Businesses can use data loss prevention (DLP) best practices to secure information across their operations and comply with data security requirements.
How Can a DLP Solution Help Your Business?
A data loss prevention solution helps you identify sensitive data in your organization. From here, the solution ensures you're notified if any suspicious activity arises that could compromise these data. The solution also flags or blocks any suspicious data activities. The result: a DLP solution minimizes your risk of data exposure.
In addition, a DLP solution lets you grant permission controls to different data assets. This helps ensure only those authorized to access certain data assets can do so.
A DLP can help you monitor your workstations, servers and networks, too. You can use the solution to track the flow of data across your operations and limit the transfer of data between certain platforms. That way, you can optimize data protection at all levels of your operations.
Factors to Consider Before You Create a DLP Policy
1. Types of Data That Needs to Be Protected
Take a look at the data you collect, store, and manage. You can then determine which data is most sensitive and secure it accordingly. For instance, if you collect personally identifiable information (PII), you may need to store and manage this information in alignment with HIPAA and GDPR. Or, if you work with payment card information, you may need to comply with PCI requirements.
2. Where Your Data Is Stored
You may store your data on-premise or in the cloud or use a combination of the two. And you must consider how you can protect this information, regardless of where it's stored.
3. Data Loss Prevention Via Archive or Backup
It is paramount to have up-to-date backups of sensitive data. If you experience data loss, you can use these backups to quickly recover your data. As a result, you're well-equipped to minimize the impact of data exposure and keep your business running at peak levels.
4. Data Loss Incident Response A DLP solution does not guarantee you can avoid data exposure. Thus, you must consider the actions required if data exposure occurs. You must also account for the potential cost and time to recover from a data loss incident. Of course, you must consider steps you can take to prevent data loss incidents from happening, too.
Types of Data That Can Be Protected with a DLP Solution
1. Data at Rest
You can use a DLP solution to secure data that remains in one place. These data can include information in databases, the cloud, and file systems.
2. Data in Motion
These data are transported between locations. They are typically transferred from a desktop computer to the cloud, portable devices, or other endpoints.
3. Data in Use
Data in use is being updated, processed, or accessed. These data can be difficult to secure, since various security technologies can inadvertently impact its accessibility.
DLP Detection Technology
With DLP detection technology, you can detect sensitive information in a data stream. Yet, there is no one-size-fits-all DLP detection technology for all businesses.
Certain types of DLP detection technology lets you create a digital fingerprint for sensitive data. Meanwhile, other DLP detection technologies allow you to tag data or perform text analysis.
If you are interested in DLP, you should learn as much as you can about the technology behind it. This allows you to select a DLP solution that leverages technology that meets your expectations.
What are some DLP Strategies & Best Practices?
Here are eight DLP best practices that you can use to get the most value out of your data loss prevention solution:
1. Establish a DLP policy. Create a DLP policy that accounts for the data assets you need to protect.
2. Encrypt your data. Make sure all of your data is encrypted at all times.
3. Secure your systems. Use security technology to safeguard data across your systems.
4. Create a patch management plan. Patch your systems regularly to ensure their security software is always up to date.
5. Define user roles. Determine the level of data access required for users across your business, along with the responsibilities of stakeholders who will respond if data loss occurs.
6. Automate DLP processes. Leverage automation technologies to streamline DLP processes across your operations.
7. Educate your employees. Teach your employees about DLP and how they can use it to secure their data.
8. Evaluate your performance. Track your results as you try to avoid data loss. If you experience data loss, learn from the incident and explore ways to prevent the same problem from happening once again.
Remain persistent in your efforts to maximize your data loss prevention. In doing so, you can limit the risk of data loss now and in the future.
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