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What is Data Loss Prevention?

Data loss prevention (DLP) is a combination of products, methods, technologies, and procedures that guarantee end users' do not send sensitive or confidential data outside of a company. Data loss prevention software and other data loss prevention solutions aim to manage data transmission by end-users of varying administrative roles.

Information can wind up in unauthorized places, whether provided by chat, email, file transfers, or another method. Data loss prevention includes software that monitors, detects, and prevents the suspicious movement of sensitive data, ensuring compliance with rules and consumer confidence.

Data loss prevention(DLP)

Figure 1. Data loss prevention(DLP)

What Does DLP Mean?

The terms Data Loss Prevention and Data Leakage Prevention are interchangeable. Although both words are frequently used correspondingly, Data Loss Prevention is the term DLP solution providers use today.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a method for identifying and preventing possible data breaches or unusual data transmissions by monitoring, detecting, and blocking sensitive data while it is in use (endpoint activities), in motion (network traffic), and at rest (data storage).

What are Data Loss Prevention Features?

While many DLP capabilities appear to be similar on the surface, many vendors overlook limited but detailed aspects of data loss prevention features. Limitations may restrict their capacity to cover all features but effectively perform in specialized areas.

Here are the 7 most important DLP characteristics to look for when evaluating the DLP capabilities of security brokers.

1. Traffic Monitoring: The first criterion is focused on the traffic you're examining and, more specifically, the location of your users. One of the first requirements is to verify that you have adequate coverage and can analyze cloud traffic involving on-premises, mobile, or distant users. Many CASBs (Cloud Access Security Brokers) fall short in this area because they exclusively focus on on-premises cloud traffic. With more than half of cloud usage occurring outside of your network, you'll want to make sure your DLP protection extends to mobile and remote users as well.

2. Inspect Unauthorized Cloud Traffic: It's necessary to be able to apply DLP to recognized cloud services, but it's even more important to be able to apply DLP to unauthorized cloud services. After all, 95% of all cloud uses the features, and you don't want sensitive data to be transferred from sanctioned to unapproved cloud services. Many Cloud Access Security Brokers fall short in this area.

3. Precision and Accuracy: False positives have long been associated with DLP systems. Advanced features such as fingerprinting, exact match, regex with validation, custom keyword dictionaries, and global data identifiers are allowed in the DLP solution, which should go beyond simple keyword matching, prone to false positives.

4. Contextual Policies to Improve Accuracy: Creating blanket regulations that seek a specific sort of compliance regimen, like Payment Card Industry (PCI), might result in many false positives. The DLP in your CASB should enable more detailed rules, taking into account user, device, location, behavior, content, and cloud service context. Context also gives you additional options. Most CASBs will discuss context, but the question is whether they can incorporate deep context into a DLP policy.

5. Configuration Templates: One of the primary motivations for any DLP system is compliance. Having out-of-the-box templates that support multiple compliance regimens ranging from HIPAA (PHI) to PCI is a must. The ability to generate bespoke templates from a set of predefined data identifiers is also crucial, and your CASB should support it. Most CASBs come with predefined templates, but customization for your specific use case is restricted.

6. Connection to Existing Environment: Enterprises have already made security expenditures. A DLP solution should allow you to maximize those investments by connecting with your on-premises DLP, incident management system, and data categorization software.

7. Risk Management: How you manage, and triage issues are a significant component of securing sensitive data. Look for a DLP provider with an integrated incident management system. Better risk management allows you to manage DLP incidents using a closed-loop procedure to notify, assign it a priority, and take action.

Why is DLP Important?

Data loss prevention (DLP) is required whenever data is stored. A DLP strategy's emphasis points include data in use, data in motion, and data at rest.

Some data loss prevention systems protect data in use or data currently being processed by an endpoint or application. Authenticating users and limiting resource access are typical examples of this protection.

Other data loss prevention technology guarantees that sensitive data in transit across a network isn't sent through unsecured routes or outside the company. [Email] (/docs/network-security-tutorials/what-is-spam-email) security, which is used for a lot of commercial communication, and encryption are both critical parts of securing data in transit.

Data on the cloud and other storage mediums are equally in danger, and data loss prevention systems protect data in these environments. Controlling allowed users, managing who saves and accesses data, encrypting the disk, and tracking access to critical information are all features of data loss prevention software.

Where is DLP Used?

Identifying and protecting various types of data, as well as detecting problems, are all components of a comprehensive data loss prevention solution, allowing you to:

  • Detect sensitive data violations using network edge technology that monitors traffic based on a coordinated security strategy and data loss prevention policy.
  • Encrypt, access control, and data retention rules help keep data safe while it's in transit.
  • Monitor for abnormal or suspicious data transfers to detect data leaks.
  • Use metadata and rules manually or automatically by utilizing machine learning methods or tools, identify the sensitive data that needs to be protected.
  • Secure endpoints and regulate data transmission between external parties, individuals, and users.

