The digital age thrives on the constant flow of information. Every click, every message, and every financial transaction represents potentially sensitive data in transit. However, this ubiquitous movement of data presents a significant challenge: ensuring its security in transit. While historically effective, traditional perimeter-based security struggles to keep pace with the growing sophistication of cyberattacks and the ever-expanding attack surface created by cloud computing. 

The Evolving Threat Landscape

For years, the primary line of defense for data security involved fortifying network perimeters. Firewalls acted as digital gatekeepers, access controls limited entry points, and encrypted communication channels served as secure tunnels for data transmission. 

However, cybercriminals are constantly innovating, making it crucial to find solutions that address multiple threat vectors. This is especially true in an age when cybercrime transcends geographical boundaries. Cybercriminals can operate from anywhere in the world, making it crucial for organizations to have a global security posture that considers the international threat landscape. 

While there is still an undeniable benefit in maintaining secure networks, focusing solely on this angle of attack leaves significant vulnerabilities. The limitations of solely relying on perimeter security stem from several key factors. 

The Expanding Attack Surface

Cloud adoption has fundamentally altered the data landscape. Sensitive information now journeys across more channels than ever before — from on-premises environments to cloud storage and back to collaborating partners — significantly increasing its exposure to potential vulnerabilities. Every hop and every connection represents an opportunity for attackers to exploit weaknesses. 

The Rise of AI

Artificial intelligence is no longer the realm of science fiction. Malicious actors are increasingly leveraging AI to automate tasks, identify vulnerabilities, and launch large-scale cyberattacks. AI-powered tools can automate reconnaissance, exploit software weaknesses, and help criminals find new ways to intercept information as it travels across supposedly secure channels. With the help of AI, social engineering techniques have also become more sophisticated, with impersonation tactics that can better trick victims into compromising credentials and network security. 

Quantum Computing Threats

While still in its nascent stages, the potential of quantum computing looms large. Traditional encryption methods rely on complex mathematical algorithms that are difficult to crack with today’s computers. However, quantum computers have the potential to break these ciphers with relative ease, rendering currently secure data vulnerable in the future. 

Increased Focus on Insider Threats

Disgruntled employees, negligent individuals, or those with access privileges can pose a significant security risk. Insider threats can intentionally or unintentionally compromise systems and leak sensitive data, highlighting the importance of robust access control measures and employee awareness training. 

Data-Centric Security: A Shield Embedded Within

With all of these threats in mind, there is a clear imperative to find a more comprehensive framework for securing data in transit. Data-centric security offers a revolutionary approach to secure data governance that moves beyond traditional network security. It equips the data itself with the ability to fight back against unauthorized access and malicious activities. 

Transitioning sensitive data to the cloud can be a daunting task. Data-centric security safeguards the data itself during the migration process. Continuous monitoring and automated response mechanisms offer an additional layer of protection even if temporary vulnerabilities arise during the transfer. 

Similarly, sharing data with business partners or vendors often involves transferring it across networks. Data-centric security protects the information throughout the exchange. This means that even if transmission channels (or devices storing the data) are compromised by malware or unauthorized access, data-centric security measures remain in place. 

Beyond Data in Transit: The Broader Benefits of Data-Centric Security 

A comprehensive data protection approach demands going beyond any one layer of security. This is where data-centric security and data governance work in tandem to create a multi-layered defense system. Because data-centric security equips the data itself with the ability to fight back against unauthorized access attempts, it carries a number of benefits beyond simply securing data in transit

Perhaps most obviously, data-centric security’s active protection of files themselves is a significant asset in the realm of data resiliency. In addition to being more resistant to breaches and unauthorized access, the potential for any disruptions to information’s integrity from the inside decreases significantly. 

Additionally, securing data throughout its lifecycle, including while in transit, ensures consistent adherence to data privacy regulations like HIPAA for health-related data, GDPR for data pertaining to EU subjects, and a wide range of state-specific laws

The Future of Data Security: A Layered Defense

Data-centric security represents a crucial step forward in the ever-evolving battle against cyber threats. However, it’s essential to remember that it functions best as part of a comprehensive security strategy. In order for information to be truly secure, a multi-layered approach that combines data-centric security with other robust security measures is required. 

  • Network Protection: Think of firewalls and Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS) as vigilant guards on your network. They monitor traffic, block unauthorized access attempts, and act as the first line of defense.
  • Authentication: Essentially another layer of securing network credentials, authentication is an essential aspect of network security. Tools like multi-factor authentication (MFA) ensure that only authorized users access information. 
  • Encryption: This is perhaps the most fundamental way to secure data, whether at rest or in transit. Without the correct decryption key, the data appears unreadable. (Data-level security solutions like self-protecting files also incorporate sophisticated forms of encryption.) 

By combining data-centric security with these additional measures, organizations can create a thorough defense system that safeguards their data across all stages of its lifecycle, from creation to storage and transit.

Sertainty: Your Partner in Data Protection

In a world where data is the new currency, many organizations are paying increasing attention to data in transit. Secure data governance is the unsung hero that ensures this data remains safe, compliant, and trustworthy. 

With the changing nature of cybersecurity threats and the limitations of traditional security measures, organizations must adapt to stay secure. At Sertainty, we understand the critical nature of data security in today’s digital landscape. Our commitment lies in providing innovative data protection solutions that empower businesses to combat evolving cyber threats.

Sertainty technology bridges the gap between cutting-edge security technologies like self-protecting files and zero-trust network access with a software development kit that can be seamlessly integrated into a wide range of applications. Explore Sertainty’s solutions to protect your data assets and position your organization to thrive in today’s digital world.