The growing volume of sensitive data requires sophisticated DLP strategies. Data threats can cost your business revenue, reputation, and compliance penalties. Modern malware is swift and stealthy, eluding traditional detection techniques. DLP solutions can detect malicious activity and prevent internal attacks, including accidental data exposure.
Identify Sensitive Data
A data breach can be catastrophic for a business. Not only do the fines and legal fees add up, but businesses suffer damage to their reputation, loss of customer trust, and a decline in revenue. Even worse, some companies are forced to close after a major data breach. Cyberattacks and data breaches are increasing in frequency. Adversaries, from nation-states to criminals, are looking for ways to steal data and use it for their gain. They target various businesses and industries, including financial, healthcare, and government organizations. They want data from employee records to intellectual property, client or patient information, and financial details. DLP cyber security is designed to prevent data breaches by identifying and classifying sensitive data. A DLP solution scans files and emails to identify sensitive content, detect keywords or phrases common in hacker attacks, and analyze file contents to see if they contain any sensitive information. The solution then takes action, logging the file or email for auditing purposes or blocking it from leaving the organization by sending it back to users with a warning or encrypting it. A DLP solution can be customized to meet your organization’s unique needs. It can also be used with other security tools like intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and antivirus software to detect attacker attempts to access data or systems storing sensitive information.
Monitor Sensitive Data
DLP solutions can monitor sensitive information to detect when it is transferred to unsecure locations. For example, when a confidential document is sent out via email or copied to a USB thumb drive, the DLP tool can alert security staff and either log it for auditing, display a warning to the employee that they could be sharing confidential data, or block the file from leaving the network altogether. Monitoring is also helpful to keep up with changing global regulations, as DLP policies and technologies help organizations comply. DLP software can also track and flag any activity that might violate compliance mandates, allowing organizations to remediate and address issues when they arise quickly. Most DLP tools use pattern-matching to identify confidential and sensitive data such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information. This approach, which has been around for nearly three decades, is practical but can produce many false positives, distracting security teams and slowing down their ability to protect the organization. More advanced DLP tools use Exact Data Match (EDM), an innovation that eliminates the need for patterns and instead fingerprints each piece of information to prevent unauthorized transfer. By matching fingerprints to a database of known sensitive information, EDM is highly accurate and virtually eliminates false positives.
Block Sensitive Data
The work-from-home trend and increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks have created an urgency to secure data. DLP solutions focus on blocking actions that could lead to unauthorized data leakage. This includes preventing sensitive information from leaving the organization over email, downloading USB drives, and transferring data to external cloud storage services. DLP solutions can also encrypt data at rest and in transit so that hackers won’t be able to read it if they gain access. Stopping data exfiltration is the primary function of DLP, although it can also help detect and prevent phishing and ransomware attacks that attempt to breach security parameters. By analyzing network traffic and internal endpoint devices, DLP can alert security teams to the movement of sensitive information outside the corporate perimeter. It can also help ensure compliance with industry and regulatory requirements and identify potential weaknesses in your cybersecurity infrastructure. To get the most out of DLP, start by establishing a list of your most critical data and prioritizing it based on its business value. This will give you a starting point to develop your DLP policies and prioritize the actions you want to block.
Report on Sensitive Data
As companies grow, it becomes harder for IT teams to keep track of sensitive data. This is why DLP is vital for protecting data and securing organizations from the threat of unauthorized information loss. It helps businesses discover and protect confidential data at rest, in use, or motion across their in-house network and cloud and mobile environments. In addition to protecting the confidentiality of end-user personal and financial data, DLP is needed to help organizations comply with GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI regulations. These regulations grant people more rights regarding how their data is handled and impose heavy fines on businesses that fail to adhere to the rules. DLP can identify, classify, and tag sensitive data and provide reporting capabilities that help businesses complete compliance audits. Sensitive data can take many forms and exists in various formats, including email, documents, spreadsheets, text messages, social media posts, etc. It can include personally identifiable information (PII), financial or regulatory data, or intellectual property. Unauthorized access to this data can result in high costs, including lost customer revenue, a damaged reputation, financial penalties, and even litigation. DLP identifies and stops these types of unauthorized activities by detecting the presence of sensitive data in a network or on a device, blocking unauthorized transmissions, and providing alerts to users who may be inadvertently sending sensitive information.