The 5 Reasons Private Equity Firms Use Egnyte

Private equity firms understand the threat of cyberattacks all too well, but they don’t always know the best way to proactively address this growing problem.

According to a recent report by global consulting firm Deloitte, worldwide private equity assets under management (AUM) are anticipated to reach $5.8 trillion by 2025. Meanwhile, cyberattacks against the financial sector increased an estimated 238% from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020 until April 2021, while the average estimated cost of a data breach now exceeds $4.2 million.

It’s no surprise that cybersecurity has become a top five resource demand for private fund CFOs, as detailed in a recent Intertrust Group survey. One of the best ways to mitigate these risks is through data governance, which includes a set of strategic practices used to organize and manage data throughout its lifecycle.

This blog provides you with the five reasons private equity firms choose Egnyte for data governance. And because security education is part of the culture at Egnyte, we've also included practical advice to take your security to the next level.

1. To Reduce The Risk of Insider Threats 

According to the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, organizational insiders accounted for 44% of threat actors in the financial and insurance sectors. Insiders include disgruntled employees who steal data to bring a competitive edge to their new employers, contacts who sell compromised data, and end users who inadvertently make careless mistakes. 

Overall risk is amplified for private equity firms, because the average firm holds a median of seven active portfolio companies, greatly increasing a cyberattacker’s potential attack surface. Insider attacks can be particularly difficult to identify, since perpetrators generally have legitimate access to the sensitive information, and private equity firms routinely store sensitive information across a broad range of portfolio companies. 

Private equity firms choose Egnyte as their data governance solution because it enables them to effectively monitor abnormal user behavior, including uncharacteristic downloads of large volumes of sensitive company files. Egnyte also has content safeguard features that reinforce secure file-sharing best practices, including only sharing sensitive information on a need-to-know basis.

2. To Secure Work-from-Anywhere Environments 

It’s harder to detect potential IT security issues in our current work-from-anywhere world. Employees collaborate in remote locations that often lack the comprehensive security protection of traditional corporate networks. As a result, organizations need to track user access and sensitive data across hundreds or even thousands of locations, rather than the limited number of offices they previously had to secure.

With Egnyte, your users can collaborate securely on sensitive data in the cloud. They can access content from anywhere, using their preferred type of device. Your employees and their colleagues can edit documents, create financial proposals, or manage legal contracts—activities that are critical to getting work done and keeping workflows moving. You can also amplify employee productivity through integration with key business applications like Microsoft Teams,, DocuSign, Google Workspace, and many others. 

We've found that private equity firms find the most success with their content governance when they encourage users to follow basic cybersecurity hygiene procedures. This includes frequently changing their Wi-Fi passwords and never permitting family members to use their business devices for personal activities, such as social media or gaming.

3. To Combat the Pervasive Threat of Ransomware

According to a Performance Improvement Partners study, 94% of cyberattacks on private equity firms utilize social engineering techniques to trick employees into sharing information or installing malware. Once a cyberattack is launched, malware such as ransomware can quickly spread and encrypt sensitive files across a firm, crippling organizational productivity by making mission-critical data inaccessible.

Ransomware attacks have become so prevalent that Anne Neuberger, US Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, gave the following advice in June 2021: "All organizations must recognize that no company is safe from being targeted by ransomware, regardless of size or location." 

Realistically, it’s only a matter of time before your company or your portfolio companies are impacted by ransomware. If you or your colleagues might benefit from a primer on the current state and potential future of ransomware, then check out Egnyte’s recent webinar series on the subject.  

To combat ransomware, Egnyte’s Enterprise Ransomware Detection combines machine learning-based behavioral analytics with signature-based protection to identify malicious activity like file renaming, deletions, and changes in file entropy. A brief and easy-to-follow technical overview of how ransomware detection solutions work is available here.

For maximum success, technical solutions for ransomware need to be combined with user education on the importance of not clicking on potential phishing emails or visiting suspicious websites on company devices. 

4. To Navigate Evolving Compliance Requirements 

Compliance regulations are evolving rapidly, and global data privacy mandates continue to expand. Your organization and all of your portfolio companies need a practical way to automate compliance efforts and maximize productivity. 

Egnyte automatically identifies and inventories sensitive data wherever it resides using hundreds of built-in data patterns and proprietary AI. Egnyte provides a convenient dashboard that allows you to review potential organizational risk, so your team can prioritize remediation and manage threats more effectively. 

You can even determine how much of your sensitive data might be subject to regulatory requirements by using automated compliance and content classification policies that meet data privacy and industry mandates, including GDPR, UK GDPR, CCPA, PCI-DSS, NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation, and Sarbanes-Oxley. 

Complement your technical compliance activities with end user education that reinforces which regulations your company is subject to, and teach users about their role in storing and sharing data securely. 

5. To Maximize Operational Efficiency

Finally, Egnyte's secure collaboration technology provides you with a completely hybrid platform, so you can modernize your data governance capabilities, while preserving your company’s existing hardware investment. For that reason, you can maximize IT spending with a predictable, SaaS-based deployment model, while maximizing your end users’ collaboration capabilities.  

Make sure to supplement secure collaboration solutions with end user education. Explain why it’s important to store and share files within officially sanctioned platforms, and why they should avoid ungoverned shadow IT solutions that can jeopardize your sensitive data. 

Learn More

To learn more about how private equity firms use Egnyte to secure their investment data, read our Rockbridge case study and share it with your colleagues.

Get started with Egnyte today

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Neil Jones

Neil Jones is Director of Cybersecurity Evangelism at Egnyte. Jones has worked in a variety of roles in the field, including product marketing, sales and even product pricing. He is a designated Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) since 2008.

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