This blog post is our follow-up for Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Our first post delves into FileCloud cybersecurity resources, including configuration guides, checklists, and compliance white papers. This follow-up post will describe ten (10) FileCloud features admins and leaders can enable to better secure their environments. C-Suite Executives and the Daunting Task of Cybersecurity The news […]
This blog post is our follow-up for Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Our first post delves into FileCloud cybersecurity resources, including configuration guides, checklists, and compliance white papers. This follow-up post will describe ten (10) FileCloud features admins and leaders can enable to better secure their environments.
The news of late seems to announce one major leak after another, from major institutions that were perceived as secure, with mechanisms in place to ensure that data was kept safe.
The threat of data breaches and leaks is relevant to all types of data processing organizations, including banks, insurance companies, and public sector entities like government agencies. It's an open secret that the weakest link in the entire IT security defense line is usually the human factor.
Recently, organizations and consumers alike have been forced to contend with a new player on the battlefront: AI. This tool has been weaponized in the hands of criminal organizations and poses a significant problem for organizations that collect sensitive data.
It's not surprising that the CEOs, CTOs, and other executives are struggling with this problem, knowing that all the data they are responsible for is constantly being targeted by threat actors.
To protect against AI-formulated and -executed data stealing procedures, C-suite executives must examine solutions beyond simply educating employees and enforcing long passwords. IT systems need to employ sophisticated technologies to keep files safe and accessible only to authorized staff.
FileCloud is an enterprise-grade platform positioned to lead the market in terms of security. With a top-down approach to data access, governance, and compliance, FileCloud emerges as a preferred solution for organizations handling vast amounts of sensitive data.
Relying on legacy systems with well-known protection mechanisms no longer provides sufficient peace of mind. This is where FileCloud steps in – migrating data to this platform elevates IT security, allowing management to rest easy once again.
Storing data without encryption is akin to sabotage. It's absolutely clear that encryption is the linchpin. However, encrypting data at rest doesn't suffice. To instill confidence, systems need to protect data in transit, as well as at rest.
FileCloud provides both encryption mechanisms, meeting the strictest regulatory standards such as FIPS 140-2. Furthermore, functionalities like Zero Trust File Sharing and Customer-Managed Keys help clients and end users enforce additional layers of security for confidential or highly sensitive data.
Yet, it would be naive to assume that encrypted data equates to complete safety. Security must be constructed through a combination of multiple mechanisms, working in tandem to provide a platform that can be truly regarded as safe and secure.
Smart DLP (Data Leak Prevention) is an incredibly powerful solution that empowers FileCloud administrators to add an extra layer of security on top of existing mechanisms. DLP can prevent access to files, even if initial verification indicates that a particular user should have access.
Furthermore, it's possible to cross-check user location, client type, and various other conditions to create a highly restrictive set of rules. These rules will ultimately grant access to resources only to users who meet all requirements: having logical access to the file and passing all conditions defined in the DLP rule.
In the event of any doubts or inconsistencies, the system will automatically block such access attempts and log the relevant information in the audit log.
Document management systems must handle a vast array of unstructured data, composed of a myriad of different file types and varying levels of confidentiality.
In complex systems with hundreds of users, multi-level folder structures, and diverse permission settings, maintaining a consistent model for granting access to certain documents becomes quite challenging. Additionally, human error must always be taken into consideration – documents may end up in places they should never be.
To guard against such cases, FileCloud leverages Smart DLP in conjunction with Smart Content Classification. This classification engine scans uploaded files for content, metadata, and other attributes that may indicate a document should be protected. This ensures that sensitive records are accurately secured based on content rather than their location of upload alone.
Smart Content Classification in FileCloud provides admins with the flexibility to define classification rules to identify content or patterns that should be treated as confidential or sensitive. Once a pattern is recognized, the file will be tagged, and further security mechanisms will be triggered.
Many threats are well-planned and thoroughly prepared. It has become increasingly common for systems to be under surveillance for some time before a potential ransomware attack is launched, based on prior infiltration of the system.
One method involves uploading files or malware that include instructions or scripts that may be executed under certain circumstances. FileCloud guards against this tactic, in part due to the design of the FileStoring mechanism; this mechanism separates FileCloud data storage from the rest of the hosting system.
To safeguard the hosting system and other users, FileCloud’s Heuristic Engine can be easily enabled to scan all uploaded resources. This engine prevents files from being uploaded if they are suspected to contain a threat or attack on the system itself or other users.
