In the business world of today, a data breach can cause damage of all kinds to a company. The repercussions of such an incident can include loss of customers and clients, damage to the brand and reputation, and of course, major financial losses. While it is impossible to completely eliminate risk altogether, there are many tools available that can be used to help decrease it. One such tool is what is known as Data Loss Prevention, or DLP. By implementing a DLP product(s), your organization can be sure it is taking a vital step towards protecting its data.

Before explaining how DLP technologies work, let’s first run through a few of the reasons why an organization would need DLP and explore what exactly DLP is. Data breaches have become commonplace in the news media, but generally these stories tend to focus on external attacks from criminals or governments. However, a data breach can (and does!) occur as a result of an insider threat too, even in cases where it is unintentional. These insider threats, along with an increase in sensitive data such as intangible assets and more compliance regulations to contend with, require a modern solution that organizations can leverage to protect themselves. DLP addresses all of these concerns.

DLP refers to a set of software tools and processes which work to ensure that sensitive or critical information is not lost, misused, or accessed without authorization. After data is prioritized and classified by an organization, DLP rules are set up that can monitor and control the intended or unintended sharing of data. If one of these rules is violated, then the DLP software will jump in to remediate the issue through protective actions such as alerts, permission denials, encryption, etc. For example, if an employee were to try to send an email containing a 16-digit credit card number, a DLP rule could detect that potentially sensitive information is attempting to be shared and then might notify the sender with a warning, alert the security team, or even prevent the email from being sent altogether. 

There are a variety of DLP deployment solutions that work to protect data at rest, in motion, and in use. Examples of the primary architectures are email, endpoint, network, discovery, and cloud DLP. Your organization may require the use of one, some, or all of these, so it is important to define your objectives and determine which are the most appropriate for your use case. In any case, DLP products work in two methods: contextual analysis, and content analysis based on string matches. Exploring the specifics of how these methodologies function can get quite technical and in-depth, so for now just realize that it involves things such as file checksum analysis and lexicon matches. 

In sum, as our world continues to collect and store ever-increasing amounts of data, it is more important than ever to take every step possible to minimize risk. Since total elimination of risk isn’t possible, making use of the tools available to help your organization be proactive in protecting its data should be a top priority. Don’t wait until it’s too late and the damage has already been done – take steps today to protect your data tomorrow. 

Let CyberData Pros help you understand where your data sits, access control, and how to protect that data. Contact us now for a free consultation and to learn more about our services.