What is Data Loss Prevention (DLP) – Overview and its best practices
Data loss prevention (DLP) identifies and stops sensitive data breaches, exfiltration, and unintentional deletion. DLP is used by businesses to safeguard and protect their data as well as to adhere to legal requirements.
The phrase "DLP" refers to safeguarding organizations from data loss and leakage. Data loss is the term used to describe a situation in which crucial data is lost to the business, such as during a ransomware attack. The goal of data loss prevention is to stop the unauthorized transmission of data across organizational boundaries.
DLP is frequently used by businesses to
- Maintain the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII) and abide by all applicable laws.
- The importance of protecting intellectual property to the organization
- Obtain data visibility in big businesses
- Protect the workforce on the go and uphold security in BYOD (bring your device) settings
- Securing data on distant cloud platforms
Definition of data loss prevention
Data loss prevention is a security measure that identifies and helps in preventing risky or improper sensitive data exchange, transfer, or usage. It lets your business keep an eye on and safeguard private data across endpoint devices, cloud-based sites, and on-premises systems.
You'll hear about information protection and governance in safeguarding your data. Sensitive data is subject to restrictions (such as encryption) under information protection, whereas its lifetime is determined by information governance (how long you retain the data). They embrace understanding and guarding your data, preventing data loss, and regulating it collectively.
Data loss prevention (DLP) is a facet of data security that entails a collection of tools for content analysis and problem-solving. To reduce the danger of sensitive data being accidentally or intentionally exposed to unauthorized channels, it performs replies depending on established policies.
Data loss factors
Although data processing is a serious industry, the organization might be in significant danger if done improperly. Here are some of the main reasons for data loss.
- Unauthorized access exposes you to fraud and identity theft when you access data from various sources without sufficient authentication.
- Equipment failure: Hardware may malfunction or become irreparably destroyed due to human mistakes or just regular wear and tear over time.
- Due to human error, essential data may be accidentally deleted when trying to clear space on a server or external hard disk.
- Infection by viruses and malware: These cyber threats can damage data storage, taint essential data, or completely prevent access.
How does DLP work perfectly?
Data loss prevention aims to identify and stop the leaking of sensitive data. It consists of a combination of people, procedures, and technology. First, a DLP system can identify suspicious activity using antivirus software, AI, and machine learning tools. Then, by illustration, it compares information to your DLP policy, which outlines how your business labels, distributes, and secures data while keeping it hidden from unauthorized users, using rule-based analysis.
DLP software monitors, detects, and blocks sensitive data from leaving an organization.
DLP systems keep an eye on various points of a business network's entry and departure, including user devices, email clients, servers, or network gateways, to protect data in various forms, including data in motion, data in use, and data at rest.
- Data sent and received through your network is called "data in motion."
- Data now being used in computer memory is referred to as data in use.
- Data kept in a database, file, or server is referred to as data at rest.
A predetermined reaction will be activated if security software notices something suspect, such as an email attachment containing credit card information or an attempt to print private papers.
Most DLP systems allow businesses to either prohibit potentially dangerous communications or merely flag the anomaly for administrators to investigate. Organizations can restrict sensitive information while allowing non-sensitive interactions, thanks to adequately configured DLP.
Why is DLP crucial?
A data breach may be costly, and the harm to your brand reputation may influence future sales. Therefore, your risk-reduction approach must include a DLP solution, especially for protecting the data at endpoints like servers, desktop PCs, and mobile devices.
Information security (InfoSec) refers to the security measures that guard against unauthorized access, abuse, interruption, and destruction of your sensitive data. It includes access control, cybersecurity, and physical and environmental security. Information security fundamentals include the following:
- Cloud security and infrastructure: To assist in stopping unwanted access and data leaks from your public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multicloud settings, you should secure your hardware and software systems.
- Cryptography: Using algorithm-based communication security, you can ensure that only the people who need to see and understand a message can do so.
- Incident reaction: How your company handles a cyberattack, data breach, or another disruptive event and how it is remedied and managed afterward.
- Disaster recovery: A strategy for rebuilding your technical infrastructure in the case of a natural disaster, cyberattack, or other disruptive circumstances.
Best Practices for Getting DLP in Place
Data loss prevention is more than merely blocking particular data leaks. Instead, it focuses on risk management for all information assets to secure data during every phase of its lifespan, from developing a robust security strategy to implementing DLP-supporting technology
Review your existing data security capability
Even if you believe you have an impenetrable data-security plan, it's crucial to acquire a second opinion by consulting industry experts and running hypothetical data-breach scenarios. With these methods, you may spot areas for improvement before a severe security breach.
Identify and categorize sensitive data
Knowing your data is the first step in protecting it. To detect and classify sensitive data, use your DLP policy.
Use data encryption
To prevent unauthorized users from viewing the content of files, even if they discover their location. Data encryption may be used to protect data while it is in transit or at rest.
Protect your system
A network's security is only as strong as its most vulnerable access point. Therefore, employees who require access to their tasks should only have it.
Implement DLP in stages
Establish a pilot test after understanding your business's priorities. Then, give your company the space to develop into the solution and everything it has to offer.
Put a patch management system in place
Test all fixes for your infrastructure to guarantee that no vulnerabilities are being introduced into your business.
As business requirements evolve, adjust data security policies
When it comes to data security, there is never a good time to be unprepared. While some things could stay largely the same for weeks, months, or even years, other items need new data security protocols virtually every day.
Periodically review data security solutions
You'll probably find adjustments that need to be made after finishing each examination of your data security solutions; don't wait until another year has passed before upgrading these solutions.
Last words on DLP
Implementing an efficient DLP policy that outlines a plan for avoiding, identifying, and responding to possible data losses is the first step in combatting data loss. You are aware that data risks are more a matter of when they will occur than if.
Therefore, implementing a DLP solution for your business requires planning and study. Still, it is time and money well spent to safeguard sensitive data, individual data, and the reputation of your business.
Get in touch with us if you need help in this area; our consultants are ready to assist you at every step of the way.
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