Data loss prevention: what is DLP and why is it important?


What is Data Loss Prevention (DLP)?

Data Leak Prevention, also known as Data Leak Prevention, is a program that combines technologies, policies, and processes to prevent unauthorized personnel from gaining access to an organization’s sensitive information. DLP also refers to tools and techniques that help network administrators to monitor and manage transmitted data. This helps prevent employees from sending confidential data outside of an organization.

DLP technologies help protect your data when it’s in use, in motion, and at rest.

  • Data used: Secure data in devices or applications during active processing by authenticating users and controlling access to sensitive data.
  • Data in motion: Ensure the protection of confidential data when it is transmitted over a network by encrypting information or by using messaging and messaging security tools.
  • Data at rest: Protect data stored in the cloud, databases, or other storage media, such as backup tapes and endpoint devices, with access control, encryption, and data retention policies. data.

How does data loss prevention work?

Organizations today are deploying advanced DLP tools and technologies that help monitor, detect, and block the transmission of confidential information outside of a corporate network. DLP products use algorithms that help determine which data transfers should be blocked. For example, DLP software would deny permission to users who go against company policy and attempt to send sensitive information outside of the organization. Additionally, DLP software can prevent unauthorized data transfer to an external storage drive by preventing employee terminals from reading and writing certain information.

DLP products monitor incoming emails for malicious attachments or suspicious links. These tools allow you to either flag inconsistent content so that employees can rate it manually, or block it in its tracks upon detection. You can set rules according to your company policies to classify data, such as financial data, critical data, or intellectual property, and establish appropriate levels of security based on the type of content and value for the company. business. DLP products interact with other systems, such as a content management system (CMS), to determine what content they should block to prevent unauthorized file transfer or information dissemination.

Why is data loss prevention important for organizations?

Data loss can be devastating for businesses of all sizes. The harsh truth is that no business is immune to data loss. It is estimated that a business will experience a cyberattack every 11 seconds in 2021. External threats aren’t the only concern for businesses. The Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations report found that more than 20% of security incidents involved insiders.

Data loss can impact the financial health of your business. As the IBM 2021 Cost of a Data Breach report shows, global average data breach costs have increased from $ 3.86 million to $ 4.24 million in 2021. In addition to financial losses, loss of data can lead to loss of productivity, revenue and customers. It can also damage your company’s reputation – a long-term negative impact of data loss.

Therefore, a data loss prevention strategy is vital to securing your data, protecting intellectual property, and staying in compliance with regulations. DLP systems ensure that your company’s confidential / classified data is not lost, mishandled, or accessed by unauthorized users.

What are the 3 types of data loss prevention?

The three main types of data loss prevention software include Network DLP, Endpoint DLP, and Cloud DLP.

Network DLP

Network DLP solutions provide greater visibility into your corporate network, allowing you to monitor and control the flow of information through the corporate network, email, or the web. DLP software helps you analyze network traffic and establish security policies to mitigate the risk of data loss while ensuring you stay compliant with regulations. By enforcing security policies, DLP software can perform certain predefined actions, such as allowing, blocking, reporting, auditing, encrypting, or quarantining suspicious activity that violates your company’s information security policies.

Endpoint DLP

Terminals, such as desktops and laptops, are the main tools of modern business. A new study from vArmour has found that 76% of U.S. employees have inappropriate access to sensitive data. Endpoint DLP solutions monitor endpoints, such as servers, computers, laptops, and mobile devices, where your business-critical information is used, moved, and stored. This is to prevent your sensitive data from being lost or misused by unauthorized persons.

DLP cloud

As businesses increasingly move their data and business applications to a cloud environment, cloud DLP is vital to ensuring that critical workloads are not disclosed, lost, or mismanaged. Cloud DLP solutions protect your data stored in the cloud by encrypting sensitive data and ensuring that data is sent only to cloud applications authorized by your organization. Today’s advanced cloud DLP technologies are able to identify, classify, delete or modify confidential data before it is shared in a cloud environment to protect your data from cyber threats, malicious insiders and accidental exposure.

Best practices for preventing data loss

  • Determine your goal: Be clear about what you’re trying to accomplish with your data loss prevention program, whether that’s protecting intellectual property, improving visibility and control of your data, or meeting regulatory requirements. Having a clear goal will help you determine what type of DLP solutions to include in your data loss prevention strategy – network, endpoint, or cloud DLP.
  • Identify and classify data: All data is not the same. To better protect your data, you must first identify data critical to your business, such as customer information, financial records, source codes, plans, etc., and categorize them according to their criticality levels.
  • Define data security policies: Develop comprehensive data security rules and policies and establish them on your corporate network. DLP technologies can perform preprogrammed rule-based actions to track, analyze, and prevent the sharing of sensitive files through insecure sources.
  • Manage access: Restrict access to sensitive data. Access and use of critical information should be restricted based on user roles and responsibilities. Using DLP tools, your system administrators can assign appropriate permission levels to users based on the type of data they are processing and their access levels.
  • Educate and train employees: Data loss prevention is an ongoing process and your employees are an essential part of the program. Therefore, educating and training your employees on the importance of data security and the implications of data loss on your business will play an important role in the success of your DLP program. After all, humans are considered the weakest link in cybersecurity.

Preventing Data Loss with Spanning 360

No matter how robust your DLP strategy is, the sad truth is that data loss is inevitable. Your data is constantly threatened by threats like human error, illegitimate deletion, phishing, programming errors, malicious insiders, cyber attacks, etc. You need to ensure that your company’s sensitive data is backed up and securely retrievable at all times to maintain business continuity when such cases occur.

Protect your business and your data with Spanning 360. Spanning 360 is the only enterprise-class end-to-end protection solution for Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, with advanced features to help prevent, anticipate and mitigate account compromise and data loss.

Spanning 360 lets you detect and block even the most sophisticated email threats with three layers of defense powered by patented AI technology that monitors communication patterns between people, devices and networks to reveal the unreliable emails.

Spanning Dark Web Monitoring allows you to secure risky accounts before data loss occurs. It combines human expertise and sophisticated dark web intelligence with comprehensive research capabilities to proactively identify, analyze, and monitor your organization’s compromised or stolen credentials.

Plus, with Spanning Backup, your end users as well as administrators can quickly find and restore data to its original state with just a few clicks.

Check out Spanning 360 for comprehensive Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace data protection.

Learn more about Spanning 360

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