What is Data Loss Prevention Policy?

Data Loss Prevention Policy explains how businesses may exchange and secure information. It describes how to use data in decision-making without exposing it to others who shouldn't have access to it.

Preventing hostile assaults on an organization's networks is a big part of data security. Because of the dispersed nature of modern computers, employees have more options for accessing and sharing corporate data than in the past. Data loss as a result of human mistakes is a significant issue.

Data might be stored in the cloud or at a distant location. As the number of people working from remote places rises, the regularity with which sensitive data is accessed via laptops and mobile devices may be hacked.

The gathering and use of data are being scrutinized more closely by regulators. Establishing a data loss prevention policy is essential for three reasons. First, the risk of unwanted exposure of the classified data is reduced. Also, the use of data can be monitored. Lastly, it allows to take action against data compromisation.

What are Data Loss Prevention Methods?

Over the years, businesses and organizations have used several data loss prevention strategies to keep essential and sensitive data from being lost or stolen. When computers and, shortly after, the internet became commonplace, these approaches took on a whole new life. Now, with the shift to cloud computing, there's a new need to rethink how to avoid data loss.

Your IT infrastructure determines the approaches you utilize. Companies that use cloud apps, such as G Suite and Office 365, require a CASB in order to implement best DLP practices. Take a look at the data loss prevention strategies you should include in your secure computing DLP plan.

1. Data Backup: The first, and arguably most effective, data loss prevention strategy you should use is automating your data backups. Because data may be lost in various ways, from unintentional to malicious, automated backups are the closest thing to a failsafe data loss prevention solution.

Data backups have become more accessible thanks to cloud computing. You should already be able to set up automatic data backups to Google Drive or OneDrive if your organization uses G Suite or Office 365. There are also several third-party data backup options available on the market.

2. Data Loss Prevention Policy: The process of creating data loss prevention policies generally begins with categorizing the many types of data you have and deciding the level of security each requires. You might, for example, divide your information into two or three categories, ranging from "open source" to "important." Then you'll want to set regulations for how each classification's information may be accessed and shared. For example, "important" data may be information that only technical executives have access to. On the other hand, "open source" refers to files and data created for sharing outside of the company by departments such as marketing and sales.

Regularly auditing your DLP policies can also assist you in determining if there are any categories of data that you've overlooked or if any rules have been misconfigured.

3. Use Data Loss Prevention tools: Data loss protection measures are made possible by tools that automate processes, monitor use, and detect threats. The sort of data loss prevention software that is best for you will be determined by your team's technology to store, access, and exchange information. The three primary forms of data loss prevention software are as follows

  • Endpoint DLP: Endpoint DLP should be used by almost every company. This is because everyone has at least one endpoint per employee and the majority of them have a lot more. Laptops, desktops, on-premise servers, cellphones, tablets, and anything else that connects to your network are all considered endpoints.
  • Network DLP: Most businesses are also aware that they will want the software to manage network DLP. Your network has served as the sole link between the internet and your internal data for a long time. However, in the last five to ten years, this has fundamentally changed for most firms and organizations.
  • Cloud DLP: Employees today feel compelled to use their own devices to work with them. Workplace productivity and communication have also benefited from SaaS apps. These changes have necessitated the use of cloud-based DLP software.

4. Check inappropriate data use: Employee-caused data loss is more prevalent than external assaults (though they get far less attention). The majority of these events are unintentional. It may be anything from a coworker spilling coffee on their laptop to it being stolen from their car. Most of the time, it's due to sharing information with someone who shouldn't have it without recognizing it. Employees have also been known to steal information from their employers. Because they have authorized access to data, these events are notoriously difficult to identify until after they have occurred.

It might be an ex-employee or a contractor who takes customer or ownership of intellectual property information to their new position or sells it to a rival. Employees have also been known to steal employee or customer information in order to steal their identities or sell it on the dark web.

Internal data loss has two distinct effects, both of which may be catastrophic for any organization. Even unintentional data loss may cost the organization money in terms of the time and money it took to create the information and the time and money it took to recover it.

5. Monitor users behavior: Monitoring for account takeovers is a more advanced form of data loss prevention that is difficult to implement without the proper data loss prevention technologies. However, with the proper technology, it's a vital feature in your data security plan that's reasonably easy to implement. The bulk of attempted (and successful) account takeovers share the same fundamental "signatures". Monitoring and managing login sites are the simplest approaches to spot one. For example, if all of your workers are situated in the United States, you know that any logins from outside are prohibited. The number of login attempts should be taken into consideration while monitoring for account takeovers. If you see a sudden and unusual login attempt over a few hours or days, you'll know your account is being targeted. In these situations, you can take proactive action by resetting the account password and demanding a stronger one. Finally, a data loss protection system should be used. Other forms of suspicious activity can be detected using CASB, such as huge file downloads from a single user, anomalous sharing outside the domain behavior, and uploading files, or sending emails with malware or phishing links.

