What Is a Data Loss Prevention Solution?
Data Loss Prevention Solutions Defined
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions are designed to keep sensitive information from being lost, destroyed or inadvertently or maliciously leaked, helping organizations comply with a wide range of data privacy and security regulations.
A Data Loss Prevention system also helps organizations avoid the legal, financial and reputational damage that occurs when sensitive information is exfiltrated by attackers or publicly exposed. Data Loss Prevention solutions combine security policies, awareness training, and Data Loss Prevention software to inspect data, encrypt files and block protected information from the organization.
The Need for Data Loss Prevention
When data is lost or leaked, the consequences can be devastating. Many cyberattacks expose millions of customer records containing Social Security numbers, credit card information and other sensitive data.
These incidents result in a loss of customer trust and hefty fines and legal complications. The loss of data to ransomware attacks can cripple an organization. And when proprietary information like internal plans, patent information, proprietary code and sensitive email communications are leaked, businesses can suffer enormous setbacks that threaten profitability and competitiveness.
As organizations increasingly rely on data, evolving regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS and PIPEDA create complex standards for classifying, storing, protecting and using sensitive information. A failure to adequately protect regulated data can result in massive fines and loss of business credibility.
Preventing data loss and leaks have become more difficult as IT networks and workforces have become more distributed. Employees increasingly use personal devices and connect to corporate networks from unsecured remote locations, making it easier for data to be accidentally leaked or maliciously exfiltrated by attackers.
As an added layer of security, Data Loss Prevention solutions help security teams to block accidental leaks, stop data exfiltration, prevent attacks like ransomware and manage regulatory requirements with greater success and less effort.
How Data Loss Prevention Solutions Work
Data Loss Prevention security involves monitoring data flows, detecting potential leaks or misuse of data and blocking sensitive data from leaving the organization. DLP technology uses a variety of functionalities and capabilities to review data streams and block or flag suspicious activity.
As they monitor data and traffic, Data Loss Prevention solutions can filter out potential leaks based on specific keywords or string matches within data. For example: a DLP solution can recognize Social Security numbers in a file, unencrypted business plans attached to an email, or portions of verbatim text from a highly confidential document.
Additionally, DLP solutions perform contextual analysis to examine metadata like headers, file size, format and other properties that may signal suspicious activity.
The steps involved in Data Loss Prevention include:
- Identifying sensitive information. By inventorying and classifying data within a digital environment, IT teams can determine which data assets represent the greatest risk and require greater protection.
- Detecting leaks. Using automated technologies, Data Loss Prevention solutions detect and identify activity and movement that is suspicious, malicious or violates data security policies.
- Securing data in motion. As data moves between locations, DLP solutions use technologies like encryption and monitoring to ensure it reaches its intended destination safely.
- Protecting data at rest. Data Loss Prevention solutions can place controls around stored data to track activity and ensure that only authorized users may access it.
- Safeguarding data in use. DLP technology uses safeguards like authentication and access control to prevent unauthorized use as applications and endpoints actively process data.
Types of Data Loss Prevention Solutions
Data Loss Prevention solutions fall into four major categories.
- Email DLP. Data Loss Prevention email solutions monitor email communications to identify sensitive data, block leaks, flag potential phishing scams and detect other possible attacks.
- Network DLP. When implemented at the network level, DLP solutions monitor all incoming and outgoing data from any device connected to the network, blocking or flagging potential leaks and security threats.
- Endpoint DLP. Data Loss Prevention technology on laptops, servers and mobile phones helps to prevent data leaks and loss even when the devices are not connected to the network.
- Cloud DLP. Cloud Data Loss Prevention solutions monitor data and assets uploaded and downloaded from the cloud to improve visibility and monitor for potential misuse.
Data Loss Prevention Solutions from Forcepoint
Forcepoint is a leading user and data security company trusted by global enterprises and governments to safeguard IT environments and drive digital transformation and growth. Forcepoint Data Loss Prevention solutions provide protection on-premises and in the cloud to secure data across the web, cloud, email, network and endpoints.
As a leading Data Loss Prevention company, Forcepoint delivers technology that lets security teams discover, classify, monitor and protect data intuitively with zero friction to the user experience. Forcepoint DLP also enables teams to:
- Protect sensitive data. Protect PII, PHI, trade secrets, credit card data, company financials and other sensitive information in files and images.
- Improve visibility. Gain a panoramic view of unstructured data throughout the organization.
- Adapt easily. Risk-Adaptive Protection automatically adjusts policies based on user behavior and real-time emerging risks.
- Enhance the classification. AI-powered data classification features enable greater accuracy and efficiency when classifying data.
- Simplify policy. Replace broad, sweeping rules with individualized, adaptive data security that blocks actions only where needed to drive productivity.
- Streamline compliance. View and control all data with the industry’s most extensive pre-defined policy library to ensure compliance with regulations across 80+ countries.
Forcepoint technology includes DLP solutions for cloud applications, Data Loss Prevention for G Suite, and other cloud email solutions.