Data Security: Why you'd better stop using unencrypted integration platforms (which is most of them) right now!


by Michael McDonald and Kim Chandler McDonald, Co-Founders of FlatWorld™ Integration

Unencrypted integration platforms, operating system patches; application upgrades; accessing your network through your printer - they’re all potential points of vulnerability for your business. Simply put, any technology that is part of your company or technology belonging to your employee or a visitor to your site (either online or in person) - can, if it has access your network (either via wifi or any other means) leave you and your data exposed and susceptible to data breaches and your organisation liable for serious fines for noncompliance with data breach laws.

You may think that you are already acutely aware of your data security problems. However, what you may not realise is that your favourite, trusted integration platform could be contributing to your vulnerability. 

How? By transporting data between your multiple applications and processes as free text. Because of this, it only takes a single breach, in only one of those node, to expose all of your data and/or or your customer’s data. The more applications you integrate, the greater your exposure. Unfortunately, attempting to keep your data secure using outmoded methods such as firewalls simply won’t cut it. 

Who cares if you have a strong firewall if someone has accessed your network through connecting to a node, such as your printer, via wifi. That’s like relying on security cameras in your office while you’ve left the back door unlocked. That is, in a word, useless. 

Perhaps, in fact, less than useless because you’ve lulled yourself into a false sense of security and let your guard down. The concept of mitigating risk by installing firewalls and hiding behind them simple doesn’t work; you are, more often than not, at risk via your weakest link.

The recent ‘HP Australia IT Security Study’ found that:

Almost half of all Australian SMBs with an annual turnover of $3M+ do not consider themselves to be prepared for the mandatory data breach disclosure laws that will come into operation from February 2018

only 18% currently have a compliance policy in place; while 33% are currently developing a policy

57% of SMBs have not done any sort of IT security risk assessment in the last 12 months, putting their devices, data and documents at risk 

Of the 43% of SMBs that have undertaken a risk assessment, just 29% included printers in their analysis, a device that is increasingly an entry point for data breaches

63% of respondents state their employees work remotely on a regular basis, and as a result are becoming increasingly concerned about associated security risks – e.g. visual hacking

63% of respondents allow employees to access company data from personal devices;

less than half (44%) of respondents have a security policy in place for employees that bring a personal device to work 

only 37% restrict the data that can be accessed from the device

Fl@World is designed to give you agility and improve your data security levels out-of-the-box by encrypting your data onto disk and ‘in flight’. With one click you can grant auditable, access permissions to your colleagues, vendors and partners. They are only given access to what you decide to give them permission to access - via their own unique, auditable IDs. At any time, via this auditability, you are able to see who has accessed what and what they have access to. Adjusting this accessibility is, again, just one click away. 

Now, even if your printer has not been updated and a ‘worst case scenario’ occurs - such as someone, or something (IoT, etc.) unauthorised accesses your network - all they have is encrypted data that is, essentially, useless to them.  Compare that to an unencrypted Excel spreadsheet containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) - which leaves your company legally accountable for fines, etc., if it falls into the wrong hands. 

Unencrypted integration platforms, data security and data regulatory compliance are serious issues for businesses of any and every size, from the largest Enterprise to the smallest SMB. However, the problems around these issues are eminently and simply solvable. Fl@World stops your reliance on vulnerable platforms and ineffectual firewalls and instead, enables you to connect, collaborate and thrive using secure data.