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***Editor's Note: Interested in the secure B2B identity architecture of tomorrow, replay the Federation and User Centric Identity webinar today!



A recent Forrester survey of 305 security and email professionals revealed some scary but realistic statistics:

1 in 3 companies investigated a breach of confidential data last year.
1 in 4 companies experienced an “embarrassing” leak of confidential information.
1 in 5 emails contains a legal, financial or regulatory risk.

If you are like most corporations, you are finding yourself in the midst of an information explosion. Sensitive data is no longer controlled under lock and key in datacenters or file cabinets. Sensitive data is everywhere. This article discusses five helpful tips that will change the way you think about your company’s competitive advantage and help you prevent the next data leak that could put your company out of business.

1. Recognize that Your Most Valuable Assets Aren’t Locked in a Safe.

Whether you are in the banking or transportation industry, your corporation is fueled by the sensitive data. The Brookings Institute estimates that 80% of a company's intellectual property is no longer represented as tangible consumer products, but as intangible, digital assets like:

  • Research and development data (source code, drug formulas, and engineering diagrams).
  • Customer private data (credit card numbers, social security numbers, and bank account data)
  • Marketing strategies
  • Sales forecasting data
  • Client lists
  • Merger and acquisition plans
  • Research and analyst reports
  • Spreadsheets and tables that calculate valuable business data

In today's global economy, this data is transferred across the enterprise, between departments, partners, contractors and overseas outsourcers. That means your sensitive data – worth hundreds of millions of dollars – is everywhere. This valuable data is no longer controlled under lock and key in a datacenter or in file cabinets. This data is stored on laptops, fileservers, databases, workstations and USB drives. This information explosion is changing the way corporations must now view and protect their assets. Instead of investing in old network security technologies like firewalls, companies are investing in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technologies that will keep "tabs" on where sensitive data is going, who is using it, where it is being saved, and whether or not it is being protected or used appropriately.

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