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Save Yourself Money by Getting Ahead of Legal Requirements for Data Security

From a legal standpoint, businesses must do what is considered “reasonable” to secure their organization’s data. “Reasonableness” has been the standard for data security for about 20 years, said Kirk Herath, VP, associate general counsel and chief privacy officer, privacy, technology and contract services for Nationwide Insurance in our conversation at the 2015 RSA Conference in San Francisco.

“Reasonableness is, kind of looking from a technology perspective, what are most people doing or best practices for an industry, or what I call ‘the middle of the herd,’” said Herath.

What’s becoming reasonable now, that wasn’t so much before, is continuous monitoring and encryption - especially at rest. Herath believes that multi-factor authentication, cloud monitoring, encryption in the cloud, and cloud segmentation will soon fall under the banner of “reasonableness” for protecting company data.

Knowing what the “reasonableness” expectation will be within a year or two is why Herath comes to RSA. He wants to know where his companies should be, because he knows regulators will look at that. They’ll look and see if you had the means to protect yourself using readily available technology. And if you didn’t, they’ll begin to do investigations, and you don’t really want that.

You always want to be ahead, instead of playing catchup. “Playing catchup is always more expensive,” said Herath.

With regard to continuous monitoring, Herath’s company is using DLP out of the cloud, but he’s having a hard time finding cloud providers that can do that. He suggests you have some type of SIEM and have a security operations center that’s always monitoring the data for anomalies, and do investigations based on that.