Data loss is one of today’s constant threats to business. Sensitive or valuable data can be leaked accidentally or targeted by malicious actors looking to exfiltrate it for monetary gain. Threats can come from within the organization (the insider threat) or from the outside in the form of ransomware and other cyber-attacks. Either way, when the data is lost, the organization suffers a breach and with it a damaging loss to its reputation and a potential fine.
To avoid data leaks or data exfiltration, organizations apply Data Loss Prevention (DLP) practices and tools to safeguard their critical business data. DLP focuses on minimizing the risk to the organization by detecting and preventing unauthorized disclosure before the breach occurs.
DLP defensive strategies are typically driven by regulatory compliance and data privacy laws, such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, CCPA or GDPR, that require organizations to maintain secure environments and always apply the appropriate level of protection to the data in question, no matter where it is located, or how it is shared. They mandate policies for different types of data, for example HIPAA protects healthcare information, PCI-DSS applies to organizations that accept, process, store or transmit payment card information, while CCPA and GDPR require protection for personal data (PI or PII).
DLP is a key priority for any organization that handles sensitive data, especially for those operating in highly regulated industries such as defense, finance, government, and healthcare.
Data Loss Prevention Best Practices
Data is one of today’s most valuable business assets, and whether it’s to protect sensitive data or safeguard intellectual property, putting DLP best practices in place can help organizations maintain visibility and control of their data, keeping it safe, secure and compliant.
The most effective way to implement DLP best practices is with buy-in from the top down. Organizations need a holistic, enterprise-wide program where everyone, from members of the board and senior management team, down to each individual employee, understands the importance of data loss prevention. Policies need to ensure that data is protected while in use, in motion and at rest. DLP software solutions then monitor and enforce these policies across the corporate network, at endpoints, and in the cloud.
Data Loss Prevention Solutions from Fortra
Traditional DLP software solutions can be difficult to implement and configure as they don’t provide flexibility in the way policies are deployed and managed. They operate on a rigid “stop and block” basis, often incorrectly mistaking legitimate business actions as an exfiltration or data loss threat. These false positives can easily frustrate users and overwhelm IT security staff who need to action the alerts.
Adaptive data loss prevention solutions from Fortra (formerly HelpSystems) provide much more than just stop and block functionality. The solutions minimize the risk of accidental data loss, data exfiltration, and cyber-attacks, to keep sensitive and valuable data safe, while at the same time reducing impact on day-to-day operations. They do this by intelligently inspecting structured and unstructured data within email messages, files transferred to and from the web or cloud, and at endpoints, and making sure the appropriate security policy is always automatically applied.
Policies can be set so that certain individuals, teams, or departments have more flexibility than others. For example:
- The CEO is authorized to send sensitive data to the CFO, in which case the data is automatically encrypted to protect it while in motion.
- When an intern sends sensitive data to an unknown third party, the solutions recognize that this could be an unauthorized transfer. Rather than block the communication, they automatically remove the sensitive data from the message, allowing a safe version to continue unhindered.
- The user is alerted to the fact that a policy violation occurred, but business is not interrupted. This automated process significantly reduces the numbers of false positives that occur.
DLP solutions from Fortra understand both content and context and adapt their behaviors accordingly. They perform a level of unrivalled deep content inspection, deconstructing files down to their constituent parts. The solutions then redact sensitive or valuable data, and sanitize or delete hidden threats, before reconstructing the file and sending it securely on its way. These unique adaptive features are what set the Fortra DLP solutions apart from those offered by other vendors.
Designed with ease of deployment and compliance in mind, all Fortra DLP solutions come with default policies configured for industry regulations and support for SIEM solutions, allowing organizations to integrate information into existing dashboards.
Integrate DLP with Data Classification and Managed File Transfer
Alongside data classification and managed file transfer solutions as part of a data security solution suite, DLP can be deployed to provide seamless protection for business-critical data from creation to destination.
- During the content inspection process, Fortra DLP tools recognize different data classification labels and automatically enforce the appropriate policies.
- They also ensure data classification labelling remains in place as the data moves throughout the network or leaves the organization.
- Files being sent or received securely through managed transfer benefit from an additional layer of data loss prevention and protection from cybersecurity threats.