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News

Pentagon loss highlights importance of e-mail security

Varonis Systems : 16 April, 2013  (Technical Article)
Varonis comments on the importance of security in e-mail data after the loss of legal military data from the Pentagon server
Pentagon loss highlights importance of e-mail security

Commenting on reports that a Pentagon computer server failure has resulted in the loss of around 500,000 documents and emails used by military tribunal defence lawyers, Varonis Systems says this highlights the value of digital information.

David Gibson, the data governance specialist’s Vice President, says that this case – which centres on the loss of a half a million defence lawyer emails and allied documents – also shows that emails and files can be a lot more valuable than people realise.

“This case proves the observation we make regularly with our clients that, without basic protections for our digital content, many of the fundamental processes in our society start to break down. Imagine the outcry if this data loss had happened on a major city’s court IT system, rather than on a Pentagon system servicing Guantanamo Bay in Cuba – the loss of trust and confidence in our judicial process would be significant,” he added.

The Varonis Vice President went on to say that, if we cannot trust that our information is protected, many otherwise everyday and normal business processes will be impaired – and this, he notes, is just the latest example.

It is incidents like this, he says, that also drive people’s fears that they cannot trust the IT systems they use on a regular basis - as was witnessed by a survey that Varonis carried out earlier this year, which found that 70% of respondents having little or no auditing in place on their virtual servers.

“And even amongst those survey respondents who audit all their server activity, we found that 68% still believe there is still unauthorised access going on. Against a backdrop of fear of data losses - for whatever reason – and incidents like this where information gets completely lost, it is clear that organisations need to wake up to the fact that their data has a real value,” he said.

“They also need to use automation to uncover security holes, monitor activity, and control permissions. Only then can organisations, their clients, customers, and business partners trust that their data is not going to go missing or fall into the wrong hands,” he added.

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