Data Loss Prevention Strategies You Should Use in Your Business

May 26

Data plays a huge role in organizational operations today, irrespective of industry. While digital technologies greatly promote automation and cost-efficiency, they nevertheless pose a considerable risk for your company’s confidential data, such as customer databases, trade secrets, and financial information.

Related: All You Need to Know About Ransomware and Ways to Prevent It

Let’s talk about data loss prevention (DLP) and how to implement it in your business.

The Basics of Data Security

Data security includes several solutions that must be combined to ensure an optimal level of protection. This involves knowing which data is the most important in the organization (Data Classification), where it is located (Data Discovery), how to protect it (encryption, access control), and prevent its leakage (DLP: Data Leakage Prevention).

The majority of data leaks are accidental

Data loss mainly occurs via email and through removable storage devices, including optical media and USB drives. 95% of the data lost this way is unintentional. In other words, someone accidentally uses the wrong recipient in their email client’s auto-completing feature. Even with many disclaimers on unintended recipients and email confidentiality, data loss through email is highly prevalent.

Unhappy employees play a role, too

Not every data leak has an external source. A good number of these cases involve unhappy employees in your organization—the infamous inside job. Most data is leaked via USB drives, cameras, photocopiers, and printers. When an employee maliciously decides to access and leak company data illegally, nothing can be done to stop it.

There could be leaks in your communication environment

Instant messaging and email platforms speed up business communication, but they can also be vulnerable areas for data leaks to external parties. The most prevalent method of attack is malware sent using email. Malware is reportedly the most successful means of data breach and leakage. Other techniques involve phishing and social engineering schemes that use a company’s legitimate email account to get employees to disclose confidential corporate data.

Keep reading: Learning from Top Data Breaches in History

Data Loss Prevention Approaches

In the wake of integrated tech solutions deployment projects, processes affecting both data and diverse applications generate an increase in the criticality of information systems. As listed below, data loss prevention approaches are not necessarily expensive, but they can help your business leverage technology without risking sensitive personal and business process data.

Encrypt backup media – To reduce the risk of data theft due to the disappearance or loss of tape storage media, Gartner recommends the use of encryption. Depending on the storage infrastructure used, it could be either an encryption box or a software solution.

Secure workstations – One of the primary missions of the RSSI is the control of the computer fleet, both landlines, and laptops, particularly in terms of security updates. The manager will have to make sure to upgrade the security environments associated with them (firewall, antivirus, antispyware, etc.) and supervise the use of portable recording media, such as USB keys and CD-ROM, as well as that of access to the IS from remote machines.

Implement database control – Set up a Database Activity Monitoring (DAM) system. Deploy a solution that monitors database activity, generating alerts in the event of suspicious behavior. This can limit operating errors, block attacks and ensure a clear separation of roles between administrators in particular.

Read more: Healthcare Data Security: Ways to Safeguard Private Health Information

Ensure policy compliance – If a disgruntled employee or a malicious contractor decides to steal confidential company data, there’s little you can do to stop it. To prove that you comply with most standards, it is your responsibility to, at least, do what your peers are doing, which is to reduce your exposure as much as possible.

Whether it’s a minor inconvenience or a significant financial disruption, a data leak is a matter of great concern. Depending on the nature of the data lost, consequences could include loss of revenue and a tarnished company reputation. Use the above tips to reduce the risk of data leaks in your enterprise. If you’re curious to learn more about data security and best practices for protecting your data from a panel of cyber intelligence experts, join us on Thursday, May 27th at 11am PT for our Demystifying Data Security webinar. Register now!

Johannes Beekman

About the author

Our CEO has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing in the high-tech industry. Johannes has worked for 25 years in the semiconductor industry, where he worked for Philips, Infineon, and Sematech in various management positions in process development, engineering, operations, and sales and marketing. While working for Philips, he was an engineering manager in 2 wafer fab startups. And while at Sematech, he managed various international technical symposia. He has built 3 successful digital marketing companies in the past 8 years. His focus is marketing integration, marketing technology, SEO, and inbound and outbound marketing. And he has developed a content creation system that uses the AIDA model to develop content for every stage of the sales funnel. Johannes has experience working with companies in manufacturing, the high-tech industry, process industry, IT, healthcare, and legal industry, and he has published on several trade-focused websites.


cybersecurity, data backup, data security, IoT Security, network security

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