Data Loss Prevention
The time when you are required to spend thousands of dollars recovering your lost data will be the time when you would understand the importance of data loss prevention (DLP). While cloud storage remains the best and reliable source or method recommended by experts to prevent losing your important business data, most business owners still remain lethargic about implementing such techniques to protect their files. If you want to recover your lost data with the help of a professional, it would definitely cost you several hundreds of dollars, depending on the amount of data you are looking to recover. Instead of spending money on such matters, you can proactively sign up for a cloud storage service in order to protect all your valuable business data. Before you do this, it is equally important that you understand about the importance of data loss prevention.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is commonly known as any process or solution that has the ability to recognize confidential data, pursues the data as it is transmitted over a network outside the enterprise, and prevents illegitimate access and revelation of data by establishing and administering disclosure policies. As confidential data, especially those corresponding to a business operation are present on a wide range of devices, like databases, computers, servers, flash drives, mobile devices and point-of-sale devices, and are transferred by way of different networks like wireless, wired, VPNs, Wi-Fi hotspots, etc., more and more solutions emerge in the market to handle the problems associated with the loss of data.
Types of Confidential Data
With the significant increase in the usage of internet-connected devices all around the world, both by individuals as well as businesses, it has become even more important, especially for a business organization, to carefully manage and protect its confidential and crucial information. These confidential and crucial data are basically of the following types:
- Corporate data: Documents related to strategic planning, financial documents, employee details, documents containing details about the plans for mergers and acquisitions, etc. fall under this category of confidential data.
- Intellectual property: Product design documents, source codes, internal price lists, process documentation, etc. are some of the intellectual properties of an organization.
- Customer data: Credit card details, social security numbers, financial statements, medical records, etc. are some of the most important details of customers.
Conventional Data Loss Prevention Solutions
Following are the three most conventional solutions for data loss prevention:
- Network-based data loss prevention solutions: These solutions basically focus on protecting those data that are in motion. Network-based solutions will be installed at the enterprise networks’ perimeter, and these solutions will oversee network traffic in order to identify confidential business data that is transferred out of the enterprise’s networks.
- Storage or datacenter-based solutions: These solutions basically aim at protecting those data that remain motionless inside the datacenter infrastructure of an organization, such as the databases and file servers. Storage or datacenter-based solutions identify the place of residence of the sensitive business data and also enable users to determine the importance of their confidentiality.
- End-point based solutions: These solutions usually focus on overseeing those systems that are PC-based, such as POS, tablets, laptops, etc., during all their activities, like webmail, print, social media, transfer to DVD, USB, and much more. In simple words, end-point based data loss prevention solutions are event driven, and protect confidential business data during specific actions performed by users, such as those mentioned before.
Mobile Applications and DLP
As per the survey conducted by Gartner Group, most business organizations are hassling to set up suitable data loss prevention procedures and policies for the mobile devices used by their employees, as they network mostly with valuable corporate data. This system is important because the risk of losing confidential data on mobile devices is much higher when compared to other conventional devices, and is referred to as mobile data exfiltration. This high level of risk is generally due to the usage models of the devices, their portability, and the type of applications being used. Following are some major distinctness between conventional computing devices and mobile devices:
- Frequent temporary sharing: The temporary sharing of mobile devices occurs more frequently than with traditional devices. Even if the mobile device is protected with a PIN or password, the user is found to unlock his or her device and hand it over to another person readily. This leads to the temporary access of valuable corporate data that is present on the mobile device to a non-corporate user.
- Highly connected mobile applications: Most mobile applications are exceptionally linked with web services. This scenario extends the possibility for mobile data exfiltration.
The reputation of your brand can be put to risk if your sensitive business data are leaked outside your organization. The different tools for data loss prevention can help in abating such incidents.
How to Get Started?
Before you actually contact a DLP vendor, remember to set apprehensions and determine which of your important business data need protection and the ways to protect it. Arrange for a meeting with a project team that comprises of representatives from different teams of your organization, such as networking, messaging, security, human resources (HR), desktop management, etc., and define the protection objectives of your company, inclusive of the actions associated with content and enforcement. This part is important because enlightening these project members about the significance of data loss prevention can help in the prevention of difficulties that wreck deployment.