By: Kevin Williams
Categories: Cool Tech
The need for cybersecurity has evolved far beyond a simple firewall or file encryption. Hackers are more adept than ever at compromising personally identifiable information (PII) from even the most well-protected systems. Hackers' motivations are often monetary, political, or social, but regardless of why they steal data, the fact is that they won't stop trying no matter how sophisticated cybersecurity becomes.
In addition, new laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe as well as others that have passed or will be passed in the U.S. place the responsibility for protecting PII on the organizations that collect it. While there are tremendous benefits to collecting customer PII for business reasons, there are also huge responsibilities that come with it. At WISE, we take our responsibility to protect our customers' PII seriously. We work with our partners and distributors to ensure that customer data is protected from the moment it's created and throughout its entire lifecycle.
In regard to the ongoing arms race against hackers, there are several tactics one can use to protect customer PII without compromising its value. These include:
Data-Centric Audit and Protection model – The DCAP model focuses on protecting data itself rather than merely protecting the files where data is stored. There difference is that when you rely only on traditional means of cybersecurity such as firewalls and encryption, you're only protecting the means to access the data. Meanwhile, DCAP focuses on protecting the data itself through tactics such as tokenization, redaction, and pseudonymization which render the data unusable to anyone who isn’t supposed to have it.
Multi-factor authentication – This means using two or more factors to verify user identity to grant access to sensitive information. These factors can include something that the user knows, such as a password, combined with something they have, such as a keycard, as well as something inherent of who they are, such as biometrics. This process ensures that only the right people have access to the right data at the right time and for the right purpose. As a result, you never have to worry about any individual or group within your organization having too much access to information they shouldn't have.
Just-in-time credentials – This means granting access to sensitive information on an as-needed basis and providing credentials that are meant to be used within a limited timeframe and then discarded. This eliminates permanent access to confidential data and removes the possibility that old credentials can be taken advantage of by hackers.
Blockchain – This is a digitized, distributed register to store static records or dynamic transactions without a centralized database environment. Each time data is transacted, it creates a timestamped "block" of data that can be distributed but not copied. As a result, there are no points of entry for a hacker to use to access the entirety of a network's data, nor is there a central point of failure for a hacker to corrupt to give them access to all the data on a network.
WISE Distributed Energy and WISE Lifestyle Management use seven layers of cybersecurity to protect our customers' PII as well as all the other sensitive data that passes through our systems. In addition, our founder, Kevin Williams, was also the founder of a company that provided cybersecurity credentialing services for the U.S. Dept of Defense and had more than 1.5 million registered users. Thus, you can trust that cybersecurity is a top concern of WISE and that our security protocols are among the best available now and on an ongoing basis.