Read time: 5 minutes
What is Data Loss Prevention?
Why do you need Data Loss Prevention?
Organizations typically use DLP to:
Protect personal Identifiable Information (PII) data and comply with relevant regulations.
Protect intellectual property, which is critical for the organization.
Secure data on remote cloud systems or storage.
Enforce security in a BYOD environment.
Achieve data visibility.
Reasons why Data Loss Prevention is necessary for business:
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) best practices:
- Determine your data protection objective
Define what you are trying to achieve with your data loss prevention program. So you want to protect your intellectual property, better visibility, or meet regulatory and compliance requirements. Having a clear objective will help you/the organization determine the appropriate DLP solution to include your DLP strategy.
- Data classification and identification
Identify the critical data for your business, such as client information, financial records, source codes, etc, and classify them based on their criticality level.
- Data Security policies
Define comprehensive data security rules and policies and establish them across your company’s network. DLP technologies help block sensitive data/information/files from being shared via unsecured sources.
- Access Management
Access to and use of critical or sensitive data should be restricted or limited based on users’ roles and responsibilities. The DLP solution helps the system administrators assign the appropriate authorization controls to users depending upon the type of data users handle and their access level.
- Evaluate internal resources
To execute the DLP strategy/program successfully, an organization needs personnel with DLP expertise, who can help the organization to implement the appropriate DLP solution, including DLP risk analysis, reporting, data breach response, and DLP training and awareness.
- Conduct an assessment
Evaluating the types of data and their value to the organization is an essential step in implementing a DLP program. This includes identifying relevant data, wherever the data is stored, and if it is sensitive data—intellectual property, confidential information,etc.
Some DLP solutions can identify information assets by scanning the metadata of files and cataloging the result, or if necessary, analyze the content by opening the files. The next step is to evaluate the risk associated with each type of data if the data is leaked.
Losing information about employee benefits programs carries a different level of risk than the loss of 1,000 patient medical files or 100,000 bank account numbers and passwords. Additional considerations include data exit points and the likely cost to the organization if the data is lost.
- Research for DLP vendors
Establish your evaluation criteria while researching for a DLP vendor for your organization, such as:
- Type of deployment architecture offered by the vendor.
- Operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc.) the solution supports.
- Does the vendor provide managed services?
- Protecting structured or unstructured data, what’s your concern?
- How do you plan to enforce data movement?(e.g., based on policies, events, or users)
- Regulatory and Compliance requirement for your organization.
- What is the timeline to deploy DLP solution?
- Will you need additional staff/ experts to manage DLP? Etc.
- Define Roles and Responsibilities
Define the roles and responsibilities of individuals involved in the DLP program. This will provide checks and balances during the deployment of the program.
- Define use cases
Organizations often try to solve all the use cases simultaneously. Define the initial approach and set fast and measurable objectives, or choose an approach to narrow your focus on specific data types.