What is DLP Software?

Data loss prevention (DLP) software is used to protect critical business information and assure compliance. Distribution control is an important feature of DLP solutions since it guarantees that users do not transfer sensitive data outside of company networks. Business rules are established by security personnel and network administrators to define who has access to, changes, and shares private information. DLP solutions frequently govern data at both the network and endpoint levels to guarantee that policies are consistent across the organization. These technologies are used to ensure that data is protected and that internal sources do not leak information.

When it comes to tightening up your system protection, you won't need one of each of these since one will do a variety of functions, including restricting access to the system and safeguarding data at the same time. You'll be able to decrease or eliminate data loss events throughout your company if you have the right policies and processes in place.

How does DLP Software Work?

When vulnerabilities are detected, DLP-focused products offer vulnerability prevention and repair. Particular DLP systems exist, each focusing on a different purpose but all with the same aim: to avoid data loss.

A DLP solution in network infrastructure can be delivered on software or hardware platforms and integrated with corporate network data points. The system monitors, tracks, and reports all data in transit on the network after implementation. This is the best form of DLP for scanning all stuff traveling through the company's ports and protocols.

It generates critical reports that assist in maintaining the security of the organization's information, such as what data is being utilized, who is accessing it, and where it is going. The Network DLP collects data and stores it in an easy-to-manage database.

The DLP software solution can also deployed in storage systems to be aware of the information that the workers keep and share. How much of this data is deemed secret, and how much of it is a danger of being leaked? Storage DLP can assist in answering these questions. You can examine confidential files stored and shared by individuals with access to the business network using that system. As a result, critical points may be identified, and information leaking can be avoided.

It may also be necessary for an organization to apply a DLP solution at endpoint devices. Previously known as diskettes, today's storage devices are external storage devices that make it easy to carry files. They can, however, jeopardize the company's security and allow data leakage, whether by mistake or on purpose. To avoid this, you'll need a solution that prevents data loss from removable media. Endpoint choices are the most suited DLP solution for this. These are placed on all corporate employees' workstations and devices to monitor and prevent sensitive data from being sent out via removable devices, sharing apps, or clipboards.

What are Data Loss Prevention Tools?

With portable storage devices and mobile connectivity technologies like WiFi, security threats rise. Through features such as Device Control, today's DLP solution will assist companies in protecting sensitive data. Understanding the DLP solution and the protocols that it can evaluate and act upon is critical.

A complete DLP system can automatically detect and categorize data throughout your network from the device to the cloud. Data loss is always a possibility. Collaborative tools, chat apps, and file-sharing platforms like Google Drive, for example, are all part of the work environment.

As a result, data might be shared publicly by accident or preserved on unauthorized machines. Content-Aware DLP is effective in these scenarios. This Data Loss Prevention method will keep the context and information that must be safeguarded in mind.

Here are 5 Data Loss Prevention tools.

1. Symantec DLP

Symantec's Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution finds, analyzes, and protects confidential material across cloud services, devices, systems, and network infrastructure. Companies may protect their data against accidental, irresponsible, and intentional data loss by Symantec.

2. McAfee DLP Endpoint

McAfee DLP McAfee is a program that uses virtualized data protection policies to prevent unintentional loss of intellectual property or financial data.

It is well-known for keeping data secure from threats and viruses with a simple and user-friendly interface that displays a quick pop-up whenever a threat to data is detected.

3. SecureTrust Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

The SecureTrust Data Loss Prevention (DLP) System is a content discovery and management solution that monitors and prevents data loss throughout your network. The solution helps prevent the outflow of such valuable data. It's an outbound content management system that gives companies of all sizes comprehensive insight into all risks of data leakage, whether accidental or intentional and the ability to prevent violations before they happen.

4. Forcepoint DLP

Forcepoint provides individualized and adaptive data security that allows you to stop activities only when necessary, increasing productivity. This will assure GDPR, CCPA, and other regulatory compliance across thousands of nations. Data breaches will be prevented automatically as a result of this.

The Forcepoint Data Loss Prevention (DLP) system focuses on uniform rules, user risk, and automation, making data security simple and straightforward.

5. Sophos

Sophos Endpoint and Email Appliance solutions provide DLP capabilities. The threat detection engine now includes content scanning. It contains a complete list of sensitive data type definitions, allowing you to secure your sensitive data right away.

With Sophos, you can receive easy and effective data security while staying within your budget.

What is Symantec Data Loss Prevention?

A single administration platform, content-aware detection servers, and lightweight endpoint agents are all part of Symantec Data Loss Prevention. Unlike competing DLP systems, Symantec has demonstrated its capacity to scale up to hundreds of thousands of users and devices in widely dispersed settings.