The threat of viruses is a significant concern in the IT environment, making protection in this area imperative. While FileCloud servers are known for their robustness on Linux systems, it's essential to remember that no system is entirely foolproof.
The primary objective is to safeguard users and prevent the potential spread of virus infections from one system to another. FileCloud offers seamless integration with various antivirus systems. While the default solution is ClamAV, if an existing antivirus engine is already operational in the environment, integration using the ICAP (Internet Content Adaptation Protocol) is both straightforward and highly effective.
With antivirus protection enabled, any file flagged as virus-positive is prevented from being stored on the FileCloud platform, ensuring that all hosted files remain 'healthy' and clean. When combined with the Heuristic Engine described earlier, these protections provide a robust level of infrastructure security.
System protection mechanisms are futile if they allow anybody in. The objective of an authentication mechanism is to increase certainty that the person attempting to access the system is indeed who they claim to be.
To achieve this, the IT industry has developed multiple effective mechanisms. FileCloud's internal authentication mechanism adheres to all industry standards, including multi-factor authentication, and offers integration capabilities with external systems. This includes modern authentication methods like mobile apps and SMS code sending.
Additionally, FileCloud offers the option to integrate with existing Active Directory infrastructure, which can streamline the entire authentication process. AD users and group membership can inform further authorization levels, simplifying account setup and reducing the potential for errors.
Single Sign-on (SSO) is another highly secure and widely used solution that FileCloud fully supports. This makes the end-user experience incredibly easy while maintaining authentication and authorization at the highest possible level.
The entire IT industry now recognizes that having more admins often leads to more problems and less consistency in management. A new approach, known as the 'Least Privilege Model', emphasizes the general best practice of granting as few permissions to each user as necessary to perform their job - and nothing more.
The same principle applies to system administrators. Unfortunately, very few systems offer a nuanced approach to admin rights. FileCloud, however, features an internal Role-Based Admin Delegation system that allows specific administrative roles to be assigned to individual groups/users. This provides an extremely flexible level of permission granularity.
Functionally, this means admins can delegate certain roles and responsibilities. For example, department managers can perform administrative tasks only within their designated areas, such as onboarding new employees and sharing department team folders. With this system, admins can assign and specialize administrative roles to support efficiency without escalating privileges beyond the scope of an individual’s responsibilities.
Every system needs to be treated like a living organism, meaning that general hygiene practices must be performed. Often, these tasks can be time-consuming and tedious (and as a result, greatly disliked by system administrators). Many systems are not maintained properly, leading to the existence of numerous 'ghost' entities.
FileCloud provides a powerful tool to support infrastructure hygiene: Workflow Automation. This feature empowers system administrators to create a series of automated or triggered tasks to keep the system in optimal condition.
These tasks can encompass a range of activities, such as disabling inactive users or removing untouched shares after a certain period. Additionally, it can be utilized to generate custom reports for administrators. With some thoughtful planning during the initial system setup, ongoing maintenance can be minimized and automated to the greatest extent possible.
The most crucial aspect of maintaining any system is the ability to be aware of any suspicious activity. Without this capability, keeping the system clean becomes exceptionally challenging.
FileCloud's logging system records every activity in the Audit logs, which admins can use to filter and search. Furthermore, the web interface provides an option to export the logs to a CSV file for further processing in external tools. The level of detail is comprehensive, capturing who (user) did what (file activity) when (timestamp), where (IP address), and how (method of access; e.g., web browser, Sync, Drive, Desktop, etc.). This categorization of events greatly simplifies the search for specific activities.
It's crucial for admins to have a clear understanding of what is happening within the systems they oversee. Relying solely on reviewing audit logs may no longer suffice.
This is where SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) solutions come in. These tools enable system administrators to react to suspicious behaviors or incidents in real time, by offering automated logic to analyze and alert in case of atypical user behaviors or platform activities.
FileCloud comes with a built-in interface to integrate with third-party SIEM-compatible systems, providing this advanced level of monitoring.
When IT admins and users enable the functionalities listed above, management can rest easy knowing that sensitive, unstructured data is secure. FileCloud helps ensure that cybersecurity best practices are in place to secure sensitive data and users.
However, this is not to say that cybersecurity has been solved indefinitely. Malicious organizations and groups are always responding and developing new tools to find ways of exfiltrating and compromising data for their own gains. This is why the FileCloud team dedicates considerable time to optimizing functionalities, developing new solutions, and incorporating the latest available protection systems.
Want to learn more about FileCloud cybersecurity?
Article written by Marek Frueauff, Solutions Architect
Edited by Katie Gerhardt, Jr. Product Marketing Manager