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With the latest news of data breaches against large organisations still fresh in our minds, it would appear to be the ideal moment to ask this question. Or maybe the question should read “Can your business afford not to have a loss prevention system?” Let’s see if we can answer both questions.
Data loss prevention (DLP) can mean two things. It is a term to describe the plan your business has to control and restrict the data your employees can send or transfer, and to stop attacks on your sensitive data from outside agencies. It is also used to describe the software used to implement these security measures.
External security breaches can cost your company, not only in monetary terms but also in the bad publicity a security breach can bring. DLP can provide your IT security staff with a complete view of data usage throughout your company. Telling you exactly how it is being used, this allows you to put controls and policies in place to protect customer data, financial information, etc. It also checks for, and automatically encrypts, any data your company holds in the cloud.
DLP has the capability to monitor data wherever it resides, outside of the workplace, such as on a laptop, smartphone or tablet. This is becoming increasingly important with the rise in popularity of remote working and the increased use of mobile devices in the workplace.
Let me state, at this point, that while DLP will reduce the risk of data loss it’s not perfect. If a third party is determined to access your confidential data, DLP will not stop them. However, protecting a large percentage of your information is surely preferable to no protection at all.
Now let’s look at how DLP technology can monitor and stop internal security breaches. It detects confidential files and prevents them from being transmitted through your network, or transferred to USB drives, etc. It can even monitor and prevent printing of secure documents, or sensitive information being copied and pasted. It also reduces the risk of transmission of confidential data through social networking sites.
In addition, it allows you to limit Web surfing, controlling access to websites your employees can view. It can check and block email traffic, monitor keystrokes, tell you which documents have been accessed and applications used. You can even save evidence of any suspicious activity, which can be analysed later. All of which assists you in detecting any dangerous activities that could result in damage to your business.
Finally, while DLP might seem the perfect fit for your company, there are some caveats. A DLP is not intuitive, it needs to be told what data to look for, and where to find it, so there might be some preparation involved before it can be implemented. Your business also needs the manpower to use the data monitored by DLP, it’s great to have all this information but it’s of no use if you haven’t the time or staff to use it. To sum up, DLP is important for your data security but it needs to be properly deployed to work correctly.
For more information, visit: Si4.