Data has risen to the top of the list of most valuable assets for organizations, governing bodies, and private people. The loss of crucial data can have serious repercussions, including financial losses, reputational damage, and even legal liability, whether it involves confidential customer information or property.
Organizations are recognizing the importance of putting strong data loss prevention (DLP) policies in place to protect their data and interests in light of the rising number of cyber threats and data breaches.
We'll unfold the world of DLP, learning what it is, why it matters, and how businesses can successfully apply DLP measures to reduce risks and uphold data security.
What is Data Loss Prevention (DLP)?
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a group of security controls and technologies intended to locate, keep track of, and prevent the loss, theft, or unintended disclosure of sensitive data.
DLP's main objective is to stop sensitive data leaks and data breaches both within and outside of an organization's walls. DLP tools are deployable at several levels, including:
- Cloud levels
All of which offer comprehensive security measures against potential data leaks.
Why DLP is important to an organization
You might think that it goes without saying that DLP is important to organizations. We do, however, want to emphasize the most important points to remember, and what kind of information you want to protect.
Protect your sensitive data
Many organizations deal with great amounts of sensitive data, including financial records, customer data, and trade secrets. DLP helps protect this data from falling into the wrong hands, and thus protects both your organization and your customers from potential harm.
Compliance and legal obligations
Considering that the GDPR is enacted in the EU, many industries have strict regulations and legal requirements concerning both employees and customer data protection and privacy. Implementing DLP measures can help organizations comply with these regulations and avoid large fines due to lack of compliance.
Keeping up the good reputation
A data breach can severely damage an organization's reputation. It can have long-lasting consequences for the organization, including loss of trust from customers, partners, and stakeholders. By displaying a dedication to data protection, effective DLP can help in maintaining a strong brand reputation.
As more organizations migrate their data to cloud services, the need for DLP in cloud ecosystems becomes crucial. Data transfer within cloud applications can be managed with DLP and you can avoid unwanted access with the use of DLP policies.
Key elements of DLP
One of the first and more important elements to understand of DLP is mapping out the data your organization possesses. Once you know the different kinds of data you handle in your organization, you also know how to handle it the best way possible - classification and categorization of your data is a good way to comply with DLP.
DLP solutions continuously monitor data flow within an organization's network, keeping an eye on data access, transmission, and usage. IT-departments can use machine learning and behavioral analysis techniques to find unusual data trends that can point to data breaches so that IT can then fix them.
To prevent data loss in an organization, we recommend you have access control. Access control monitors who can access specific data, meaning that each employee can access the relevant data they work with - and nothing else. So IT can, for instance, access everything since they should be able to help everyone if there should be any issues; HR can only access relevant files for casehandling; sales can only access customer leads etc. Any other data should be encrypted - so no unauthorized people can access it.
You should also be aware of the data movement across your used platforms in the organization. This applies to your cloud storage, as well as e-mails and web use; implementing extra security measures on these platforms decreases the risk of becoming a target of a cyberattack.
Using DLP in your organization
Now that you’ve been presented with the key elements of DLP, you should know how to use them properly. Below we’ve gathered a list of the most important DLP measures you can implement into your organization:
Identify and classify data: Identify data and categorize it based on risk levels and value of the data. Here you also observe data movement and use.
Set clear policies: When your DLP policies are clear, your employees shouldn’t have any doubt about the safety and handling of data. Having clear guidelines on how you store data as well enhances the security of it, meaning that you comply with regulations and obligations.
Deploy a DLP solutions: You can invest in a secure DLP solution that suits your needs - no matter what it’s based on (network, endpoint, cloud) you should align this with your security requirements.
Monitoring and analysis: Keeping a good overview of your data and attack surfaces is essential in good cybersecurity. That is why you should implement a system that continuously monitors data flow and activities within your network.
Access control: We’ve already mentioned access control as one of the most important elements when having DLP policies, but limiting access and encrypting data minimizes the risk of getting the data compromised in cyberattacks.
Regular auditing and improvement: Having regular auditing of your systems and software gives you an idea of potential vulnerabilities and areas you can improve, so hackers and cybercriminals cannot get to your data.
In today's connected world, data loss prevention is not simply a choice, but rather a requirement. Businesses of all sizes and sectors need to be vigilant about protecting their most important asset - data.
Organizations should stay ahead of cyberthreats and securely protect their sensitive data by implementing a strong DLP strategy, together with a solid security culture and regular monitoring - keep in mind that prevention and proactivity is the key to winning in the fight for data security.
Human error is one of the leading causes of data breaches. Regular awareness training on data security best practices can significantly reduce the risk of accidental data leaks, so you and your data stays safe. The cyberthreat is increasing with the digitized world - so we have to be aware of the potential threats we are facing.
Caroline is a copywriter here at Moxso beside her education. She is doing her Master's in English and specializes in translation and the psychology of language. Both fields deal with communication between people and how to create a common understanding - these elements are incorporated into the copywriting work she does here at Moxso.View all posts by Caroline Preisler