What’s your sensitive data worth?

shutterstock_426018448

Files with sensitive data are a major concern within any organization. Over the past several weeks we have discussed and demonstrated the value of knowing the content and location of your sensitive data. As a closing chapter to your data story, Heureka has added the ability to view your potential risk in dollar amounts within the Heureka Tableau workbook. Continue reading “What’s your sensitive data worth?”

Where (in the world) is your data?

Geographic_Risk

In last week’s blog (Your data has a story to tell) we demonstrated the ability for users to combine search results with Active Directory information to categorize data by departments. The corresponding visualization was shown in heatmap form using Heureka’s Tableau dashboard. This week we extend our functionality further by introducing geographical mapping to our dashboard to map your data’s story. Continue reading “Where (in the world) is your data?”

The More You Know: Visibility Into The Unknown

shutterstock_300017819

As companies grow from small rooms and late nights, into large global corporations that operate business hours following the sun; so does the volume of data that gets created along the way. This expansive growth of data migrates over the years just as the policies and procedures are created to handle the load of employees, customers, and work product. During this time of exponential data growth there is often a loss of accountability on where data goes that could be categorized at ROT (Redundant, Obsolete, Trivial). Ultimately it is data ROT that can be potentially damaging to the success of the company and its customers.

Continue reading “The More You Know: Visibility Into The Unknown”

Your data has a story to tell

Heureka Docs by Dept Visualization

Last week the Heureka team added a new chapter to data visualization and demonstrated that even a small amount of additional data can have a major impact on how information is interpreted. Our recent use case involved a client who wanted to visualize data using the same departments found in Active Directory rather than by individual endpoints using Interrogate. Our client provided an AD export list containing a “like” category which was then merged with Interrogate search results inside Heureka’s Tableau workbook. Continue reading “Your data has a story to tell”

VeloSano 2017: Why I Ride

Greetings! I’m back for VeloSano 2017 and am very excited to be riding with a team of friends this year! We’re looking to raise $3,000 as a team and got a somewhat late start – please help if you can. I said so two years ago, and it is still true: As a general rule, I don’t ask people to donate to things I deem important. However, with how cancer has affected my family, I’ve made VeloSano an exception.


VeloSano-4-Logo-Primary-(Color)-PNG

Please donate to our team!
Click the green “Donate to Team” button on the VeloSano site.


For anyone that doesn’t know what VeloSano is all about, here’s the skinny: VeloSano is a charity event and organization which raises money for cancer research at Cleveland Clinic, of which 100% goes to research activities. This isn’t just a feel-good charity with celebrity gift bags and advertising taken from donations – the money raised by participants (any money YOU donate) ALL goes to cancer research.

So, why I ride this year is, in part, the same as why I didn’t last year. As you may know, my step-father, John, was diagnosed with stage-4 esophageal cancer in April 2015. Our family fought and John battled with everything he had, despite the odds. Mid summer of last year, treatment was taking too much of a toll on John’s body without gain, so we decided to stop the treatment and just live. John passed in his sleep, surrounded by his family and the love of his life, on August 7th, 2016.

For 2017 I’m riding to remember John. I’m riding for friends and family that miss him like I do. I’m riding for my mom, who gave up so much, asked so little, and is still here. The past year has been very hard, especially for her, but we are making it. She’s making a new life in New York, close to my sister and her family – grandkids, hooray! Nothing could have prepared us for the trials we were facing but some relationships were only strengthened and the struggles helped us gain some clarity on life and what’s important. I know John would want me to continue to ride and that’s another part of why I’m continuing.

Thank you so much for reading. Not everyone is in a position to donate money, understandably. If you can give, it will be appreciated and go to a wonderful cause. You can also donate your time by volunteering. Everyone is invited to take part in the event weekend and I would love to see you there!

Heureka Software team to Bike for a Cure

VeloSano

Heureka’s software team is participating in this year’s VeloSano 2017. Team “Spudded Sprockets” consists of Chris Koehnke, Brad Peck and Cameron Rollheiser. All proceeds from VeloSano are applied to cancer research at Cleveland Clinic.

