Data loss prevention is a combination of policies, procedures, and solutions that work together to prevent sensitive information from leaving an organization. This includes ensuring compliance with regulations and protecting information from inside and outside threats. DLP software can stop unauthorized access by detecting and preventing data leaks before they occur.
Detecting Potential Breaches
Data is an abundant and vital resource, giving companies unprecedented insights into customer trends, inventory management, employee performance, and more. But while this information can drive organizational outcomes, it also poses an attractive target for cybercriminals and malicious insiders. Each year, these attackers contribute to thousands of data breaches that expose millions of people to financial crimes, identity theft, and other threats while placing corporate reputations and compliance at risk. In addition to standard countermeasures like antivirus software and firewalls, data loss prevention software can help safeguard sensitive information from malicious attackers. By monitoring activity on your network and managed endpoint devices, DLP solutions can detect sensitive data sent to untrustworthy environments email attachments or even unsecured cloud apps and storage.
Unlike traditional pattern matching, which is often imprecise and bombards security teams with false positives, DLP technologies leverage behavior analytics to actively guard your on-premises data and cloud-based storage systems without disrupting business operations. Then, by tagging your critical or sensitive data with digital fingerprints, these tools can quickly recognize it and respond to prevent its inappropriate transfer out of your organization.
For instance, DLP solutions with advanced classification measures (like exact data match) can identify PII such as credit card numbers and Social Security numbers to prevent them from being shared with unauthorized parties. Moreover, DLP solutions that can decrypt TLS/SSL-encrypted traffic enable you to protect sensitive data sent through untrustworthy environments.
In this regard, seeking guidance from specialized firms can be pivotal for effective implementation. For example, St. Louis IT Consulting Services offer expertise in tailoring DLP solutions to specific business needs. They understand the intricacies of various data types and the importance of securing them against potential breaches.
Preventing Unauthorized Access
Data loss prevention tools help protect against unauthorized access, whether hackers attempting to steal data or an employee accidentally sharing sensitive information over the web or with a friend. These tools can encrypt data to shield it from unauthorized readers and stop the movement of sensitive material to unapproved locations or devices. DLP programs often use other security tools to protect against cyberattacks or data leakage. These tools include intrusion detection systems, antivirus software, and firewalls. These programs can alert users about attacker attempts to compromise sensitive systems, and they can block unauthorized access from any party outside the organization’s network.
Unlike when sensitive data was printed on paper and stored in locked file cabinets, today’s data races between the enterprise network, cloud providers, endpoint devices, and more. It’s easy for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities at these points and expose your information to the public. While some hackers steal data for fun, others do it to extort ransom payments or expose your business to the public for financial gain. But careless employees can also unintentionally let sensitive data slip out of the corporate network by forwarding it over unsecured email or uploading it to consumer cloud storage services.
DLP tools can help close these gaps in your security stack. They monitor data at rest in on-premises servers, in motion over the cloud, or on a managed endpoint device. They then respond with various options, including alerts, education pop-ups, or blocking specific actions. They can also encrypt data to prevent unauthorized access even when the information is in transit or at rest.
DLP technologies can detect and block unauthorized data from leaving the organization’s network by email or being copied to USB drives. They can also detect and alert on and automatically block file actions that violate an organization’s security policies, including screen-capturing, alterations, cut/copy/paste, printing, moving, or copying files. DLP solutions can also monitor activity and detect abnormal or suspicious behavior to help identify insider threats. Lastly, DLP technologies can help ensure that an organization’s sensitive information meets regulatory compliance standards such as GDPR and HIPAA.
DLP solutions can classify the organization’s sensitive information, monitor activities involving this data, and provide reports to document compliance. A data leak (a data breach) occurs when confidential and protected data is shared outside the organization’s systems, whether via an unsecured website or file-sharing application. The information may be stolen by a malicious actor or accidentally leaked by an employee, and it is essential to have DLP technology in place to prevent these incidents from happening. The ability to monitor and control who is accessing sensitive information and the permissions granted should align with the principle of least privilege. This helps reduce the risk of a breach and allows employees to do their jobs without worrying about losing company secrets or putting the organization at financial or reputational risk.
While external attacks still account for more than half of all data breaches, internal threats are also increasing. These include negligent or disgruntled employees and a growing number of ransomware attacks that encrypt data until paid. Data loss prevention (DLP) tools can help mitigate these internal risks by preventing sensitive information from leaving your company’s systems, whether via email, instant messaging, cloud storage, or physical devices like laptops and smartphones.
Your company handles massive data and is constantly at risk for theft or accidental leakage. Employees frequently send data through authorized and unauthorized communication channels, including email, collaborative software, social media, texting, and shared online folders. In addition, they often store data on physical devices like laptops and phones, file servers, and legacy databases. Many of these systems are outdated and don’t offer the level of protection that your sensitive information requires. DLP solutions scan endpoints and networks for sensitive data to address these vulnerabilities and automatically block extraction.
They can also flag suspicious content for manual inspection or use machine learning and statistical analysis to detect patterns of behavior that indicate risk. They can also help you comply with regulatory standards by classifying data subject to specific security and privacy regulations, such as personal information or healthcare data regulated by HIPAA.