Data loss prevention (DLP) policies and software protect sensitive information against unauthorized disclosure or deletion. DLP tools can monitor data in motion on networks, endpoint devices, or cloud storage and can report, encrypt or block information that violates set information disclosure policies.
Table of Contents
Data is vital to today’s business, but it is susceptible to loss from malicious attacks, data corruption, human error, or natural disaster. To protect against a data loss event, data loss prevention software monitors business processes for unauthorized or accidental information transfers. It classifies sensitive data such as personal, financial, or mission-critical information and identifies violations of predefined policies such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or GDPR. DLP can flag or block inconsistent information transfer activities and provide a range of remediation actions such as encrypting, quarantine, notifying, or auditing. Internal breaches are the leading cause of data loss. They can occur in many ways, such as email forwarding to outside addresses, uploading business files to consumer cloud storage services, copying files to a USB or CD, and downloading files from a work-related computer. While fundamental information security tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus can mitigate threats, DLP can detect risky behaviors and educate employees on best practices for data security. In addition to identifying potential risks, DLP can automatically flag or block inconsistent information transfer activities and provide security teams with remediation actions such as encryption, quarantine, or notification. In a time where the security talent shortage continues to be a significant challenge, managed DLP solutions can act as remote extensions of your team and help fill the gap while also providing a scalable and flexible data loss prevention solution.
As data breaches continue to make headlines and cause business losses, many companies are looking to prevent them before they happen. A DLP system helps ensure that critical and confidential information is not sent outside the corporate network by accident or on purpose. DLP can also stop unauthorized end-users from accessing sensitive data through various channels, including cloud storage services and email platforms.
Using an automated DLP solution can prevent the main ways that employees steal information: copying files onto USB memory sticks or sending them by email. This can be done without blocking normal and acceptable work practices, such as storing and moving data between local drives and cloud systems. This means that even when staff works remotely, the DLP tool will apply controls to their systems and emails, helping them keep their information safe. DLP can help to ensure compliance with regulations and standards by classifying regulated, sensitive, or confidential information and identifying policies that violate those rules. The DLP system can then take action to prevent those violations with alerts and other protective measures, whether the sensitive information is on-premises, in the cloud, or on endpoint devices. This can include monitoring and enforcing data retention, movement, and encryption policies.
Data is the fuel that drives modern business, but it also puts your company at risk if not protected. Data breaches, accidental and malicious sharing, and exfiltration can expose confidential and critical information that threatens your business. Preventing such loss requires processes and tools to ensure employees cannot access or share their data without proper authorization. DLP solutions identify sensitive information that is regulated by regulatory standards, such as personal health and medical records (PHI), financial information (PII), and payment card information (PCI). These systems also classify data as unauthorized or non-sensitive to be prioritized for protection and monitoring context to detect suspicious activity. DLP can also help meet compliance audit requirements by allowing you to automatically report violations and take protective actions, such as encryption. In addition to data classification, the DLP solution should be able to prevent the unauthorized movement of this data out of the corporate network via email and peripheral devices such as mobile phones and USB flash drives. This can be done through insider threat prevention, including file content scanning and attachment controls; movement tracking, which includes monitoring connected devices and cloud services; and a DLP policy that enforces data retention and security. A solid DLP strategy should be implemented in phases, with your team focusing on specific communication channels and data types that pose the most significant risks to the organization.
Data loss prevention solutions are critical to IT security teams’ and tech support staff’s arsenal to prevent data breaches and theft. These tools help protect information against internal and external cyberattacks while assisting companies in complying with regulatory standards like HIPAA and GDPR. A comprehensive DLP program consists of multiple layers that work together to detect, classify and protect sensitive data. This includes identifying and monitoring the movement of sensitive data between on-premises storage, cloud applications, and endpoint devices. Using an automated tool to identify and track data activity across your organization will give you the visibility to spot potential issues before they become a problem. You can locate and protect sensitive data, even if employees work remotely or on the road. To ensure the success of your DLP program, it is essential to educate your employees about the importance and necessity of protecting sensitive information. This will prevent data breaches by disgruntled employees or malicious employees and reduce the impact of ransomware and other types of data loss.