What is Data Loss Prevention Software?
Data Loss Prevention Software Defined
Data Loss Prevention Software helps organizations prevent the loss of sensitive and valuable information by ensuring that data assets are adequately protected, stored, and used. Data loss prevention tools enable IT teams to classify confidential and critical information, monitor its use and movement, and block activity that might publicly expose it or allow it to be stolen or removed from an IT environment.
Data Loss Prevention Software has become an essential tool in information security in recent years. The evolving nature of IT environments has made it more difficult to protect data assets. At the same time, increasingly stringent data privacy laws require organizations to adopt more robust protections for customer data assets.
Organizations can protect users, customers, and the bottom line more effectively by incorporating Data Loss Prevention Software into their security strategy.
Why Businesses Need Data Loss Prevention Solutions
Data loss and leaks can threaten an organization’s revenue, reputation, and existence. When an error results in the leak of personal information for millions of customers, a business may be fined tens of millions of dollars. Top executives may lose their jobs. And customers who no longer trust the company with their private data may take their business elsewhere.
Regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and SOX are constantly evolving, placing stricter requirements on companies to protect customer data privacy. At the same time, the rise of cloud computing, the adoption of hybrid cloud infrastructure, the use of personal devices, and a work-from-anywhere workforce have obliterated the traditional network perimeter, making it easier for cyberattacks to take place – and harder for IT teams to prevent them.
In this environment, data security solutions can help organizations achieve key security objectives, including:
- Protect intellectual property, customer data, financial records, and other sensitive and business-critical information from loss, leaks, theft, and other threats in a rapidly expanding threat landscape.
- Demonstrate compliance with global regulations concerning data privacy, sovereignty, and governance.
- Gain greater visibility into rapidly growing data volumes.
- Manage data security with IT teams constrained by budgets and skills shortages.
Where Data Leaks Occur
When data is lost or leaked, it’s often the result of one of three major threats.
- Security negligence. Many data leaks are the result of negligence. When IT teams don’t properly configure security controls, sensitive data may be unprotected and accessible to anyone who stumbles upon it. Sensitive data may be leaked when employees don’t use proper encryption when sending emails or when a user loses a USB flash drive with sensitive files.
- Malicious insiders. Data leaks are often caused by employees, partners, suppliers or other insiders with access to the network and sensitive data. These insiders may seek to steal intellectual property, sell customer data for money or take customer lists and business research with them as they move to another organization.
- Cyberattacks. Many cyberattacks result in data exfiltration, transferring sensitive information to a point outside the organization. While not technically a leak, this type of data loss can result in significant fines, legal action, loss of customers and other damage to the business.
Data Loss Prevention Software can help to prevent these types of leaks and loss by deploying several tools.
- Cloud data loss prevention tools track data in the cloud, detecting and encrypting sensitive information and monitoring usage for anomalous activity.
- Endpoint Data Loss Prevention Software monitors the use of data on endpoints such as servers, laptops, mobile phones, and other devices.
- Network Data Loss Prevention Software tracks data as it traverses the network to detect when sensitive information is being used, stored, or sent outside the organization, violating security policies.
By constantly monitoring and scanning for improper usage of sensitive information, Data Loss Prevention Software can automatically block suspicious use or exfiltration and alert security teams who can act swiftly to investigate.
Best Practices for Data Loss Prevention
Superior Data Loss Prevention Software streamlines the adoption of best practices that result in a more effective DLP program.
- Inventory and assess data. Effective DLP is based on the discovery and complete inventory of data assets, enabling IT teams to identify what must be protected.
- Classify sensitive assets. Security teams can improve the effectiveness of DLP efforts by creating classifications like financial data, regulated data, intellectual property, and personally identifiable information (PII).
- Establish policies. Each data classification should be assigned a set of guidelines regarding who can handle it and when, and how it can be used, stored, and shared with contacts inside and outside the organization.
- Unifying DLP oversight. When individual departments and business units create their own DLP programs, security gaps and inconsistent protections can inevitably jeopardize data security and privacy. A unified solution eliminates these gaps and simplifies the management of DLP policies.
- Training employees. Security awareness training helps employees and users avoid negligent or inadvertent actions leading to a severe data leak or loss.
Data Loss Prevention Software from Forcepoint
Forcepoint DLP provides protection on-premises and in the cloud with technology designed to address today’s most challenging data security risks. Forcepoint improves data loss prevention security across the web, cloud, email, network, and endpoints, with zero friction for the end-user experience.
With Forcepoint DLP, security teams can:
- Discover, classify, monitor, and protect data intuitively.
- Protect company financials, trade secrets, PII, PHI, credit card data, and other sensitive information, including information hidden in images.
- Track intellectual property (IP) in both structured and unstructured forms.
- Prevent low and slow data theft, even when user devices are off the network.
- Stop data loss before it occurs by auditing behavior in real-time with Risk-Adaptive Protection.
- Simplify compliance with over 190 pre-defined policies that ensure regulatory compliance across the world.
- Control all data with a single DLP policy, enabling teams to configure once and push protection everywhere.
- Improve user productivity by blocking actions only when necessary.
Forcepoint DLP integrates easily with popular third-party vendor products to prevent data loss for G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and others.