With the influx of cyberattacks on organizations, a lot of company data is prone to be stolen or lost. As things have become more digitized, many organizations worldwide have started storing most of their sensitive data on computers and clouds. Therefore, the need to protect and prevent the leakage of this sensitive information is extremely vital. This is where Data Loss Prevention comes in.
What Is Data Loss Prevention?
Businesses own all kinds of sensitive data, for example, financial records, confidential documents, credit card details, medical histories, and social security numbers of clients and employees.
They need a mechanism to prohibit their users from inappropriately sharing sensitive data with those who should not have access to it to help secure it and decrease risk. This is known as data loss prevention (DLP).
Data loss prevention (DLP) is a crucial component of an organization’s overall security strategy that focuses on identifying and preventing data loss, leakage, or abuse via breaches, ex-filtration transmissions, and unauthorized usage.
Many organizations download various software programs and hire professional tech teams to ensure their data remains in safe hands. Loss of sensitive data, no matter how small it is, can result in great loss.
Data loss is the leakage of important data to someone outside the organization. The biggest drawback of such a data loss event is that this data can get misused, and the company’s reputation can get severely damaged.
The term DLP encloses both aspects, that is, prevention of loss of data and data leakage.
Why Do Organisations Use Data Loss Prevention?
The use of DLP by organizations has seen an increase in recent years. The main purpose of this use is:
- Protection of PII, i.e., personally identifiable information
- Protection of the organization’s intellectual property
- Providing a secure environment for mobile workers and bring-your-own-device environments (BYOD)
- Securing data on cloud systems
Does Your Organization Need Data Loss Prevention?
Data Loss Prevention isn’t just a need but a necessity for modern businesses. It goes without saying that to keep your data safe from attackers and hackers, you need data protection measures like DLP. If you have an up-and-running organization, you should definitely keep data loss prevention at the top of your priority list.
The three biggest advantages of data loss prevention are;
- It protects and safeguards people’s personal information
- It provides intellectual property protection
- And it provides data visibility.
Let us talk about these three major concerns:
- Private Information Protection
Is your organization handling personal information? Like information related to someone’s identity, health records, or credit/debit card information? If yes, then according to the rules and regulations of HIPAA and GDPR, you are required to protect all your clients’ information and take necessary measures to prevent it from getting leaked.
Data Loss Prevention protects information by identifying and classifying sensitive information and keeping it tagged, making it easier to find. Furthermore, it monitors all the activities that take place with that data and reports any misuse or unrecognizable actions.
- Intellectual Property Protection
Is your organization handling vital intellectual property which is lost and can cause a serious blow to your organization’s well-being and reputation? In that case, you definitely require Data Loss Protection.
There are a number of Data Loss Protection websites and organizations out there that can help you protect your customer’s data. Such Data Loss Protection teams will help you classify your data properly and warn you against any possible data breach attempt.
- Data Visibility
Data visibility is an extra important feature that you should have as a company owner. This feature gives you full control and access over what your employees do with the data and where the information is used. It gives you the upper hand in keeping all the sensitive information in your control.
What Are The Causes Of Data Leaks?
Data leaks can cause businesses to lose a lot of profits and clients. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the causes and how to prevent them. The three very common causes of data leaks are:
An insider threat is a very common way of breaching data. In this case, either a traitor on the inside or a paid hacker that has acquired unauthorized access to a user’s account gets their hands on the sensitive information. Then they try to export this information to external unrecognizable and unreliable sources.
Extrusion By Outsiders
As the hackers get more advanced, they find more ways to invade. Techniques such as phishing, malware, and code injection are now used extensively by outsiders to gain access to sensitive information.
Unintentional Data Exposure
This type of data leak is the most avoidable one. This is mostly because of negligent employees who provide open Internet access to data or fail to meet the organization’s restrictions and policies. In this type of data breach, the information gets out and gets into the hands of unwanted people without them having to do anything.
How To Prevent Sensitive Data From Getting Leaked?
Data loss prevention is key. And nowadays, it’s not very difficult to prevent data from getting leaked. You can use various security tools or a higher proper data loss prevention organization’s team to help you manage your data.
Such tools will alert you whenever an attempt is made to breach data by any means. You should keep your systems on antivirus software as well. Such software programs prevent hackers from gaining entry into the system. Furthermore, you can install firewalls in your systems that will block unauthorized entries.
If you are dealing with a lot of customers and are part of a big organization, then you might need the assistance of designated Data Loss Prevention tools and solutions for data protection and keeping information safe. You can further ask for assistance from the Security Operations Centre (SOC).
What Are The Various Components Of A Data Loss Solution?
There are various factors that you need to assess:
- Protection of data in motion – The tech team can detect and point to the violation of data.
- Protection of endpoints – endpoint representatives, can overlook the exchange of information between various users and external groups and even halt communications if seen disrespecting the rules and regulations.
- Protection of rest data – certain policies like access control management, encryption, etc., can safeguard archived information.
- Protection of data in use – some data loss prevention systems can monitor mischief activities if performed by accessible authorities.
