage systems can be accessed from anywhere over an encrypted connection. According to SecureDocs, these tools are most often used for copyrighted information or trade secrets during merger and acquisition talks. Information is checked out by authorized users, based on their permission set. When accessed, data is also watermarked with employee identification information. The psychological impact of accessing a secured system, combined with the robust data security suite is a powerful deterrent to leaks. #2. Cloud-Based Computer Threat Analysis and Prosecution Most consumers are familiar with antivirus software. In the corporate world, too many companies use the same outdated technology that average households use to secure their computer from viruses, malware and spyware. Corporate computers need to remain nimble. Heavy security software that bogs down resources while completing scans and checks of every file the employee opens, or hogs resources in the background, just aren’t compatible with the modern office. Cloud-based threat analysis allows for system admins to keep the entire office up-to-date. Say goodbye to virus database updates. And, because the analysis takes place on another device, the employee’s technology isn’t bogged down. The best cloud-based threat detection systems can identify a threat in real-time, and even revert employee systems to the point right before the infection. Once an attack is identified, it’s like your systems are placed back in time, to a safer time. The way these systems work is complex and a bit complicated, but the bottom-line is that they work. If you’re using old-fashioned, system dependent antivirus at your corporate campus, you’re behind the times. Upgrade to cloud-based threat analysis to free up local system resources, detect evolving threats in real-time, and quickly bring things back online in a safe manner after an attack. #3. Insider-Threat Detection Remember Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker that leaked thousands of confidential NSA documents to the US public? Politics aside, the threat of disgruntled employees wreaking havoc on your brand and confidential data is real. The corporate email filters of yesteryear – designed to keep dangerous or inappropriate emails from reaching team members – have evolved to become smarter and much more sophisticated. Through advanced linguistic analysis (thanks to advances in AI), it’s now possible to identify disgruntled employees based on their communication habits. Security-conscious brands are moving forward at lightning speed to deploy and fine-tune employee monitoring software that runs in the background, away from view of privacy-conscious employees. This software helps to drastically reduce the risk of a disgruntled employee being allowed to carry out sabotage efforts in the dark. What your HR and in-house data security teams choose to do with the information is up to you. But identifying potential internal risks is the most difficult part of the battle. Insider threat detection platforms go a long way towards eliminating the risk. #4. Proactive Privacy Protocols to Comply with GDPR The other risk that corporations face in 2018 is the risk to the company’s bottom-line due to violations of emerging government regulations. The European Union will be implementing the General Data Protection Regulation in the middle of this year. This represents a huge risk for companies that are non-compliant. Fines can reach into the stratosphere, with some companies facing tens of millions of euros in fines if customer data is not properly handled. The aspects of customer data that are protected are two-fold: The data that companies collect from products after they are sold to consumers needs to be clearly disclosed at the point-of-sale. Best practices need to be in place and enforced to keep hackers from breaching security barriers and accessing sensitive customer information. This regulation was designed to shift the burden of data protection to the corporation – further incentivizing strong data security protocols, and possibly limiting data collection from customers; a potential hit to the future of big data analysis. But the overall message is clear: If you engage in commerce with a customer, or come into contact with their personal data, corporations are now responsible for safeguarding that information. This includes publishing information, per an outdated Terms of Service, on public sites. Google has already found themselves in the cross-hairs of this type of regulation, including a 15 million euro fine for privacy breaches in the Netherlands. #5. An Easy-To-Use Knowledge Database for Administrators One of the worst things that can happen in the modern workplace is a breach or system outage due to new technology that system admins haven’t been trained on. Many corporate data breaches and system outages are due to new tech being rolled out without proper training for the people responsible for making it run in a way that dovetails with existing tech infrastructure. I’ve mentioned a few different tech tools that can help your company run more securely and efficiently in 2018, but they aren’t worth anything if your admin team fails to properly utilize them. Dedicate a designated knowledge base gatherer in your organization. Their responsibility should be to find valid, fact-based resources for your teams to reference whenever questions arise. It’s impossible for in-house corporate knowledge bases and product manuals to address every issue tech teams face. Make your entire operation more efficient by vetting outside sources before the need arises to reference them. If your tech team is simply relying on a Google search result in 2018, they’re going to be fooled by poorly produced reference material that hasn’t been validated by industry professionals. In conclusion, the way that corporations secure both personal and corporate data is changing in 2018 – thankfully with a focus on improving employee productivity. This is accomplished by moving threat analysis off of individual machines, and into the cloud. By discretely monitoring team members for potential leaking or damaging behavior, companies can reduce the need for uncomfortable, morale-murdering witch hunts. And consumers will even benefit from improved corporate privacy standards, thanks to the European Union – although corporations will need to quickly evolve if they want to avoid stiff penalties. And as they evolve, pre-screened outside tech blogs and user guides can help system admins keep up with the changing tech landscape, without a bunch of time-sucking seminars.