Tools for Data Loss Prevention – Choose Wisely

What is data loss prevention? Well, companies use data loss prevention tools to safeguard their data and prevent any misuse or access by unauthorized users. DLP software offers complete visibility over your company’s data and every system managed within your infrastructure. 

These software applications are designed to mitigate the risk of data loss events, which can happen by accident, on account of a cyberattack, or by a natural disaster. With the increasing growth of data transfers by most companies, data loss protection software is no longer a luxury. 

It’s a necessity. Any data-driven company is aware of cyber threats and how costly a data breach can be. While there’s no magic bullet when it comes to DLP solutions, the importance of data loss prevention remains a priority. 

In this blog post, we discuss data loss prevention tools and some popular options.

What is a Data Loss Prevention Software?

In cybersecurity, data loss prevention software are tools used to defend your company’s digital assets— from customer and third-party data to internal communications and intellectual property.

Data loss prevention strategies focus on guarding your data. DLP software is designed to prevent your data from being accessed by malicious actors or corrupted by any form of malware.

Why Do You Need DLP Tools?

Using DLP tools is one of the best ways to prevent data loss in your network. Here are some reasons why:

  • Protects all Personally Identifiable Information contained in your servers.
  • Keeps intellectual property safe and away from prying eyes.
  • Offers complete visibility to your data flow, something especially useful in large companies.
  • Helps enforce security protocols and keep in check any BYOD compliances.
  • Secures data stored in remote and cloud systems.

What to Look for in Data Loss Prevention Tools?

With the ongoing evolution of cyber threats, deploying data loss protection software is necessary to keep hackers at bay. Many malicious entities live to exploit any weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your systems. 

They also look to access endpoints using a diverse range of deceptions. In the last two years of the pandemic, there has been a notable increase in cyberattacks since most employees are still working from home. 

All these events should factor into your choice of data loss and data leak prevention tools. The following are some of the most sought-after features in a solid DLP software:

Cloud Support

If you run a data-driven business, your data loss prevention implementation strategy must work on a hybrid digital ecosystem: Servers and cloud storage. Cloud-based DLP solutions help your organization keep critical and sensitive information safe from potential cyberattacks. 

They also offer complete visibility to deal with any insider threats and exposure dangers, while protecting your data in SaaS and IaaS applications. 

Data Classification

Reliable data loss prevention tools help you classify data, something often perceived as challenging in any DLP strategy. A good set of tools can associate classification parameters to the source application or the user generating the data. The process relies on tracking tags that identifies data and places a priority level on it. 

This makes it easier to inspect every scrap of data managed in your network, safeguard important data, and eliminate whatever is deemed unnecessary.   

Access Management and Data Theft Control

A strong data loss prevention implementation strategy uses access management tools. You can follow the principles of least privilege, meaning users have limited access to your data on a need-to-use basis. You can also apply session monitoring to keep track of every user inside your network, what they do inside it, and what they take. One key aspect of access management is the onboarding and offboarding process for all employees. Offboarding should be done instantly once you confirm an employee is no longer part of your organization. It’s a secure way to prevent data theft. 

Email Attachment Scanning

Emails are the premier form of attack for many cybercriminals. As part of your email security best practices, your data loss prevention tools should include a scanning component. Many antiviruses can scan email attachments without any problem, but the content of the email determines the set of rules applied to the scans. 

Your DLP solution can scan and block emails using sensitivity labels. This process checks the properties of all attachments included in your emails to give them a pass or reject them. The labeling process can be pretty restrictive but works similar to DMARC tags. 

Privacy Protocol Compliance

One advantage of data loss protection software is how it helps your company comply with the numerous privacy protocols in the current legal landscape. You can ensure data is safe for clients, vendors, and business partners by following such protocols.

If you want to reach a broader market, you need to follow the regulations in place with the GDPR in Europe, the ITAR in the USA, the PCI DSS for the credit bureaus, and the HIPAA for the healthcare industry. A good DLP strategy abiding by the regulations of these industries can easily foresee any data potentially targeted by hackers.  

Variable Control for PII

Personally Identifiable Information is likely the most valuable data hackers can access. It makes sense to focus your data loss prevention tools on safeguarding all PII rather than the system they’re stored in. When you apply variable controls for your PII, you get a complete view of how this data moves. 

You can use contextual scanning tools to keep the data flow restricted to the areas it should go. You can also put mechanisms in place to prevent anyone from copying, pasting, transferring, sharing, or even scanning this type of data.

Endpoint Identification

Endpoints are some of the preferred methods of attack for many cybercriminals. That’s why one of the data loss prevention strategy steps to take is to integrate your DLP solution into all the endpoints in your company. 

The requirements of every organization are pretty diverse. Some work following BYOD protocols, thus requiring remote access for laptops and AV peripherals. Other companies rely on utility services and the use of handheld devices. You need to ensure your DLP solution integrates with all endpoints natively or using APIs.

Advanced Analytics

Your data loss prevention strategy must keep track of every data-use insight. The analytics engine on your DLP solution needs input from all data sources to operate seamlessly. By programming specific parameters, you can track all user behavior and notice any sudden spike in activity that seems out of order. 

More importantly, advanced analytics can help you anticipate vulnerabilities in your system. You can get your IT team to work on fixing these potential problems while curbing negligence on your team.

Final Thoughts

There are multiple data loss prevention techniques. The diversity of options is there to suit the requirements of any company. Still, combining various DLP tools greatly improves the protection of your data. 

Cybercriminals are always looking for cracks and crevices in your security. They can take advantage of anything to penetrate your defenses. A cyberattack currently costs large companies around $4.2 million—which very few can recover from.

When choosing data loss prevention tools, make sure they have cloud support. A DLP system that organizes your data is ideal. Complete visibility is also a plus, along with advanced analytics. 

Use these metrics to keep a watchful eye on your data and how it moves. Put in place access protocols and manage your permissions, so your team can access your network when needed. Keep track of your endpoints and make sure your DLP solution is integrated into them.

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