Insider Threat Begs the Question, “Where’d My File Go on the Web?”

You know the risks posed by Shadow IT and unsanctioned app use. It’s a blind spot we’ve all been fighting for years now. But a new challenge is emerging: what do you do when the app is sanctioned? For example, how do you stop employees from exfiltrating data via Google Drive — when your organization uses this app, legitimately, all day long? With cloud and web-based apps like Google Drive, Gmail, OneDrive and Slack increasingly blurring the lines between personal and professional use, how do you shine light into the alarming blind spot we’re calling “Mirror IT?”

An easy way to move and share files

Most of us have used email or cloud storage as a means to instantly and easily make files available from anywhere. In fact, our 2019 Code42 Data Exposure Report found that 43% of business decision-makers say they use their personal email to share files with peers, and 41% use Google Drive. Not surprisingly, this is also one of the most common (and fastest growing) methods of employee data theft a.k.a. insider threat. Look to the headlines and you’ll read about cases like the sales executive at U.S. solar company SunPower Corp who emailed himself highly confidential files — and used them in his next role at a SunPower competitor.

“ An experienced security team with a range of tools at their disposal should be able to use network-layer information to piece together a good idea of where that file went — but only if users are on the network…and it won’t be fast or fun. ”

You can see that, right?

It’s not that modern data security tools are totally blind to this kind of activity. Most have some level of visibility into the web and cloud apps that touch your files. But some of the most popular enterprise data security tools are still limited to telling you that Google Chrome or Firefox accessed a file — essentially telling you that your file went somewhere on the internet. An experienced security team with a range of tools at their disposal should be able to use network-layer information to piece together a good idea of where that file went — but only if users are on the network…and it won’t be fast or fun.  

Sanctioned apps make things blurry

The real challenge comes in “Mirror IT” situations where employees have both personal and professional accounts for apps like Gmail, Google Drive or Slack. In these scenarios, how can you see — and respond to — an employee removing a customer list or source code via the approved Google Drive app? Leading CASB solutions can block unapproved sites — but they won’t help you here. Even top-of-class data loss prevention tools can only get as far as telling you that Google Drive accessed the file. But you have no way to make the all-important distinction about whether that file was uploaded to their personal or professional Google Drive account. Once again, a veteran security analyst could likely get to the bottom of this question, given some time — but in the meantime, those valuable files remain exposed.

A simple, fast answer to the question, “Where’d my file go?”

Code42 shines powerful light into the black hole of web and cloud file activity in a number of ways. Now, we’re solving the challenge of “Mirror IT” by giving you a first-of-its-kind level of visibility: Code42 shows you the title of the tab and the specific tab URL that was active at the moment the file activity occurred. This means you can plainly discern personal versus professional accounts and instantly understand the potential risk to your data.

It’s all part of the simple, speedy solution we’ve created for homing in on the risky signal amid all the noise of your users’ normal, harmless activity. The Code42 dashboard lets you immediately see when files are read or uploaded by an internet browser — and gives you one-click visibility into the tab title and URL.

The end result: with just two clicks, you can definitively answer the question, “where’d my file go?” and immediately take action, if necessary. It’s just one more way Code42 provides much-needed visibility to give you high-fidelity alerts and actionable information to help you find and address the data risks in your organization.