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News

Policy Enforcement Crucial In Avoiding Expensive Data Loss Incidents

Overtis Systems : 26 August, 2010  (Technical Article)
Overtis uses the recent FSA penalty of over 2 million pounds on Zurich Insurance to illustrate the benefits of user activity management and policy enforcement technology to prevent such costly incidents of sensitive data leakage
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined Zurich Insurance UK a record £2.28 million after its South African subsidiary lost the unencrypted records of 46,000 customers.

The personal information of 46,000 Zurich Insurance customers and personal details of 1,800 third parties1 were transferred to an unencrypted back-up tape and subsequently lost in transit to a data storage facility in South Africa in August 2008. Because of a failure in reporting policy between the subsidiary and parent company, the data loss went undetected for a year. The FSA warned that the unencrypted data could have been used by criminals to carry out identity theft and fraud. Commenting the case, Margaret Cole, FSA director of enforcement told the BBC, 'Firms across the financial sector would do well to look at the details of this case and learn from the mistakes that Zurich UK made.2'

Overtis, a vendor of user activity management software, has called on other financial services companies to implement policy enforcement technology throughout the enterprise, to safeguard the privacy of customer data that is stored in-house or passed to third party providers:

"All financial organisations have policies in place to encrypt sensitive company data and limit the size of files that can be transferred to removable storage media. However, it only takes one employee to ignore best practice to create a devastating security breach. It is imperative that security policies are automatically enforced throughout the enterprise, using technology that manages the activity of everyone who has access to the data. Where a firm has outsourcing partnerships with international subsidiaries this is absolutely critical," advises Ed Macnair, CEO of Overtis.

Overtis provides security software that governs the activity of users on servers, workstations and laptops and links to physical access control, CCTV and monitoring equipment, to ensure that security policies are followed and high risk behaviour is prevented. Overtis VigilancePro software manages user interaction with data at the device, application, file/folder, content and transaction layer, enforcing policies and creating an audit trail that immediately alerts management to any attempts to bypass security.
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