Beyond the Buzzwords: The Real Pain Points of Data Security for Businesses

May 6, 2024

Today businesses of all sizes grapple with the relentless task of safeguarding sensitive information. News of high-profile data breaches, evolving regulations, and sophisticated cyber threats create a constant hum of anxiety. Yet, beneath the surface headlines, there are everyday struggles companies face in trying to manage data security effectively. Let’s unpack some of the major pain points that keep executives and IT teams awake at night.

The Visibility Gap: “Where IS Our Sensitive Data?”

Data is the lifeblood of modern organizations, but it also creates risk. Before you can protect something, you need to know where it exists. The sprawl of data across file shares, cloud storage, databases, and employee devices can be overwhelming. Many organizations struggle to answer basic questions like:

  • What types of sensitive data do we possess (customer records, financial information, intellectual property, etc.)?
  • Where is it all located, and how is it being used?
  • Is outdated or irrelevant data piling up and creating unnecessary risks?
Data Pain Points

The Permissions Maze: “Who Has Access to What?”

Knowing who has access to critical data is essential. Overly permissive access rights can leave the door wide open for unintended exposure, whether due to insider threats or external attacks. Questions that plague IT teams include:

  • Are employees accessing data outside their job function, signaling potential misuse?
  • Are former employees or contractors still hanging on to access long after they should?
  • How do we manage complex permissions and sharing settings, especially in cloud environments?

Compliance Complexity: “Regulations Keep Changing!”

GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, PCI DSS… the alphabet soup of data privacy and security regulations can be a major headache. Understanding these regulations, mapping sensitive data to specific requirements, and then demonstrating compliance is an ongoing burden. Many businesses have concerns like:

  • Do we fully understand the regulations that apply to us, and are those requirements evolving?
  • Can we efficiently locate relevant data and fulfill user requests about that data (like deletion or access)?
  • Do we have the tools and processes in place to prove compliance if audited?

The Anomaly Blindspot: “How Do We Spot Unusual Activity?”

Detecting insider threats or the early signs of a breach is a delicate game. Subtly unusual activity can be the first signal of trouble, but how do you spot it amidst the noise of legitimate work? Concerns often include:

  • Can we tell the difference between normal user behavior and someone potentially exfiltrating data or misusing access?
  • Do we have ways to detect ransomware activity before it cripples our systems?
  • Do we have a plan to investigate and respond to potential security incidents quickly?

Balancing Security and Usability: “Help, We’re Slowing Down!”

Employees need access to data to do their jobs. Overly restrictive security measures can create friction and hurt productivity. Finding the right balance is an ongoing challenge with questions like:

  • Are employees finding workarounds to overly strict security controls, potentially creating greater risks?
  • Is there unnecessary friction when collaborating on sensitive data, internally or with external partners?
  • Do we have a clear way to grant temporary, justified access when needed without compromising core security principles?

Addressing the Pain

These pain points reflect just a fraction of the data security challenges businesses face. However, ignoring them can lead to costly breaches, hefty fines, and irreparable reputational damage. Proactive solutions that focus on visibility, access control, compliance automation, and threat detection can offer much-needed relief in this complex landscape.

If any of these pain points sound familiar, it’s worth exploring how our teams here at ANM can help with modern data security platforms.


Justin Tibbs

Justin Tibbs

ANM CSO and VP of Security

A visionary leader at the intersection of cybersecurity and innovation, Justin is a seasoned expert in safeguarding digital ecosystems. As the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at ANM, Justin drives the strategic direction of ANM’s cybersecurity strategy while ensuring robust security measures are in place to protect against evolving threats.

With 20+ years of experience in cybersecurity, Justin has honed a deep understanding of the intricacies of cyber defense, risk management, and compliance. His innovative approach to cybersecurity is rooted in a proactive mindset, leveraging cutting-edge technologies and industry best practices to stay ahead of emerging threats. He believes in fostering a culture of security awareness and collaboration, empowering teams to be vigilant guardians of data integrity and confidentiality.

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