Data is critical to the success of how organizations operate today. But what happens when a company is cut off from the information that keeps their businesses running? Of course, there are a range of financial, reputation and compliance consequences that would impact the business.
As organizations increase the amount of data they store and process as part of their day-to-day operations, so does the risk of losing that data. Data loss can result from a number of different ways, including human error, natural disaster, data corruption, system failure and malicious cyber threats.
No matter how it is lost, data loss is highly detrimental to the success of an organization. That’s because it has one of two consequences:
- It affects business performance and customer perception, resulting in financial consequences, loss of reputation, and operational challenges.
- It results in compliance issues, since data is protected by regulations such as EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and many others.
To avoid these data loss consequences, it’s important that organizations implement robust data loss prevention strategies into their cybersecurity plan. But what exactly is data loss prevention, and how does it fit into your company’s processes?
We often find, here at Cavelo, that we get a huge number of questions around data loss prevention. That’s why, in this blog, we have answered some of the most common data loss prevention questions we receive. We hope it helps!
What is data loss prevention?
Data loss prevention, or DLP, is a collection of technologies and processes that monitor and protect a company’s data from unauthorized access, malicious cyber threats, data loss and unintentional data leaks.
It does this by protecting data in three places:
- While it is being used by authorized personnel;
- while it is being transferred from one location to another;
- and while it is resting in a location on the company’s network.
To do this data loss prevention combines a variety of best practices, technologies (such as data discovery and classification software), processes and employee training to protect sensitive data from being lost.
Data loss prevention relies largely on data discovery to help an organization gain visibility into its sensitive data, and from there other technologies, processes and best practices are implemented to improve data protection.
What are the benefits of data loss prevention?
There are a range of benefits of data loss prevention, which largely come down to mitigating the consequences of data loss. Data loss prevention gives businesses improved compliance for personally identifiable information, helps better protect sensitive data and dramatically improves data visibility.
The result is the prevention of data loss consequences such as:
- The loss of credibility and brand reputation
- Loss of revenue and overall business profits
- Lawsuits as a result of breaking regulatory compliance laws
- Operational interruptions that impact efficiency and productivity
Why do you need data loss prevention?
Data loss prevention ensures that your company’s sensitive data - whether it be personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI) or payment card information (PCI) - does not get either accidentally or intentionally lost outside of your organization’s network or to a user without access to that data.
Data loss prevention mitigates the risk of this, so that your organization can avoid the consequences of data loss such as operational disruptions, regulatory issues or reputational damages.
What types of data loss prevention exist?
There are three main types of data loss prevention software.
Network DLP provides greater visibility into a company’s network, allowing them to monitor and control the flow of data from its network, email or web. Network DLP software allows organizations to analyze traffic moving through their network, and establish security policies to mitigate data loss risk and ensure compliant data processing.
Endpoint DLP monitors endpoint devices, such as desktops, laptops, mobile devices and servers, where a company stores sensitive data. The aim of endpoint DLP is to ensure that a company’s sensitive data is not lost from these devices nor accessed by unauthorized individuals.
Organizations today are increasingly using cloud software to store data. Cloud DLP solutions are able to encrypt sensitive data and ensure that data is only sent to cloud applications that are authorized by the company.
What are the best practices for data loss prevention?
Data loss prevention uses the combination of both technology and policies to protect company data. To make the most of DLP, organizations will benefit from ensuring they have employee training and protocols in place.
Some key data loss prevention best practices include:
- Gaining complete visibility into your company’s data and attack surface.
- Evaluating your internal capabilities, and whether you need more resources or new technologies to fill the gaps.
- Creating a system for data classification.
- Ensuring you only keep data on file that you actually need.
- Establishing company-wide policies for how to handle data.
- Implementing different levels of authorization for employees.
- Measure the performance of your data loss prevention strategy, so you have the insights you need for continual improvement.
Interested in learning more about data loss prevention best practices? Read our blog: 8 Data Loss Prevention Best Practices to Protect Your Business.
How much does data loss prevention software cost?
The cost of data loss prevention software comes down to a wide range of factors. The majority of DLP software vendors charge based on the number of users, professional services, maintenance and support.
In addition, software pricing can vary significantly depending on whether the product is on-premise or cloud based. It’s best to do some research in regards to the specific functionality your business needs, and then compare the vendors that meet those requirements. This will give you a good idea of the average price point in relation to the DLP features your business needs.
For more information on how you can enhance your organization’s data loss prevention strategy, get a virtual demo of Cavelo.
Our data protection platform has been designed to ensure businesses gain full visibility into what data they have and where it lives, simplifying data loss prevention, data protection and regulatory compliance.