Manual Downloads Increase Your Cyber Risk

No matter how secure your system is, your users may accidentally leave you open to a data breach by:

  • Downloading data into an Excel spreadsheet for a custom report,
  • Feeding data into a homegrown database for statistical counting, or
  • Using data in a development environment that lacks your usual safeguards.

Just when you thought you had everything locked down, an undocumented manual download could result in a devastating data breach.

Secure your system now, before it’s too late.

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Your Organization Is at Risk

Your users may manually download data because it’s faster than using your existing systems to achieve results.

The problem is your laptops, desktop applications and test and development programming environments may not have the same protections as your production systems.

This leaves your organization at risk for being blindsided by a data breach.

You could waste weeks trying to determine how a manual download left your data vulnerable, and you knew nothing about it.

Protect Yourself Now

While it may not be possible to stop all manual downloads, you can protect your system with the following steps:

  • Institute strong governance policies, procedures and tooling to control manual downloads,
  • Block the ability to store data on removable devices, like flash drives,
  • Ban visual recording devices — even cell phones — that can be used to snap screenshots, and
  • Encrypt and log any manual downloads that are deemed necessary.

Protect your development and test environment, too:

  • Institute a policy that unmasked production data should never be used for testing, and, to be even safer,
  • Detach your development and test environments from your production environment.

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Face the Facts: Manual Downloads Happen

No matter what you do, manual downloads may happen.

Your job is to institute necessary precautions to keep them from exposing your organization to serious cyber risk.

Find Out How ›

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Contact an Expert

Stuart Lerner

Stuart Lerner

SVP, Administration and Technology Consulting Practice Leader

Amy S. Timmons

Amy S. Timmons

VP and Senior Consultant, Administration and Technology Consulting