Secure vaults: Benefits and use cases

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Data breaches are on pace to set a new record high in 2023, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. With cyberattacks on the rise, you need to strengthen your defenses. That’s where a secure vault comes in handy. 

As a fortified storage space designed to safeguard your most critical assets, security vaults offer extra layers of protection — to keep threats at bay. 

Defining security vaults

A security vault is a highly fortified and controlled physical or digital space where you store and secure valuable assets, sensitive information, or important documents.

digital vault definition

How a security vault works

The specific workings of a security vault vary based on its type (physical or digital) and purpose. In the case of an online vault for documents, the process involves steps such as access control, different levels of permissions, and data encryption.

Physical vaultsDigital vaults
Access to physical vaults is restricted to authorized personnel, typically through measures such as key cards, biometric authentication, and PIN codes.Access to digital vaults is controlled through strong authentication methods such as passwords, two-factor authentication, and encryption keys.
Equipped with security features such as reinforced doors, alarms, and surveillance systems to avoid unauthorized access to critical assets.Data is encrypted at rest and in transit. If unauthorized access occurs, the data remains unreadable without the decryption keys.
Built with fire-resistant materials and environmental controls to protect against damage from natural events.Advanced redundancy and backup strategies prevent data loss in case of hardware failures or other unforeseen events.

Top benefits of digital vaults for businesses  

​​The ultimate benefit of a data vault is its ability to provide a highly secure and controlled environment for protecting valuable assets from unauthorized access, theft, damage, tampering, and other potential risks. Here’s what businesses gain. 

1. Centralized management 

By centralizing sensitive data in a secure vault, organizations enhance access control, streamline monitoring processes, and facilitate updates with ease. This centralized approach makes content management more efficient, as users spend less time searching for files. Allowing authorized users to work together on sensitive documents in a secure environment also eliminates the need for risky practices like sharing sensitive files via email.

2. Granular control and permissions

As enterprises move their documents to the cloud, data security becomes more important than ever. Yet, the average company has 10% of its SaaS data exposed to every single employee. Neglecting to lock down access represents a significant risk, because it increases the likelihood of breaches.

To safeguard sensitive information and mitigate risks associated with unauthorized entry, you need robust access control and authentication mechanisms. Web vaults often offer these measures, enabling organizations to make fine-tuned adjustments to document accessibility. For example:

  • Role-based access ensures that individuals are granted permissions in alignment with their responsibilities. Depending on their roles, users might be able to view a document but not make changes.
  • Least-privilege access involves granting users the minimum level of access or permissions required to perform their specific tasks or job functions — minimizing the potential for accidental data exposure or misuse.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) increases security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of verification before gaining entry (e.g., a password and a digital token). 
  • Single sign-on (SSO) allows employees to access multiple applications and systems with a single set of login credentials. SSO improves security by reducing the number of passwords that users need to remember and potentially expose.

3. Data confidentiality and integrity

Through encryption at rest and in transit, digital vaults ensure stored or shared data remains shielded, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access or data manipulation. 

Upholding data confidentiality and integrity is critical for businesses to:

  • Foster security and trust among customers
  • Adhere to legal and regulatory requirements
  • Protect sensitive intellectual property
  • Prevent breaches and financial losses
  • Enable informed decision-making

A breach impacts a company’s reputation, operational resilience, and bottom line. IBM says that the average cost of data breaches reached an all-time high in 2023. Expenses typically include detection and escalation, lost business, post-breach response, and notifications. More than half (57%) of respondents in the IBM study also said they increased prices due to data breaches, passing on costs to their customers.

4. Regulatory compliance and auditing 

Document vaults help organizations fulfill strict regulatory mandates such as GDPR and HIPAA, which set guidelines for data protection. Vaults not only secure sensitive information but also provide activity logs (e.g., access attempts, actions taken, and changes made) that serve as evidence during audits.

According to a Ponemon Institute and Globalscape report, the cost of non-compliance is 2.71 times higher than the cost of compliance. By ensuring adherence to legal standards and providing a comprehensive audit trail, safe vaults mitigate potential legal consequences and financial liabilities stemming from non-compliance. 

5. Cyberattack risk mitigation 

As organizations generate, store, and share an ever-expanding amount of documents containing confidential data, strategic plans, financial records, and intellectual property, they become an increased target of cyberattacks — ransomware, in particular.

The best way to mitigate these risks is to adopt a proactive cybersecurity strategy. In fact, 59% of organizations have adjusted their cybersecurity structure to meet evolving needs and minimize threats. By providing secure storage and making it more difficult for attackers to access and compromise your data, vaults enable proactive risk mitigation.

Looking to boost data security? Download our ebook to learn how to protect your content against cyber threats with Box.

Top use cases of an enterprise vault

Think of enterprise vaults as an additional layer of defense amid an escalating threat landscape. Here’s what they can do for your organization. 

Shield corporate secrets and sensitive data

As secured folders, vaults act as nearly impenetrable barriers against data leakage and industrial espionage. Enterprises use vaults to store trade secrets, intellectual property, and sensitive data from prying eyes. 

An enterprise vault ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and controlled access of critical information. Examples of corporate documents to secure in a data vault system include:

  • Contracts and business plans 
  • Compliance documentation
  • Financial records
  • Customer information
  • Employee data
  • Intellectual property

Documents to secure in a digital vault

Store and manage passwords

Password managers often leverage online vaults as robust repositories to store and manage login information. These vaults offer the convenience of a single, encrypted hub for all passwords, eliminating the need to remember multiple credentials.

Secure financial information 

Banks and financial institutions rely on secure vaults to fortify their defenses against threats to customer data. These vaults help to prevent fraudulent activities and unauthorized transactions. 

Morgan Stanley’s Digital Vault, for example, is an encrypted, scalable cloud storage space where clients can securely store and share documents — including wills, deeds, estate plans, financial statements, and tax filings — directly with their financial advisors. This secure vault solution, powered by Box, not only offers an additional layer of security but also drives more efficiency and collaboration.

Shield your most sensitive data with Box

Box gives you the peace of mind that your most sensitive data is secure. As a single platform for storing, sharing, and securing your data, the Content Cloud empowers businesses with streamlined workflows and enhanced collaboration — without compromising security.  

To help reduce financial, legal, and reputational risks, enterprise-grade security and compliance are built into the core of our platform. Our zero-trust approach leverages SSO and MFA support, user-friendly permission controls, AES 256-bit encryption at rest and in transit, and more. Other pillars of our secure storage include:

Discover why 67% of the Fortune 500 companies trust Box with their data. Contact us and learn how to get a secure vault for your enterprise documents with the Content Cloud.

CTA to secure your content with Box

While we maintain our steadfast commitment to offering products and services with best-in-class privacy, security, and compliance, the information provided in this blog post is not intended to constitute legal advice. We strongly encourage prospective and current customers to perform their own due diligence when assessing compliance with applicable laws.

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