How to Prevent a “Wikileak” of Your Data

“Wikileak” is turning into a verb.  This is when sensitive information in office document files such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Textpad, or PDF files can be easily copied, transferred, sold and leaked, all without the owning organization’s knowledge.

It is easier than ever for sensitive information stored in electronic documents to be copied and publicly released without the owner’s knowledge or consent, thanks to WikiLeaks, an international activist organization that publishes documents that have either leaked or been provided by anonymous sources.

Politics aside, releasing confidential intelligence to enemy combatants puts lives at risk. Geoff Morrell, press secretary for the Pentagon, has condemned “the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” which he says “could make our troops even more vulnerable to attack in the future.”

Document breaches of any nature have consequences. Data breaches, espionage, and the misuse of confidential or sensitive data are a multi-billion dollar problem. Corporations, government agencies, and healthcare organizations are bleeding data on a daily basis, at the hands of criminal hackers from the outside and malicious employees on the inside.

According to the Ponemon Institute’s annual study, a data breach cost an average of $6.75 million in 2009, up from $6.65 million in 2008, or $204 per compromised customer record.

Current information security techniques include “security in transit,” which means that data is exchanged in a secure channel between networked devices, and “security at rest,” which means the file is encrypted where it is stored. Data is safest when both techniques are incorporated. But neither type of data protection can prevent a trusted caretaker from going rogue, as occurred when soldiers released documents to WikiLeaks.

This problem can be solved with comprehensive technology that protects information both in transit and at rest, ensuring that no unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification can occur. Ideally, documents should also safely expire when no longer needed.

Zafesoft offers a data security solution by securing sensitive files wherever they are located or copied, while maintaining a transparent, nonrestrictive user interface. This technology provides full control of your data, whether it’s stored on your hard drive, copied to a server, or transmitted via USB, CD, or sent in an email. This can prevent you from being the victim of a Wikileak. Here is how it works.