Many of us or our loved ones have been affected in some way by cancer. Research toward treatment or ultimately the elimination of cancer is the overall goal. Spudded Sprockets hopes to raise $3000 for this cause.

A link to Spudded Sprockets page can be found here

 

GDPR – The clock is ticking

EUFlags

Many articles have been written lately concerning GDPR which goes into effect in May of 2018. Instead of spending most of this article writing about the regulations and history of such, we want to focus directly on actions companies should be taking and how the Heureka platform can help. One of the first “actions” focuses directly on finding and identifying user information (data). Because GDPR focuses heavily on data privacy and data ownership, knowing where your data is and what it contains is a vital first step in gaining control of your information.

A good post regarding GDPR in legal environments was written by Ryan Costello from eTERA Consulting, republished by LJN. Two key takeaways from Ryan’s post include “Start by doing things” and “knowing where data is”.

So, how does Heureka directly help with Ryan’s points? Logically we begin with the “start by doing things”. Along those lines, each client starts by installing an endpoint service on laptops, desktops, or file shares. Once deployed a local text and metadata index is created whereby a vast amount of intelligence can be gained in a very short amount of time while never moving a single file. Users work with a web interface to query all endpoints allowing searches for both metadata as well as file content. Additionally Heureka’s indexing engine runs a daily, automated PII sweep that returns sensitive data categorization back to a dashboard. PII info such as credit cards and identification numbers are counted and classified automatically giving you a high-level overview as well as the ability to query down to the file level on any of the endpoints.

HeurekaDashboard
Heureka Interrogate Dashboard

 

 

Ryan’s second point involves “knowing where data is” which is a core function built into Interrogate.  Intelligent decisions involving GDPR or backup and security strategy are difficult without the knowledge of where your data is and its content. Heureka provides data mapping intelligence at a deeper level as you gain knowledge on file content in addition to standard metadata information. It is extremely difficult to conform to privacy regulations without a deep knowledge and understanding of your data. This is one of the key goals of the Heureka platform.

 

Heureka-Tableau Search Stats
Heureka-Tableau Search Stats

 

Smart and rapid data mapping and assessments can be performed easily. Heureka has created a unique GDPR workbook that allows users to interact with their data. Items such as file volume, duplication, growth over time and most importantly PII can be visualized with full interactivity using dates, endpoint names, file categories, etc.

Whether you are subject to GDPR regulations or not, many companies are viewing this framework as a good strategy to better protect privacy information. For those that are subject to GDPR, non-compliance can result in fines up to 20M or 4% of global annual turnover for the previous financial year (whichever is greater). A secondary sanction tier could impose a fine of up to 10M or 2% of global annual turnover (whichever is greater). Needless to say, incurring GDPR penalties could be very, very costly.

If you are a U.S. based multinational, GDPR must be on your radar. A quick read of this article explains more. Companies outside the U.S. are also concerned as this article gives an explanation on Singapore’s concern with GDPR.  The bottom line is that the clock is ticking down quickly on compliance and having no strategy or action plan will become a problem. Additionally, not knowing where sensitive data is can no longer be an option and this is where Heureka can help.

 

Tired of me yet? -WannaCry

WannaCry

 

You, like many may be growing tired of reading about the WannaCry ransomware. Instead of rehashing the where, when and why this happened, we thought it would be a perfect time to discuss the importance and criticality of your data. This includes data not only on your personal device but data on systems throughout your company. Think of the computer or device you are on right now. What if, in the blink of an eye your device was locked and you were asked to pay ransom for your files. Would you do it? Did you do it? More importantly, what exactly would you lose if you chose not to pay up? Unlike a data breach, ransomware encrypts (locks) your files rendering it and perhaps the computer it is sitting on worthless until you pay up.

One of the core functions of Heureka’s Interrogate is to help you and your company understand your data and specifically the data that matters most such as social security numbers, credit cards, bank routing numbers, intellectual property, etc. Knowing where your data exists is extremely critical when we discuss data theft whether by an employee or from a breach because you can take the appropriate steps to protect it. Ransomware is not data theft but does not negate the need to understand the type of data you have and its location.