In recent years, sensitive data has been more vulnerable to misplacement or unintentional disclosure by unskilled cloud users due to the fast movement of corporate software from on-premises systems to cloud-based services. Without question, the cloud has become the most significant data loss vector. Discovery may happen in a variety of ways, but certificate pinning in cloud services prevents it from happening while data is in transit.

Data in motion is frequently subjected to DLP enforcement, as it passes via a proxy or another network component before being sent to DLP for scanning. While Symantec's solutions enable this approach, we feel it's equally critical to have the ability to do a thorough content inspection of all network connections in order to capture, evaluate, and, if required, block sensitive material at network egress points. A lot of the enforcement and scanning in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) systems happens in transit when data travels from one point to another. However, without an endpoint presence to supplement inspections, SASE is limited in its possibilities.

How does Symantec DLP Work?

Cybercriminals have developed efficient new techniques to evade standard security measures and abuse consumers to steal important data from businesses, and targeted cyber-attacks have become all too prevalent. Symantec's Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution provides the highest degree of security to prevent data breaches and preserve your company's image. With the industry-leading technology, you receive full discovery, monitoring, and protection capabilities, giving you entire visibility and control over private data.

Symantec DLP Work with data classification and data loss prevention in the following ways-

  1. In real-time, prevent data from being exposed or stolen.
  2. Identify where data resides in the cloud, email, web, endpoints, and storage across all channels.
  3. Keep track of how data is utilized both on and off the corporate network.

Company data becomes more exposed to data leaks and thefts (both on and off the business network) as employees grow more flexible through the usage of laptops. Symantec DLP for Endpoint delivers all of the security you'll need to keep sensitive data safe and secure on endpoints. It offers comprehensive data discovery, monitoring, and protection across a wide range of channels, including email, network protocols, storage, and virtual desktops and servers.

What is Microsoft DLP?

Microsoft DLP is among the Microsoft 365 solutions you'll want to secure your sensitive assets no matter where they belong or roam. You should be familiar with the other Microsoft 365 Compliance products, how they interact, and how they may be used more effectively together.

Microsoft 365 DLP

Figure 2. Microsoft 365 DLP

Microsoft 365 DLP policies allow you to keep track of what users do with sensitive objects while they're at rest, in transit, or in use, and take preventive measures. When a user, for example, tries to do something forbidden, such as transferring a sensitive item to an unauthorized place or disclosing medical information in an email, or violates other policy criteria, the system will alert the user.

Does Windows Defender have DLP?

Endpoint DLP is now accessible to all Microsoft 365 E5/A5 users, and Microsoft has further improved the service based on input from its public preview program.

DLP is compatible with most antivirus products, in addition to Microsoft Defender, giving clients more options while extending their existing investments.

Defender detects files with sensitivity labels and files containing sensitive information kinds automatically. Sensitivity labels categorize and safeguard sensitive information. In Defender Data Loss Prevention (DLP), there are two sorts of sensitive information:

  • Default: Bank account numbers, social security numbers, and national identification numbers are examples of default sensitive information categories.

  • Custom: Custom kinds are those that you create and are intended to safeguard a specific sort of sensitive data (for example- project serial).

What is Data Loss Prevention in Office 365?

The data loss prevention function in Office 365 operates similarly to other DLP technologies in that it adheres to a set of criteria. Data will be governed by policies set in Office 365, which will deliver warnings when someone breaks a rule.

The DLP feature in Office 365 will automatically categorize data and apply the established policies to prohibit unwanted access to classified material and stop emails from being sent.

What is Data Loss Prevention with pfSense® software?

The pfSense® software project is an open-source network firewall software based on FreeBSD with a modified kernel and third-party free software packages for added capabilities. With the aid of the package system, the pfSense® software can provide the same Data Loss Prevention capabilities.

Individual sessions of network connections crossing pfSense® software may be tracked. Stateful packet inspection, often known as dynamic packet filtering, is a security feature that allows fine-grained data protection measures to be invoked.

Moreover, Policy-based routing forwards and routes data packets depending on user-defined policies or filters utilizing factors like IP addresses, destination port, traffic type, protocols, access list, packet size, and so on.

What is Data Loss Prevention with OPNsense?

OPNsense offers much of the functions included in costly commercial firewalls and even more in many cases. It's a HardenedBSD-based specialized platform for firewalls and routers and a variant of pfSense® software.

OPNsense's inline IPS system is built on Suricata and uses Netmap to improve performance and reduce CPU usage. This deep packet inspection technology is extremely powerful and may be utilized at wire speed to minimize the security risks of losing data.

Furthermore, backup & restore features enable changes to automatically be backed up, allowing you to go back in time and recover prior settings.