As we know, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is basically all about monitoring and safeguarding data in transit, data at rest and data in use. DLP refers to the various technologies and tools used to prevent corporate or personal data from being leaked or transmitted to unauthorized locations.
In the wake of the huge and devastating data breaches that had struck many businesses in recent times, organizations have started prioritizing DLP security strategies and tools to combat emerging threats and cyberattacks. Organizations around the world have to deal with data loss incidents on a day-to-day basis. Statistics show us that such data loss incidents cause huge losses to businesses all the world over. Hence, it has is now turning increasingly important for businesses to invest in Data Loss Prevention software and in implementing a DLP security strategy. Let’s discuss this in detail.
Prominent industrial sectors like the healthcare industry, the financial sector, and the manufacturing industry are impacted greatly by data loss incidents, which lead to huge financial losses caused by the loss of sensitive data. In addition to the direct financial loss incurred, companies have to face issues pertaining to litigations and also pressure from regulatory bodies. Recent survey reports say that almost 85 percent of companies worldwide have had to face data loss incidents at least once in the last couple of years. Figures also suggest that in many such incidents, the issue emanates from within the organization. Thus, while organizations are taking concrete steps, like installing data loss prevention software, implementing DLP security strategies and implementing monitoring controls (on emails, usage of applications, instant messages, downloads, internet surfing etc), countries too are enacting more stringent data protection laws on all kinds of organizations that handle sensitive data. Thus, all-out efforts are being taken to minimize data loss incidents and to ensure effective data loss prevention.
Using DLP tools and implementing DLP strategies are integral to ensuring effective data loss prevention, for any organization today. There are different levels on which this works out for businesses today.
On the primary level, there are the standard security measures, the very general ones that most modern organizations adopt, and which help ensure data security. This includes installing and using security software like firewall, antimalware and antivirus tools, intrusion detection and intrusion prevention tools, threat management systems, vulnerability management systems etc. The next level involves the usage of advanced tools for added monitoring and threat protection. This might include network traffic analyzers, security machine learning, honeypots, user identity checks/activity-based verification etc. The thrust here is on monitoring, done with the help of advanced software.
The most advanced level, as regards data loss prevention, is using DLP specific tools- tools that specifically block attempts (intentional or unintentional) to copy and transmit data to unauthorized locations. At this level, there would be simplified management of DLP policy, monitoring of sensitive emails, educating/training users, using file matching to prevent leakage of sensitive data, protecting data in motion through SMTP/FTP/HTTP, etc.
In fact, for any organization, having a concrete security policy would contribute to ensuring effective data loss prevention. Conducting regular security audits and having well-documented remediation and revival plans are also integral to such security policies. Organizations must also classify structured and unstructured data sets, thereby making it easy to identify sensitive data that needs to be secured by implementing monitoring and security policies.
Let’s not forget that data loss is a problem that all kinds of organizations need to deal with. Hence using data loss prevention software and having concrete DLP strategies would go a long way in ensuring data loss prevention and in preventing related financial loss, permanent brand reputation damage, etc as well.