The Big Question – How to Protect Data At Rest?

Debasish Pramanik Cloud Security Expert - CloudCodes Software
  • June 17th, 2021

With recently augmenting hacking attacks and data leakages, it now seems that critical data and sensitive information have never been as vulnerable as it is today. Also, with all aspects of businesses becoming increasingly digitized, companies are now more and more relying on 3rd-party solutions, including antivirus software, DLP solutions, and other such solutions for keeping their data secure. Sensitive information can come in various forms depending upon the type of business sector. It can be credit card information, patient medical records, or even social security numbers. It can be distinguished into three different types: the first one being the data at rest, the second one is the data in use, and the third of these is the data in motion. These three types of data have different levels of their vulnerabilities and also various challenges while talking about their security. And while protecting data of all types is challenging, organizations need to be an extra vigilante to protect data at rest.

What is Data at Rest?

Let us first understand what data at rest is. Data at rest is static data stored on the hard drives and which is archived or which is not so often accessed or the modified information. On the other hand, data in use refers to that data, which is frequently updated by more than one user inside a network and the information which is very much active. Thirdly, the data in motion is that data transferred outside the organizational system and which is subject to 3rd party services for which security is never guaranteed and is always a significant concern. Most Data Loss Prevention i.e., DLP solutions, address these data dangers which are faced by the data in motion and check for any breaches and human errors during transits.

Is Your Data at Rest Safe?

It is a widespread misconception that this data at rest is much safer than the data in motion as it’s not that much exposure to potential risks of varied internet transfers. Most cybercriminals and hackers don’t need any physical access to any computer for its data to be compromised. All they require is a minor vulnerability, which they can easily exploit, whether a technical one or a human one.

Protecting Data at Rest

More often than not, the antivirus software used conventionally as well as firewalls, etc., are all used for preserving this data at rest. But, they don’t guarantee any such safety from phishing attacks. Let’s say, for example. They can target any particular person, corrupt one of their workstations, and then they would proceed towards attacking the rest of the organizational network. Inattention is a significant cause of data leaks in today’s scenarios, and this is the most significant danger to this data at rest. Forgotten USB sticks in cars or at airports and forgotten laptop bags at airports or vehicles are some of the frequent incidents that happen in today’s dynamic corporate business environments, often requiring travel, multiple meetings off-site as well as presenting presentations, etc. Dissatisfied employees, who have been looking towards leaving a particular organization, are also known for copying sensitive information and essential data for carrying it to the next company they get employment in.

Other Methods

It is essential for firms today to look beyond such protection methods and explore more and more complicated means for addressing such cloud security issues that have been engulfing data at rest. CASB solutions by CloudCodes, through their useful modules, can help protect your data at rest.

Cloud security is essential and an exceptional requirement that every organization today has to consider to avoid getting harmed by hackers, cybercriminals, and attackers or risk the public releases of their sensitive data & information through leakages/thefts. It’s pretty clear that if we protect only 1 type of such data, whether data in motion or data in use or maybe both, and ignore data at rest completely, then it may lead to some very disastrous consequences. It is thus crucial that firms look for an all-inclusive approach and find inclusive solutions to deal with all types of sensitive information, irrespective of its state.