One of the most valuable resources that a modern business has is its data, from customer demographics to proprietary code. This data is often vital to operations and its security can mean the difference between your business thriving or barely surviving. Rather than taking a chance with your data, or your company’s future, consider implementing a data loss prevention solution.
What Is Data Loss Prevention?
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a combination of strategies and tools designed to prevent leakage, theft, or loss of data. It includes both storage and endpoint management and covers how data can be accessed, who has permission to access, modify, or transfer data, and how data is protected at-rest or in-transit. The specific protections and policies implemented by DLP are dependent on the requirements of your system, operations and the priority of your data.
The three main concerns of DLP strategies and tools are:
- Networks—data moving across network boundaries, such as emails and instant messages, social media interactions, web applications, and SSL traffic.
- Storage—data at rest, such as on file servers, in databases or in cloud-based storage.
- Endpoints—data accessed through endpoints, such as for printing, saving to external storage, or simple viewing.
Why Do You Need a DLP Solution?
Data is one of your most important assets you can hold, so it should be obvious why you need to protect it. If, however, you still need convincing, or need to convince someone else, you should take a look at the following considerations.
A DLP solution will help you determine where your data is, how it is being stored, and who is accessing it. It can then use this information to help you determine appropriate protection policies, restrict user actions, and alert you to incidents. This can be especially helpful if you use cloud-based services as data sprawl can quickly get out of hand.
A good DLP solution will protect you against threats from all directions, such as external, internal, and those caused by human error, which is especially important if your system is more vulnerable due to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies or IoT devices. Much of this protection can be configured to happen automatically, freeing you and your IT team to focus on higher-level functions.
DLP solutions typically have built-in features for maintaining regulatory compliance, such as automatic logging or audit reporting. These features can help reduce your liability, your risk of having to pay significant fines and prevent loss of customers due to lack of trust.
Top Data Loss Prevention Solutions
Now that you’re convinced of the importance of having a DLP solution, you can start narrowing down your options. The solutions covered here are a good place to start.
This solution is cloud compatible, customizable and scalable. It can show you exactly where your data is stored and restrict its availability across storage devices, endpoints, and on mobile platforms. Symantec DLP includes functionality for tracking user activity and can control how your data is used both on and offline. Templates and workflows for the most common regulatory standards are built into the solution and can be activated as needed.
A downside of this solution is that it is enterprise-oriented, making it a poor choice for smaller organizations.
Digital Guardian Endpoint DLP
This solution was designed for multi-platform use and can be used in the cloud, on-premise, or with a hybrid system. As the name suggests, its primary focus is on endpoint protection, including the use of web-based services. Endpoint DLP works by tagging and classifying datasets and automatically blocking unauthorized users and actions. It does this by combining policy-based rules, which you apply to datasets, with intelligent behavioral threat detection features.
A downside of this solution is that it can be expensive to license and if you want coverage of your data storage you will need to integrate it with other tools.
McAfee Total Protection for DLP
This solution emphasizes forensic analysis and specializes in identifying areas where data can be leaked due to the absence of compliance rules. Total Protection for DLP includes features for location and application-based tagging of data and can prioritize data security through the use of AI. It is scalable, cloud compatible, and can be managed through a centralized dashboard.
A downside of this solution is that it can be difficult to set up and manage, particularly if you are not already using McAfee tools.
Comodo Dome DLP
This is an all-in-one solution that discovers, monitors, and protects data. It can identify data within databases, on workstations, and within network storage. Dome DLP monitors data across your network, including on removable storage and in print jobs, as well as email and web traffic. It allows you to block or quarantine confidential data access through a centralized management system that includes Google-like search functionality.
A downside of this solution is that it has limited documentation and support and difficulties are known to occur when the solution is updated.
Check Point’s DLP Software Blade
This solution focuses on user education to prevent data incidents by issuing warnings to users when they trigger security policies. DLP Software Blade has a centralized management console, comes with pre-configured policies that you can easily apply, and includes regulatory compliance auditing and reporting features. It can track data use across services, including web, email, and file sharing.
A downside for some is that this solution is simpler than other options and may not offer the functionality you need.
Protecting data security should be a high priority for any modern business, including yours. To ensure that your assets are properly protected, you need to invest in robust DLP strategies and tools catered to your needs. The solutions covered here are a good starting point to begin examining your options but it is up to you to decide which tool or combination of tools will best protect your system and the valuable data within it.