The amount of data collected and used by organizations has grown astronomically over the past two decades. This data forms the foundation to successful operations and help ensure a business remains competitive.
However, much of this data is sensitive, such as personal employee and customer information and critical intellectual property, making that data a tempting target for bad actors and increasing the risk that data breaches could occur. This makes data loss prevention a key component when it comes to the security of any organization.
What Is Data Loss Prevention?
Data loss prevention, often referred to as DLP, is a set of policies, processes, and procedures that are designed and implemented to protect an organization’s data from being lost or stolen, and to prevent the unauthorized access or misuse of that data.
The goal behind data loss prevention is to reduce the risk of data loss, leakage, or theft. This is accomplished by identifying sensitive data and putting the appropriate controls in place, without impacting business operations.
Why Data Loss Prevention Is Important
The loss of data can be extremely damaging for any organization. Bad actors that want access to business data can come from outside the company, or they can be operating within it. In fact, 20% of all data breaches come from the inside an organization. A business that falls victim to data loss can experience:
- Financial repercussions
- Damage to their reputation
- A loss of clients
- Loss of revenue
- Lost productivity
- Legal ramifications
What Data Loss Prevention Involves
There are three critical tasks when it comes to data loss prevention. They include:
- The analysis and classification of all data to ensure a thorough understanding of that data, including the type of data, where it is stored, and how it is used.
- The analysis of the context in which data is stored, used, and transmitted to gain a better understanding of the potential ways data loss can occur.
- A comparison of data loss prevention solutions to the policies and procedures established by the organization to determine how effective they are at detecting malicious activity and how that activity is dealt with.
Forms of Data Loss Prevention
There are different types of data loss prevention an organization can implement. These include:
- Network data loss prevention – This is used to ensure the security of all network communications.
- Endpoint data loss prevention – This is protection at endpoints, such as laptops and mobile devices, and relies on data encryption and data scans to ensure the data is accessed only by those authorized to do so and that it is properly stored and handled.
- Data identification – This is the detection and identification of all sensitive data based on pre-determined categories, allowing sensitive data to be properly tagged and adequately protected.
- Data leak detection – This involves the detection of data leaks through ongoing monitoring or user behavior that establishes a baseline against which abnormal behavior can be identified.
- Protection of data in motion – This is the protection of data as it is being transmitted, either to internal or external recipients, to ensure that it is not intercepted or rerouted.
- Protection of data at rest – This is the protection of data that is contained within databases, on the cloud, on servers, and within computers, laptops, and mobile devices through the use of data discovery, data classification, encryption, and data deletion.
- Protection of data while in use – This is the protection of data as it is being used, such as when it is being uploaded, copied, or modified, by controlling data access and ensuring those who do access it have the proper authentication to do so.
Protecting your data is every bit as important as securing your physical premises when it comes to protecting your organization. However, it is important to understand that even with a solid data loss prevention strategy, some data loss is inevitable through human error, program error, cyberattacks, and the actions malicious insiders. For this reason, it is critical that you back up all your data and ensure it can be recovered when necessary so that business continuity can be maintained.
Reach out to Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can help you identify and implement the data loss prevention solutions your organization needs to remain secure.