Many of our clients have a “Heureka moment” once they begin the data discovery process. Files with critical and sensitive data appear in unexpected places including random, buried folders or the deleted items folder inside Outlook. In many environments sensitive information will lie dormant in the recycle bin or the trash folder because there is no policy to delete those files and users forget to empty their trash. When it comes to ransomware, cloud storage or cloud-based apps can be a lifesaver however most users lack the tools to locate or migrate older information to the cloud. Should ransomware hit, critical information can be locked unknowingly because a user simply had no idea what their system inventory contained with had no efficient means to move it to an appropriate storage location. Heureka changes this by providing tools to rapidly identify information and move it to a better protected location.

A complete understanding of your data content and location along with tools to help you collect and protect your data provides a huge piece of mind when ransomware or data breaches occur. Not knowing where your data exists can no longer be an option.

 

Off your Lidar? Waymo vs Google

Image Courtesy of Waymo

There has been a lot attention recently on the legal case involving Waymo and Uber. Most of the attention has centered around a former Google employee named Anthony Levandowski who is alleged to have “downloaded 9.7 GB of files containing information about the company’s self-driving technology  to his laptop and then transferred those files to another external storage device.”  A brief summary of the case and people involved can be found here in this Business Insider article.

There is no doubt that a company the size of Google has the technology to figure out the specifics of file storage and who is doing what and when. In fact, this past week various news outlets alluded to the fact that Google had spotted the movement of documents as early as October. This story did, however, get us thinking about how Heureka’s software could assist companies who are smaller than someone like Google (which is almost everyone else). Aside from the ability to track PII information on a daily basis, Heureka’s Interrogate system easily provides an inventory for any number of endpoints through a single search. Combing search results with visual analytics such as Heureka’s Tableau workbook, allows a user to easily spot anomalies on any installed endpoints, regardless of their geographic location. This applies to both large additions or subtractions of data (such as the 9.7 GB mentioned above).

 

Returning to the case of Mr. Levandowski’s laptop data transfer, there is a high probability that Heureka’s Interrogate would recognize the spike in data after an automated daily reindex of the endpoint. If you were to visualize this information you would immediately see a spike in data (Figure 1) for the computer. Our “Growth over Time” visualization allows users to focus on specific periods of time, from years to seconds of the day if necessary. In our example, it is obvious that a spike occurred during the week of December 18 and more importantly Interrogate gives a user the ability to drill down to specific file-level details that caused the spike. Interrogate helps answer questions such as, “did the data contain PII information or intellectual property?”, and “were there any compressed data files” indicating a larger potential data set.

Simply identifying information does not complete the Heureka workflow. When problematic files are identified, Interrogate offers tools to collect, quarantine (collect/stub) or delete files directly from the endpoint with no interaction required from the end-user. Reports on custodians (users), file names, extensions, dates and types of PII are easy to generate and export to visual analytics programs. If after investigating the 9.7 GB of data, the information was deemed as appropriate then a simple report can be created and saved with no remediation required. However, if the 9.7 GB of data contained sensitive information, Interrogate remediation tools could be used for removing or collecting the information from the endpoint. This is true regardless of where the endpoint is located. For example, if Mr. Levandowski transferred the information to his laptop just before Christmas and then went on holiday with the laptop, it would be possible to send remediation commands to the endpoint which then get executed once the laptop reestablishes a connection to the internet. Issues with time, distance and corporate network connections can be nearly eliminated when sensitive data needs to be remediated.

 

 

Providing visibility, creating analytics, and offering fast, efficient remediation tools across vast amounts of data is what Heureka is all about. In today’s corporate environment, data is growing at an alarming rate with file shares becoming massive corporate blindspots. It doesn’t take a big imagination to see the Waymo scenario playing out at many companies, especially those with large amounts of intellectual property or PII information. Recent reports have shown that 60% of all company attacks are carried out by insiders (see Harvard Business Review article).  The real question is, are you prepared?