“Security Is More Than Just Anti-virus: Inbound Protection Isn't Enough”
Have you heard about "giant security breach" at an online marketing firm, where the names and email addresses of customers of some of the nation's largest companies—including JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Target and Walgreens—fell into the hands of hackers? It is just one in a seemingly endless stream of high-profile data breaches that are providing a wake-up call for chief technology officers and corporate legal departments everywhere.
Data volume has been growing exponentially, dramatically increasing opportunities for theft and accidental disclosure of sensitive information. In the past, the amount of data doubled every four years. According to CIO Magazine, the amount of data now doubles every two years. These facts, along with rise in the portability of data, employee mobility and penalties for failing to comply with data protection regulations raise the question: “What more can organizations do to protect themselves and their stakeholders?” The answer may be data loss prevention (DLP).
DLP identifies, monitors and protects data in use, data in motion on your network, and data at rest in your data storage area or on desktops, laptops, mobile phones or tablets. Through deep content inspection and a contextual security analysis of transactions, DLP systems act as enforcers of data security policies. They provide a centralized management framework designed to detect and prevent the unauthorized use and transmission of your confidential information. DLP protects against mistakes that lead to data leaks and intentional misuse by insiders, as well as external attacks on your information infrastructure.
The loss of sensitive data and other forms of enterprise information can lead to significant financial losses and reputational damage. While many companies are aware of these dangers and data protection has become a popular topic, enterprise adoption of DLP has been low. Many organizations aren’t familiar with content-aware technologies and don’t fully understand the business case for DLP initiatives. With this context in mind, I have outlined few reasons, why does an organization require data loss prevention?
Protection of Confidential data:
DLP technology provides IT and security staff with a 360-degree view of the location, flow and usage of data across the enterprise. It checks network actions against your organization’s security policies, and allows you to protect and control sensitive data, including customer information, personally identifiable information (PII), financial data and intellectual property. With a thorough understanding of this data, your organization can set the appropriate policies to protect it, and make risk-prioritized decisions about what assets need to be protected and at what cost.
Protection against theft and accidental disclosure:
Not all data loss is the result of external, malicious attacks. The inadvertent disclosure or mishandling of confidential data by internal employees is a significant factor. DLP can detect files that contain confidential information and prevent them from leaving via the network. It can block sensitive data transfers to Universal Serial Bus (USB) drivesand other removable media. DLP also offers the ability to apply policies that safeguard data on a case-to-case basis. For example, if a security event is detected, access to a specific workstation can be blocked instantly. Policies can also quarantine or encrypt data in real-time response to events.
Maintaining compliance and complex regulation:
More than 50 countries have enacted data protection laws that require organizations in both public and private sectors to safeguard sensitive information. Penalties for noncompliance with strict privacy regulations and breach notification lawscontinue to grow. Requirements reach beyond the simple provision of written policies to prove compliance. Technology controls are becoming necessary to achieve compliance in certain areas. DLP provides these controls, as well as policy templates and maps that address specific requirements, automate compliance, and enable the collection and reporting of metrics.
4. Protection of proprietary information:
Many employees are turning to social networking, instant messaging and other Web 2.0 applications to keep up with consumer trends. DLP helps prevent the accidental exposure of confidential information across these unsecure lines of communication while at the same time keeping it open for appropriate use. With the proliferation of mobile devices and employees working remotely, corporate data increasingly resides both in and outside of the organization. Wherever data lives in transit on the network, at rest in storage, or in use on a laptop or smartphone, DLP can monitor it and significantly reduce the risk of data loss.
Close Monitoring of disgruntle employee and maintain forensic data for evidence:
Insiders represent a significant risk to data security. An employee who emails a work-related document to his personal account in order to work over the weekend may have good intentions. However, he or she poses a tremendous threat when there is confidential data involved. DLP technology offers 360-degree monitoring that includes email (both corporate accounts and webmail), instant messages, keystrokes typed, documents accessed and software applications used. It also allows you to capture and archive evidence of incidents for forensic analysis. With DLP, you can limit and filter web-surfing, and control which applications employees can access. It is an invaluable tool in the effort to stop dangerous or time-wasting activities, and helps to detect problems before they can damage your business.
Protection of cloud applications and storage:
Large amounts of data are being moved to applications in the cloud —an environment in which it is not apparent where data will be physically stored and processed. Protecting sensitive information in virtual and cloud models is critical. DLP recognizes confidential data and automates its encryption at rest, in motion and in use, preventing its transmission to third-party infrastructures.
7. Endpoint Protection:
DLP technology monitors all endpoint activity—whether on smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops, on the corporate network or outside. It can block emails or attachments containing confidential data, enforce policies on the transfer of data to removable media devices such as USB thumb drives, and even prevent activities such as printing, copying and pasting. DLP offers complete data visibility and control, ensuring that employees, third-party vendors, contractors and partners are prevented from leaking your data—intentionally or inadvertently.
8. Automate organization overall governance and compliance:
DLP capabilities for the enforcement and automation of corporate policies and processes can help improve technical and organizational efficiencies, promote compliance, and provide methods for more comprehensive information governance. DLP provides up-to date policy templates and maps that address specific requirements, automate compliance, and enable the collection and reporting of metrics. When a policy need is identified, DLP can make the change simply by enabling an appropriate policy template on your system.
9. Increase competitive advantage to gain brand value and reputation:
When organizations fail to take the necessary steps to identify sensitive data and protect it from loss or misuse, they are risking their ability to compete. Whether it’s a targeted attack or an inadvertent mistake, confidential data loss can diminish a company’s brand, reduce shareholder value, and irreparably damage the company’s reputation. DLP enables the protection of valuable trade secrets and other vital intelligence, and helps to prevent the negative publicity and loss of customers that inevitably follow data breaches.
Data Loss Prevention –Need: If you are surprised by how many of these requirements apply to your business, you are not alone. Many organizations don’t fully understand the benefits DLP offers. Developing a comprehensive data loss prevention strategy shouldn’t be an afterthought. DLP transforms sensitive data into an operational asset, and can prevent your organization from making the wrong kind of headlines. “Security Is More Than Just Anti-virus: Inbound Protection Isn't Enough”
So what is your opinion?