What is Data Loss Prevention?

Data loss prevention (DLP) is a strategy deployed by businesses to ensure that sensitive data remains securely within the corporate network.

Data loss prevention tools and software are designed to constantly monitor and filter data in real-time. In addition to dealing with the data being used, stored and transmitted within the network, data loss prevention applications ensure no harmful outside data is entering the company network.

Its primary purpose is to protect a company’s sensitive information from any type of incoming data that poses a threat to the organization since 70% of business people have or will have experienced data loss due to accidental deletion, fire, or system failures.

Let us delve more closely into the reasons why data loss prevention is seen as an absolute necessity for businesses of all sizes.

1. Increasing outside threats and attacks

Organizations take data loss very seriously. However, since data thieves keep getting more sophisticated every day, and with many of them finding new ways to access networks more frequently, companies face mounting pressure to actively keep looking for new threats.

2. Inside threats

Disgruntled employees are a prime example of inside threats – individuals deliberately intending to cause harm to a company from within. They may do it themselves or try to find assistance from an outsider to carry out the attack.

Given the fact that they already have access to data and may also have some sensitive information about different personnel within the company, the attack may prove to be more dangerous than from an attempted breach from outside the organization. This is especially true if the disgruntled employee happens to be a high-ranking executive, since they usually have access to twice as much sensitive information in comparison to other employees.

3. Accidental information sharing

The person in question may not have any intention to harm the company or to put the company’s data at risk. They could simply fall victim to social engineering, a favorite method employed by data thieves.

The attacker typically studies the target (the organization) and chooses a victim (the employee) as his/her means. The usual tactics involve studying the victim in depth and involving them in their plans, with them being completely unaware of it.

They invariably try and have victim accidentally reveal the sensitive information without them realizing it.

4. Poorly maintained BYOD  

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies have helped numerous industries operate more effectively. However, there are still industries who have either not adopted BYOD at all or who have a poorly deployed and maintained BYOD solution.

BYOD, unfortunately, makes it easier for employees to inadvertently share sensitive information through their personal mobile phones and tablets. They may not be aware of the security level of data that’s either idly sitting within the device or during data transmission.

5. Cloud based storage and services

While we talked about the challenges of BYOD, another point to be noted is that employees may use their personal storage device and personal online storage services such as Google Drive or Dropbox for storing and sharing company-owned confidential information that is otherwise not supposed to leave the company network and infrastructure.

It is possible, especially in non-tech companies, that these individuals are not aware of the proper protocols. It is the company’s responsibility to have ironclad network security measurea in place to ensure that employees have the proper authorizations and permissions to access the data, and make sure it is shared only within the company networks. Data loss through BYOD can be a common occurrence when the security protocols have not been defined.

6. Poor reputation within the industry

If you do not have adequate security measures in place and you have the misfortune of repeated attacks as a result, your business could quickly earn a poor reputation.

You could quickly lose your clients and customers to competitors, even the most loyal ones. Actifile recently mentioned in one of their surveys that 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months.

Conclusion

Data loss prevention is a subject new business owners need to pay special attention to when setting up a company. Every new piece of data created, stored, used and shared from the first day of work is sensitive information. Laying a strong foundation at the beginning will result in a little less disquiet down the road.

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