What is Data Loss Prevention (DLP)?
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a mechanism to prevent a sensitive company or client information from being inappropriately leaked or distributed. Data Loss Prevention protects enterprise data as it moves in and out of systems, applications, networks, and devices.
Data Loss Prevention tools provide ways to monitor data-in-motion (DIM) and data-at-rest (DAR) so that organizations can safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information.
Implementing a DLP solution would be the first step toward an organization’s secure information management strategy. It is essential to know that data breaches are inevitable. Any company, irrespective of its size, can fall victim to data theft, data leaks, and other cyber attacks when an appropriate level of protection is not implemented. The data can be used for malicious purposes and cause huge damage to the company’s reputation and future profitability.
What are the Various Data Sources?
- Chat (Teams, Slack, etc.)
- Email (Office 365, Gmail, Outlook)
- USB Devices (External USB Drives)
- Cloud (SAAS, PAAS, IAAS)
- Databases and File Servers
Why do Organizations typically need a DLP?
- Protect Intellectual Property (IP) critical for the organization: The organization may be a pharmaceutical company, a university, or an aerospace company. They need to keep sensitive information secure from unauthorized access and use.
- Protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Compliance: Data loss prevention rules are established by different laws in countries around the world to protect consumers from data theft. These laws may specify what type of data can be collected or stored, how the information should be protected, how long it can be stored, or whether it can be shared with other parties.
Companies must also establish policies and procedures for users accessing company computer systems, networks, and data. The policies should include guidelines for what type of information is sensitive enough to warrant a stronger level of protection. Employees should follow these guidelines when accessing company systems and personal devices connected to company networks.
- Preventing accidental disclosure of information to unauthorized users: The DLPs are mainly focused on three areas, namely prevention, detection, and auditing. The detection system usually scans an entire network or the Internet to determine if any unauthorized data flows require attention. Detection systems can also be configured to detect unusual traffic patterns or behavior changes in a specific user account.
Auditing systems generally monitor data flows and record which information was accessed, when, and who had access to it. They also monitor how this information was used after it’s been accessed by unauthorized users.
Organizations are constantly working on deploying their digital protection policies. This is often due to their data security and compliance requirements.
What are the challenges that organizations encounter while implementing DLP?
- Data access and authentication controls (e.g., too much time spent figuring out which users have the right to view which data)
- Application and service authorization (e.g., defining permissions for accessing files and folders)
- Effective data sharing (e.g., not being able to share data with certain departments or vendors)
- Tagging sensitive information in files, emails, and documents
It is crucial for an organization to know what information it needs to collect on its employees in order to have a comprehensive security policy in place.
Initially setting things up could be really daunting and that’s why a DLP solution provider can help by walking an IT manager through the initial steps of implementing a DLP solution.