Data exchanges happen between organizations and their partners, customers, distant employees, other legitimate users, and occasionally unauthorized individuals. Keeping track of all the information is difficult for many firms that lack adequate data loss prevention best practices. One cause is that employees transfer data across many communication routes, both permitted and illicit. They communicate using email, instant messaging, shared online folders, collaborative software, texting, social media, and other platforms. Employees also store data in various locations, such as desktops, laptops, notebooks, smartphones, file servers, legacy databases, the cloud, and other devices, as well as in the cloud.
A lack of awareness about what information goes out of the company makes data loss prevention more difficult. However, using data loss protection best practices can prevent the misuse of personal information.
The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million in the United States. However, the price may be higher for large corporations. Home Depot, for example, spent more than $260 million in 2014 after hackers stole credit card information from more than 50 million consumers. As a result, Home Depot had to pay back banks, credit card companies, and customers and make court-ordered security changes
Common Challenges of Businesses Not Having DLP Strategies
When weighing the advantages of a well-implemented DLP approach, you must equally examine the hazards of the alternative. For example, data breaches are costly to a company's bottom line. According to PurpleSec, $3.86 million is the average cost of a data breach to firms worldwide. Of course, this impact includes quantifiable cash losses, but it also consists of the irreparable harm to its reputation if a successful breach occurs. A solid data loss prevention strategy can help you escape the consequences of a disaster like this.
Essential DLP Strategies
Regardless of the size or industry, every organization requires a data loss prevention (DLP) strategy to prevent data loss. Medical records, financial data, and intellectual property are examples of important, sensitive, or regulated data that should be protected. In most cases, DLP entails both technologies and policy. Personal USB devices, for example, can't be used on workstations. This is a common practice, just like having clear rules for emailing confidential information.
Read on to learn some of the essential data loss prevention best practices
Define the Roles and Responsibilities of Everyone
First and foremost, make sure everyone in the organization involved in data loss prevention understands their roles and responsibilities.
"DLP strategies encompass several things. Some of the best practices include identifying those in the organization hierarchy and their obligations or tasks under the DLP standards. You must determine who creates the policy, who revises it, and who puts it into action."
Baruch Labunski, CEO of Rank Secure
This distinction will help you keep a close grip on who has access to your data. Using the principle of least privilege, where individual users have access only to the information they need to accomplish their work—nothing more and nothing less—is one of the best methods to avoid a data breach
. In addition, it will be easier to determine how much data is in danger if a user's account is hacked or otherwise compromised.
In the worst-case situation, clear user roles keep things going smoothly. It's customary to allocate roles to individuals in other types of emergencies, such as fires or floods, so that everyone understands what to do and can respond quickly. The breach of data
is no exception. By defining their roles and responsibilities, you can avoid situations where misunderstandings lead to confusion and, eventually, inaction.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Data
The rising importance of artificial intelligence and automation could lead you to believe that all data is good and that having more information is always better. However, data is only helpful if it has a clear purpose. Excessive data can slow down production and efficiency and put a lot of data at risk
As a result, it's critical to remove any data that doesn't serve any purpose. If unwanted data is collected and stored, it is more likely to cause harm than good. It not only clogs up your data landscape but also draws attention away from the most critical information and increases the risk of data loss.
Eliminate unwanted data to reduce your risk. So, a key DLP strategy is to get rid of any data that doesn't make a big difference in the growth of the company.
Have a Data Classification Framework
It's also critical to segregate your data precisely. As businesses become more data-driven, specific data will inevitably be more sensitive and valuable than others. There are many ways to make your risk management processes more effective by separating sensitive information from non-sensitive information.
It's worth mentioning that this should include all data that has anything to do with your company. Pay close attention to the information you share with your vendors, partners, and other third-party platforms, as well as the information you receive from them. This is because all the data flowing in and out of your systems is at risk of being lost. A bird's-eye perspective is necessary to ensure you don't miss any blind spots. All the data you find should be sorted according to its relative importance after you've scanned each of them.
Regularly Update Policies and Procedures
When developing a DLP strategy, one of the most crucial best practices to remember is that there will never be a moment when you can dust your hands off and consider the job done. The responsibility to keep it safe is an ongoing process that will continue as long as valuable information exists.
Similarly, the implementation of your DLP strategy should correspond to and represent each stage of your company's growth. Your data loss protection plan should be updated as your company keeps growing and expanding. The rules and processes that are in place now may not be able to meet your company's future demands and requirements.
Educate Your Employees
DLP best practices rely heavily on employee understanding and acceptance of security policies and procedures. Employees’ data security understanding and their ability to follow recommended DLP best practices can be improved by education and training activities like classes, online training, monthly emails, and posters. Penalties for data security
breaches may also enhance compliance, mainly if they are well-defined.
Data loss prevention (DLP) and auditing tools should be used to ensure that data usage restrictions are consistently enforced. The purpose is to determine how data is being utilized, where it is going, and whether or not it complies with compliance policies such as GDPR. Administrators should receive real-time notifications to investigate when a suspicious activity is noticed. In addition, violators should be held accountable for the data security policy's implications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best data loss prevention strategy?
Backing up all your data is the most crucial preventative best practice against data loss. Keep a backup of your information on a different server.
How can network data loss be prevented?
The best way is to prevent sensitive data from being lost over the network. Look for sensitive information in email subjects, messages, and attachments. Enforce policy-based web application monitoring and blocking. To ensure secure communication and regulatory compliance, encrypt email information.
What are the ways to protect data storage?
Some of the ways to protect data storage are:
Encrypt your data
Backup your data
Anti-malware protection is a must