- Data Identification – it is very important to classify your data, that is, which information is very important and requires protection, and which does not. Data put in manually or automatically is sensitive.
- Detection of data leakage – it is very important for data loss prevention sites and teams to identify and alert the user whenever data misuse is suspected.
How Do DLP Tools Work?
Data Loss Prevention tools are designed to combat all types of data breaches. They protect confidential data and prevent any data loss.
These tools use a combination of different measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and endpoint protection and advanced measures such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to safeguard all the sensitive information of a company.
Any kind of DLP team supports one of the following protection activities:
Ensuring no outsider gets access to the confidential data, detecting any suspicious activity, and reporting it immediately.
Identification of any kind of mischievous activity via better data visibility features and improved data monitoring
Check incident response by cross-checking all the movement of data inside and outside the organization’s system.
Analyze all the critical data as well as protected data to improve the prevention of data loss and further improve the security system
DLP Solutions And File Security Solutions
Data Loss Prevention and File Security Solutions work together to produce the best possible outcome. They protect all kinds of sensitive data, whether it is at rest or in use.
This is how it is done:
- Strict monitoring of all sensitive data and information.
- Recording all data such as user, department, accessed files, etc.
- Blocking any attempt to misuse data or breach policies.
- Detecting mischievous usage of misuse data.
- Managing insider threats and preventing outside hacking attempts.
- Preventing all kinds of ransomware attacks.
What Are The Benefits Of Data Loss Prevention?
Organizational data needs to be protected to prevent any losses. For this purpose, data loss prevention tactics are needed for data protection. Data loss prevention comes with numerous benefits, such as:
- The owner is able to track and monitor all the data of its organization under one roof.
- Data Loss Prevention helps prevent misuse and any discrepancies that might occur by people with access to critical data.
- All browsing, communications, and emails are cross-checked to ensure there is no leaking of sensitive information outside the organization.
- Data Loss Prevention ensures that the integrity of the organization/company remains well-intact and no unwanted loss of customers occurs.
- DLP further protects people against expensive lawsuits and claims.
- Data loss prevention software looks after all security issues. It has a record of all the transactions in case any proof might be needed to prove any employee’s misuse of data or misconduct.
- Data loss prevention software encrypts highly sensitive and critical data automatically.
With the advancement in cybercriminals, cybersecurity updates are required as well. This is why an efficient and well-balanced Data Loss Prevention system is required by every kind of organization that is handling any sort of sensitive information, no matter how big or small it is. DLP adoption has seen a drastic increase because:
- Organizations recognize the importance of DLP for their set-up.
- Data Loss Prevention helps prevent any sort of data leakage and meets the protection standards of recent times.
- There is always a threat because the data is in too many hands and on many devices. DLP ensures that sensitive data remains safe and monitors the many endpoints across the cloud.
Here Is What The Experts Have To Say About Data Loss Prevention
Experts have given their views on Data Loss Prevention and its impact on the digital world. Here are their golden words:
- Data protection is just not the job of the security system and the tech department; as a responsible employee, everyone handling any kind of data should ensure that it is processed properly without any loopholes or the possibility of a data breach.
- The impact of data breaches is too huge to be reversed. They negatively impact the reputation of the organization.
- A number of customers withdraw themselves, and a sales decline is observed. Whenever there is any kind of data breach, the entire company should get involved in finding out the root cause and then terminating it. Even the stakeholders should put in their input.
- Encryption is a very important part of security; although it is something that is not visible, it is part of our daily use and activity. It not only protects our data but also prevents outsiders from getting their hands on it.
How To Implement Data Loss Prevention?
The first and foremost important aspect is to classify and prioritize data. The topmost sensitive information should be kept highlighted. Then, make a timeline of the data, who created it, who has access to it, and where it is stored. Systematically run your company, so there are no loopholes in the entire process.
Identify the data most at risk. As information goes from one customer to another, partners, and user devices along the supply chain, it is typically at greatest risk while in use on endpoints.
Keep your employers updated and trained with the latest skill and knowledge of data loss prevention techniques. Furthermore, ensure to block all kinds of at-risk activities and further educate your workers about risky processes.
- A startling 47% increase in the number of data breaches has been observed since 2020. Many believe and put the burden on the external attackers for this marked increase. However, insiders are as much to blame as outsiders are. Negligent employees and internal threats should be equally monitored.
- 84% of the top IT leaders believe that the increase in the number of home-based workers is causing the increase in data loss. Remote workers do not have the best security system in their personal devices and cloud, which makes sensitive data easier to get leaked. The focus should be placed on keeping employees in offices with corporate-controlled computers/laptops.
- Around 60-70% of all data breach attempts can cause public security issues. Research demonstrated that around 70% of data breaches were linked to the leakage of highly sensitive information, which can damage a company’s image and reputation.
Data Loss Prevention is the protection of confidential data along with the prevention of data breaches. The DLP solution detects sensitive data, monitors data inflow and outflow, and protects data.
Furthermore, they control accidental data exposure and prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to the files and information.
Data Loss Prevention is the need for every company to handle personally identifiable information, any intellectual property, or even transaction details such as credit card information.