data loss prevention data protection Giacomo Lanzi

Data Loss Prevention: definition and uses

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

data loss prevention (DLP) is a set of tools and processes used to ensure that sensitive data is not lost, misused or accessed by unauthorized users . DLP software classifies regulated, confidential and business critical data and identifies policy violations defined by organizations or within a predefined policy package. Default policies are typically dictated by regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or GDPR.

Once these possible breaches are identified, DLP applies the “remedy” with warnings, encryption and other security actions . The goal is simple: prevent end users from accidentally or maliciously sharing data that could put your business at risk.

Data loss prevention software and tools monitor and control endpoint activities, filter data streams on corporate networks, and monitor data in the cloud to protect data at rest, in motion and in use. DLP also provides reports to meet compliance and auditing requirements. A very useful tool also for identifying areas of weakness and anomalies for incident response.

data loss prevention data protection

Do I need to use DLP tools?

data loss prevention addresses three main objectives that are common pain points for many organizations: personal information protection / compliance, intellectual property protection and data visibility.

Protection of personal information / compliance

Does your business collect and store personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI) or payment card information (PCI)? If so, you are more than likely subject to compliance regulations , such as HIPAA (for PHI) and GDPR (for EU residents’ personal data), which require you to protect your sensitive data. customers.

data loss prevention can identify, classify and label sensitive data and monitor the activities and events surrounding that data . In addition, the reporting capabilities provide the details needed for compliance audits.

Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

Does the company hold important intellectual property and trade or state secrets that could put your financial health and / or brand image at risk in the event of loss or theft? A DLP solution can classify intellectual property in both structured and unstructured form.

With policies and controls in place, you can protect against unwanted exfiltration of this data.

Data visibility

Is the company looking to gain additional visibility into data movement? A complete enterprise DLP solution can help you see and track your data across endpoints, networks, and the cloud. This will provide visibility into how individual users within your organization interact with data. As we have seen before when talking about social engineering , knowing how users behave is very useful. It is used to trace a basic profile and monitor that there are no anomalies that could indicate account compromise.

The ones listed above are primary use cases. But DLP can remedy a variety of other pain points including insider threats, user and entity behavior analysis, and advanced threats.

data loss prevention servers

Why adopt data loss prevention?

In the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise DLP As of 2017, the total data loss prevention market was estimated to reach $ 1.3 billion in 2020. The size was approximately $ 2.64 billion. The DLP market is not new, but it has evolved to include managed services, cloud functionality, and advanced threat protection, among other things.

All of this, coupled with the increasing trend in large corporate breaches, has spurred the adoption of DLP as a means of protecting sensitive data. Here are nine trends driving DLP adoption.

Growth of CISOs

More and more companies are hiring Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who report to the CEO. The latter want to know the strategic plan for the prevention of data leaks. data loss prevention tools provide clear value in this regard and give CISOs the reporting capabilities needed to provide regular updates.

Evolution of compliance requests

Global data protection regulations are constantly changing and every organization needs to be adaptable and prepared. In recent years, EU legislators have approved the GDPR . A similar event occurred in the US when New York State adopted the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation . These new regulations have both tightened data protection requirements. DLP solutions allow organizations the flexibility to evolve with changes in global regulations.

Increase of “places” where data are stored

Increasing use of the cloud, complicated supply chain networks, and other services over which you no longer have full control have made data protection more complex. Visibility of events and the context surrounding the data before it leaves the organization is important to prevent your sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

Frequency of data breaches

National state adversaries, cybercriminals and malicious insiders target your sensitive data for a variety of reasons, such as corporate espionage , personal financial gain and political advantage . Data loss prevention can protect against all kinds of adversaries, whether malicious or not .

In the past few years, there have been thousands of data breaches and many other security incidents. Billions of records were lost in gigantic data breaches such as: database misconfiguration which leaked nearly 200 million US voter records in 2015 , the violation of Equifax data that continued to grow , and the Yahoo breach affecting 3 billion users. These are just a few of the many headlines that underscore the need to protect your organization’s data.

data loss prevention breach

The data value is very high

Stolen data is often sold on the Dark Web, where individuals and criminal groups can buy it and use it to their advantage. With some types of data sold up to thousands of dollars, there is a clear financial incentive for data theft.

There is more data to steal

The definition of what sensitive data is has expanded over the years. Sensitive data now includes intangibles, such as pricing models and business methodologies . From 1975 to 2015, the amount of intangible assets grew from 17% to 84% of the market value, according to a study by Ocean Tomo . These assets also hit a record $ 21 trillion in 2018. This means your business has a lot more data to protect and using data loss prevention could only help with that.

There is a shortage of specialized personnel

The security talent shortage won’t be resolved anytime soon, and there has probably already been an impact on your company. In fact, in a 2017 ESG and ISSA survey, 43% of respondents said their organizations were affected by the lack of skilled personnel . The shortage is worsening with 3.5 million unoccupied security positions expected by the end of 2021. Managed data loss prevention services act as remote extensions of your team to fill this gap of staff.

Adopt a SIEM to implement DLP

By now, a company’s highest value product is the data it manages. The risk of data exfiltration and consequent economic and image loss is just around the corner. It is easy to say that it is enough to protect your data, the reality is that it gets more complicated every day.

The places in which data are used and stored, the methods of access and consultation are increasing. Technology, in general, makes our life easier by exposing our data at the same time. Corporate infrastructures are no less, indeed, due to the very valuable nature of the data collected, they are subject to at a greater risk.

The adoption of an adequate security system is essential and the solutions available are many. We at SOD, speaking of data loss prevention , recommend adopting a SIEM which includes the tools necessary to implement techniques of DLP. For even better protection and more granular control of user data, the SOC as a Service also provides behavioral analysis performed by an artificial intelligence system ( UEBA ).

To find out how these services can help your business protect your data and infrastructure, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to answer any questions.

Useful links:

Ethical hacking: defending knowing how to attack

Machine learning and cybersecurity: UEBA applications and security

Avoid Ransomware: That’s why it’s best not to take any risks

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud

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