Data loss prevention (DLP) software is more important than ever
The intricacies and importance of data loss prevention (DLP) software are rarely part of overall public discussions. While IT experts and enterprise leaders are all too familiar with the need to have comprehensive and robust endpoint security in their networks, the average person probably doesn’t think twice about the effort that goes into the systems they use and access on a daily basis.
That is, until something goes wrong. And suddenly the consequences of failed endpoint security are making headlines across the world. So in the light of such an event, there is no better time to take a hard look at your own network systems and see if all of your company’s sensitive data is protected from security threats – both within and outside of your organization.
Identify Your Most Valuable Information and Reinforce It
The role of an IT security professional is to see your business as a series of high- and low-value targets and predict what potential attackers are most likely to go after first. When strengthening or reconfiguring your DLP plan, try to take a similar approach and objectively look for what kinds of information might be most valuable to a hacker or leaker. From personal client or employee info to banking information, each organization has its own “high-value targets,” and those should be the first to be protected.
Utilize Multiple Storage Centres
Another way to reduce the risk to any one area of your organization’s security is to ensure that sensitive information isn’t simply collecting in one area – like employee email accounts, for example. Email has existed for decades, and even the most robust and dedicated security measures cannot consistently cover all the security holes that have been discovered over the years. By pushing your team to adopt multiple forms of information sharing (protected enterprise cloud storage, encrypted physical drives, etc.), you are dramatically decreasing the amount of vulnerable documents that will be exposed if one area of your organization is breached.
Find The Right Fit
No two DLP architecture strategies are the same, and many businesses find themselves vexed when they try to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to adding DLP security software to their existing framework and business model. While previous, less-flexible forms of security (such as virus protection or IP blocking) could be easily applied to almost any sort of enterprise scenario, DLP requires a bit more finesse.
From considering whether to adopt software, hardware, or cloud-based DLP solutions (or a mix of all three) to your business, to wondering whether a perpetual or subscription-based license is best for you, the effectiveness of your DLP strategy can be directly linked to the amount of research and preparation your team does beforehand. And since enhancing and improving your DLP solutions after you’ve already suffered a massive breach is somewhat of a moot point, you’ll be happy you did the work beforehand.
Strong On Both Sides
Many organizations fail to adequately prepare for security threats both from external hackers and internal leakers, usually choosing to prioritize one type of protection over another, leaving themselves vulnerable in one of the two categories. Comprehensive DLP security plans will take into account both possibilities and protect you against them, but you need to have the foresight and leadership to acknowledge those threats (especially internal threats) as a very real possibility.
Protecting against leakers and internal hacking attempts is not the same as distrusting your workforce and your team; it’s simply reinforcing the idea that your organization takes its sensitive data seriously, and will protect against every possible incursion angle.
Worth The Investment
Make no mistake: A versatile set of DLP solutions for true endpoint security is no small feat in terms of capital, employee retraining, and work hours to get it properly implemented. But as we said before; formulating a fantastic endpoint security plan is only admirable and forward-thinking if it’s done before you suffer a major breach. The organization that suddenly takes DLP seriously after going through a very dangerous (and public) leak is seen as a company trying to recover from a critical wound. Become the forward-thinking bastion of thought leadership you deserve to be, and prevent your company from being seen as a cautionary tale.
If you want to change the status of your organization from vulnerable to prepared, make sure to educate and arm yourself with the best resources and tools available. To review your security stance and to learn about the latest security threats and solutions to abolish them, check our 2016 Ultimate Security Guide.