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CIS Control 13

Data Protection

Key Principle:

The processes and tools used to prevent data exfiltration, mitigate the effects of exfiltrated data, and ensure the privacy and integrity of sensitive information.

Why is this CIS Control critical?

Data resides in many places. Protection of that data is best achieved through the application of a combination of encryption, integrity protection and data loss prevention techniques. As organizations continue their move towards cloud computing and mobile access, it is important that proper care be taken to limit and report on data exfiltration while also mitigating the effects of data compromise.

Some organizations do not carefully identify and separate their most sensitive and critical assets from less sensitive, publicly accessible information on their internal networks. In many environments, internal users have access to all or most of the critical assets. Sensitive assets may also include systems that provide management and control of physical systems (e.g., SCADA). Once attackers have penetrated such a network, they can easily find and exfiltrate important information, cause physical damage, or disrupt operations with little resistance. For example, in several high-profile breaches over the past two years, attackers were able to gain access to sensitive data stored on the same servers with the same level of access as far less important data. There are also examples of using access to the corporate network to gain access to, then control over, physical assets and cause damage.

Main Points:
  • Deploy an automated tool on network perimeters that monitors for unauthorized transfer of sensitive information and blocks such transfers while alerting information security professionals.
  • If USB storage devices are required, enterprise software should be used that can configure systems to allow the use of specific devices. An inventory of such devices should be maintained.

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Information Hub: Data Protection