How Titus and Palo Alto Networks keep you compliant in a post-GDPR world

As organizations and individuals, most of us know we need to protect our data. Just check the news on any given day to get a reminder of that.

But what doesn’t make headlines nearly as much, although just as vital for any organization, is the need to understand your data – from what data types you have, to where they each reside. Because security is difficult enough without having a good idea of what you’re protecting in the first place.

But no single data protection solution can achieve a truly secure and protected environment on its own. It’s only through integrating best-of-breed technologies in multiple areas such as data security, application security, and cloud security that true data protection is achieved.

That’s a big reason why the partnership between Titus and Palo Alto Networks has been so effective.

Our innately complementary technologies just make sense for organizations building cutting-edge security postures: Titus helps you understand your data through data identification and classification, while Palo Alto Networks protects your assets as that data flows through your environment.

This kind of end-to-end solution is becoming even more important with the implementation of stringent data privacy regulations like the EU’s GDPR, California’s CCPA (in effect Jan. 1, 2020), and Brazil’s LGPD (Feb. 2020).

These regulations mean you absolutely need to know where all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data resides in your system, or you risk getting hit with huge fines if found in non-compliance.

Palo Alto Networks' security principles

Fred Streefland, Palo Alto Networks CSO for North & East Europe, summarized his company’s security principles during a presentation with Titus CTO Stephane Charbonneau at the Ignite '19 USA conference this past June:

Have full visibility into your entire environment

All applications, all users, all content, all endpoints, everything.

Reduce your attack surface with actions

This includes blocking bad apps, limiting app functions and file types, and blocking bad website

Prevent known threats such as malware and exploits

Some hackers are lazy enough to try the same thing many times over.

Prevent unknown threats

Some hackers are also innovative so it’s imperative to stay on top of them with tools like machine learning and automated anomaly detection.

Palo Alto Networks helps companies achieve the above by focusing on three main priorities: knowing your IT environment, identifying and prioritizing risks, and mitigating those risks.

This enables your organization to move from a defensive, tactical, event-driven security posture to one that’s offensive, strategic, and proactive.

Where Titus comes in

We've already mentioned the idea that you can have all the security in the world, but it won’t be as effective if you don’t know what you’re protecting (or where it is).

A big part of Palo Alto Networks' security principles is full system visibility, and that’s where Titus’s automated classification solution comes into play.

It uses machine learning to detect PII and other sensitive data as it flows through your system, then classifies it based on predefined data categories using the following data protection workflow:

  • Identify. Intelligent machine learning, trained by your own end users as they conduct daily business like sending emails, learns to automatically detect sensitive data based on context (from the type of document to the content within it).
  • Classify. Leverage a flexible policy to classify emails, documents and other files into categories as defined by your organization (classified, sensitive, public, restricted, GDPR, etc.).
  • Protect. Once you’ve identified and classified your sensitive data, protect it at rest and in flight to achieve compliance and prevent data loss or leaks.

User awareness, however, is key to developing strong machine learning models.

End users know their data best, after all. You can start slowly by bringing awareness that they’re potentially exposing PII – using something as simple as a notification just before they send an email containing sensitive information – and then evolve to a more complex categorization system.

It’s also crucial for organizations to consider the time value of data – that an email from your CEO going out five minutes from now is more important to deal with than the five-year-old documents in your archive – and to leverage metadata to power your privacy strategy. Tagging your data with metadata ensures that the identity is maintained as files are shared and apps or policies change.

Titus and Palo Alto Networks: A powerful 1-2 punch

The Titus-Palo Alto Networks partnership’s value proposition is simple yet effective: identify your data with Titus data classification, and protect it with Palo Alto Networks.

While the Titus Classification Suite identifies and classifies all your data based on sensitivity, Palo Alto Networks gives administrators a powerful solution for identifying and controlling the flow of sensitive data.

In today’s post-GDPR world, you simply have to know what you're protecting – and where it is – to stay secure and compliant.

Written by Stephane Charbonneau, Titus Founder and CTO, and Fred Streefland, Palo Alto Networks CSO for North & East Europe.