By |Published On: August 1st, 2023|7 min read|Categories: Data Exfiltration|

Why do Businesses Need Advanced Enterprise DLP Solutions?

Data loss is one of the biggest cyberthreats faced by any business. This can lead to a wide range of financial, legal and reputational consequences, from confidential data ending up in the hands of competitors to being extorted by criminals demanding a ransom for the return or deletion of data. 

Therefore, a specialized data loss prevention tool, or DLP, needs to play a role in every cybersecurity solution. These work differently to traditional defenses such as firewalls and anti-malware as they focus on what’s leaving your business, not what’s entering it. 

These technologies can therefore spot and shut down these threats before they have a chance to damage your business, so should be seen as a must-have, regardless of your firm’s size or sector.

What is Data Loss Prevention?

Data loss prevention is a wide-ranging area that covers much more than just cyberthreats. It includes all the tools, technologies and processes needed to protect data from accidental deletion, loss or theft. Done right, it prevents unauthorized sharing of sensitive data and protects firms from threats such as ransomware and extortion.

Tackling the Modern Challenges of Data Protection

Guarding against accidental or malicious data loss should be a key part of any firm’s data protection strategy. Firms today face the prospect of large fines for poor data handling, but data loss prevention must be much more than a regulatory box-checking exercise.

The biggest data security issue facing many firms today is that hackers will often be specifically targeting data, as they know exactly how valuable it is. In many cases, firms that lose data will feel they have no choice but to give in to whatever hackers demand in order to restore access or prevent the public disclosure of sensitive information.

The Risks Posed by Data Loss

The main risks posed by a data leak can broadly be broken down into three categories: financial, reputational and operational. Each of these can be hugely expensive and, when taken together, the overall cost of a data loss incident can easily run into the millions of dollars. 

Financial – This covers any direct costs caused by data loss. It may include compensation or class-action settlements for affected users, fines from data protection regulators and the cost of restoring and hardening systems. It also includes any direct ransoms paid to hackers in order to recover data.

Operational – Any data loss that prevents firms from conducting day-to-day business can also be expensive. The Uptime Institute estimates two-thirds of all downtime incidents cost more than $100,000, while in some cases, such as the 2023 Royal Mail ransomware incident, operations can be disrupted for weeks or even months.

Reputational – Perhaps the farthest-reaching, yet hardest to quantify loss comes from any reputational damage. This is especially the case if customers have had highly sensitive information stolen. Indeed, according to ISACA, one in three consumers have cut ties with a company because of a data breach.

How Does DLP Software Work?

To avoid these issues, an advanced data loss prevention solution must have a prominent place within your data security strategy. Having a DLP policy in place is especially important if you work with certain types of data. For example, PCI DSS rules require tough protections for any business working with credit card details. 

However, in order to implement this effectively, you’ll need to know how the tools work, and what their limitations are.

What Techniques are Commonly Used for DLP?

Traditional network DLP tools use a variety of technologies to stop any data leakage issues as they occur. Typically, such solutions rely on tried and tested methods such as signature matching and file tagging tools to spot data breaches. These usually work in parallel with other solutions such as firewalls, email security and intrusion detection systems to guard against external threats.

However, more advanced endpoint protection can go far beyond this. By using a behavioral-based approach, an anti data exfiltration and DLP solution can work together to quickly spot unusual activity that may indicate data breaches in progress, and shut it down before hackers have the chance to remove confidential information from the network.

Why do Organizations Need Modern Data Loss Prevention Solutions?

It’s important to remember that the tactics used by hackers are changing all the time, so traditional enterprise DLP tools alone may not be enough. Common problems include an inability to discriminate between users, which makes it hard for them to identify whether an issue is the result of carelessness, a malicious insider threat or an external data breach attempt.

Legacy tools are also highly resource-intensive and come with high costs and maintenance requirements. This can make them impractical for small firms or those with limited IT teams. Therefore, more modern anti data exfiltration solutions that address these drawbacks must be considered in order to extend the protection DLP tools offer.

What to Consider When Building a Successful DLP Program?

If you are looking to build or improve a data loss protection solution, there are numerous factors to take into account for your DLP strategy. You need to consider the type of services you’re going to invest in, how and where they will be deployed and what other elements your cybersecurity strategy will need to provide comprehensive protection.

What is the Difference Between Integrated DLP and Enterprise DLP?

There are two types of DLP technology to be aware of – integrated and dedicated, or enterprise DLP. Integrated DLP refers to tools that come within other service and cybersecurity tools. For example, a secure email or web gateway may offer some cloud DLP tools.

While this can be a less expensive option, such services often lack the advanced features found in a more advanced, dedicated DLP tool. With the right technology, IT teams will be able to have much more control and visibility over their networks to gain a complete picture of data activity.

What are the Benefits of Deploying an Endpoint DLP?

To stand the best chance of defending against data theft, you need to look beyond network-level DLP tools and ensure security at the device layer. If you seriously want to protect every endpoint against data loss, dedicated anti data exfiltration (ADX) tools offer the next evolution in endpoint protection. 

By deploying machine learning tools and analyzing activity on every device, these solutions can build up a complete, accurate picture of what normal data transfers look like and then set up a DLP rule detailing how to respond, letting it step in automatically to block any suspicious behavior that could be a hallmark of a data exfiltration attempt.

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