Locking Data Assets

Do Freezing And Locking Data Assets Work In The Wake Of A Breach?

To protect against identity theft, cyber security experts agree that consumers must be presented with effective ways to safeguard their data from being further misused. One way to do it is by freezing their credentials. Doing so could help from releasing the credit reports of the victims. For instance, when a lender pulls a consumer credit of an applicant before approving a new credit account, freezing an affected customer’s credit would prevent hackers from opening new accounts in the victim’s name.

But, the Consumer Data Industry Association has begun to fight back on this measure. According to a statement released by them, credit freezes could significantly hamper the core business of credit bureaus. Nevertheless, the Association was fighting a losing battle as more than 49 states allowed consumers to begin freezing their credit in the wake of a data breach. These states also began to introduce new forms of procedures that could allow victims to swiftly unfreeze their credit reports for legitimate credit applications, with the help of a PIN.

Typically put, a credit freeze is a kind of additional access control that customers can execute in the wake of a data breach. Almost every organization across the world uses Personally Identifiable Information; hence the credit freeze could be an effective way of controlling unauthorized use. But despite its benefits, it still remains a simple mechanism that is not widely implemented.

Freezing credit reports and limiting the access of consumers to their credit reports, especially when authorized and specific entities request it, can be counterproductive. Instead, the access control could be based on timing — applying dynamic rules to the report to freeze or unfreeze it at any time. If a cyber criminal applies for a loan at the same time that the victim has unfrozen their credit, the hacker could very well succeed. Moreover, a credit freeze could also cut down the risk of specific kinds of identity theft that involve creditors looking into consumer reports.

At the time when debit card thefts were on the rise, banks began to introduce a debit card lock mechanism that allowed customers to switch off their debit cards with the help of their mobile phone or online banking applications. This feature was greatly advertised by banks and financial institutions that showed how debit card locks could be an effective way for consumers to switch off their card if they noticed it was missing, had been stolen, or if suspected misuse had occurred.

Financial institutions introduced numerous identity theft protection services. Most of them, as an extension of credit monitoring, were to help consumers protect against identity theft. Some of the identity theft protection services included assisting consumers with payments, and identifying the replacement of forged cards, cleaning up of credit reports and similar such services.

But what is important to note is that once you have realized a data breach has taken place, it is essential to take swift action in reducing the risk to customers and concerned stakeholders. More importantly, a quick response can also help in managing communications. Although it sounds simple, acting can be more complicated than the temptation of clamming up in the acute phase of the crisis. Hence, ensure that your crisis management and communication plans are activated immediately, provided you have put an incident response plan in place. The best way to preserve your reputation in the wake of the data breach is to act swiftly, ethically and empathetically.

However, regardless of whether you have experienced a data breach or are one of the fortunate ones who have managed to stave off a data breach so far, you need to implement a proactive document security solution that can take away the issues of having to deal with the data breach to begin with.

The best way to secure your classified information at rest, in motion and while in use across numerous hybrid environments is through a digital rights management solution. In a world where people are the new perimeter, it is crucial to create safety and trust, especially when it comes to your valuable information. A PDF DRM solution provides rich visibility into your permitted user activity that can help you control, identify and mitigate any behaviour you deem as risky or suspicious.

With PDF DRM, you can protect your sensitive documents from the continuous threat of a data attack, penetration and malicious or inadvertent activity. Document DRM provides military-grade encryption and the highest degree of sensitive document protection with real-time controls that can help you identify real entity risks. You can also determine which users are exhibiting atypical document access before your valuable data leaves your network. Moreover, you can also detect seemingly unrelated data threats and obtain a holistic view of your permitted users accessing your protected documents.

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