Data loss is one of the biggest concerns for modern businesses. With cyber crime increasing and unforeseen circumstances surrounding COVID-19 changing the way businesses operate, data loss prevention needs to be a top priority.

Large-scale data loss, such as during a ransomware attack or improper backups, can have dramatic effects for small businesses. In fact, 60% of small businesses have to close up shop after experiencing a data breach. And according to a report by Verizon, data loss events of 100 million or more records can cost anywhere from $5 million to $15.6 million. The same Verizon report estimates the cost of small instances of data loss, which comprise around 100 records, to be anywhere between $18,120 and $35,730.

As such, in the race towards advanced cybersecurity for all businesses, it is indispensable to make room in your IT security services strategy for data loss prevention. The ability to react before your data is lost can prevent countless costly disruptions.

What is Data Loss Prevention?

Data Loss Prevention, or DLP, refers to the strategy and the set of software products, techniques, and technologies designed to stop sensitive information from leaving the company’s network. DLP is also referred to as data leak prevention, extrusion prevention, and information loss prevention.

How Does Data Loss Occur?

Data loss can be the result of negligence or lack of communication protocol, such as an employee unknowingly sharing confidential information outside of the organization’s network as part of project management, for instance. It could also happen in the event of a natural disaster or other unforeseen event if data backups aren’t properly regulated.

But data loss isn’t restricted to accidents—it could also be the result of malicious intent, such as someone intentionally sharing sensitive files or a successful hacking attempt. Ransomware can be a particularly costly cause of data loss.

Businesses therefore need to maintain a healthy and safe flow of information between their teams, partners, suppliers, clients, and shareholders to prevent such loss. Data Loss Prevention provides a solution that extensively monitors unauthorized information flow to detect and block potentially harmful data loss risks.

What Are the Strategies of DLP?

DLP strategies clarify what data is safe to be transferred and accessed by end-users and what data is confidential and therefore requires additional authorization protocols. Establishing company policies that adhere strictly to data protection acts and regulations and mitigate IT risk is the goal of DLP. To reach this goal, once your business has assessed its risk and identified sensitive information, the most important step is to implement strategies for protecting that classified data.

Here are some of the primary strategies and benefits provided by DLP:

  • DLP technologies monitor data use and end-user behaviors for data-in-use, data-in-motion, and data-at-rest.
  • DLP controls access to data-in-use through data processing and user authentication.
  • DLP tools include encryption, email security, and endpoint verification to protect data-in-motion, which is in transit across a network to an endpoint.
  • DLP archives and stores data-at-rest, providing storage protection, authorized access, and user control.
  • The traditional deployment of DLP solutions includes a central management server, network monitoring, storage DLP, and endpoint DLP for maximum protection.

How Do Reporting DLP Components Work?

Once data identification techniques are in place, DLP technology can monitor how information is shared, used, transferred, and transmitted across an organization’s network, as well as from each endpoint system.

An endpoint system can be, for instance, the workstations within the company, which need to be equipped with technologies that monitor and control the flow of information and its access. Similarly, network technology for data-in-motion also analyzes data traffic and security control points.

DLP establishes the appropriate data handling and remediation action before events can be reported. As such, if an employee attempts to upload a corporate file onto a consumer cloud storage service, the role of your DLP strategy is to deny permission for the upload and, only then, report and list the event to the relevant escalation agents.

Incidents or near incidents are helpful to understand potential risks and improve control and access techniques. Therefore, it’s not uncommon at the beginning of your DLP program to have simple data usage controls that are fine-tuned gradually as you gather more insights about end-user behavior, data classification, and other specific risks.

Work with a Provider Who Offers Best-in-Class DLP Strategies

With a variety of DLP measures you can implement, ranging from standard security to designated systems, your business needs to rely on trustworthy and experienced managed IT security services to handle and prevent data loss appropriately.

Without an expert to help you define data confidentiality rules and gain an overview of your data usage, it can be tricky to manage ever-growing data systems and activities. When you know the cost of data loss, the importance of working with a dedicated DLP partner is greater now than ever.

If you want to learn more about Network Providence’s DLP services, contact us today.