Data is the lifeline that fuels everything in the business world in the digital age.
The economy lives and breathes on data gathered from customers, clients, and owners alike. But have you ever wondered what will happen to your company if data suddenly becomes unavailable?
Data loss often stems from system failure, data corruption, human error, or natural disaster. However, the most common plaintiffs are cybercriminals who do their best to commit cyberattacks such as data breaches and frauds.
Nonetheless, it can be detrimental to your business — it may even lead to bankruptcy and a halt to your operations.
And in recent times, most companies have adapted cloud-based SaaS applications. These range from Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Salesforce. They aim to improve the workflow for remote-based employees significantly as COVID-19 rose in 2020. However, although cloud-based applications lead to efficient team collaboration, it’s important to note that the cloud isn’t immune to data loss.
The HIPAA Journal reported that 70% of companies have already suffered from public cloud data breaches in 2020. And to help businesses from being attacked by cybercriminals, the use of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) strategies has become an essential aspect of running a business.
What is DLP?
DLP is a multifaceted approach that combines processes, technologies, and strategies to prevent data leaks. The main goal is to prevent an organization’s sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands. In fact, it protects data while in use, in motion, and at rest.
Data In Use
Securing data in endpoints, applications, or other platforms where it’s being processed. It’s typically processed by authenticating users while controlling access to private information.
Data In Motion
Protecting confidential data while in transit across a network using data encryption technology. It may also refer to data transfer using email or other messaging security tools.
Data At Rest
Securing data stored in databases, cloud-based storage, and other storage mediums by using a combination of encryption, access control, and data retention standards.
4 DLP Strategies To Combat Cyberattacks
1. Employee Education On Cybersecurity
One of the most crucial vulnerabilities that play in terms of cybersecurity and data protection is human error. Although those with higher positions hold more responsibility, even regular workers shouldn’t be overlooked, especially remote workers.
Remember: everyone in the company has access to company data. So, if their work laptop, tablet, or mobile device gets stolen, sensitive company information might get leaked.
With this in mind, both small and large companies must educate employees regarding proper DLP strategies and compliance. To do this, adequate training and detailed guidelines should be implemented across the entire company. In addition, by setting clear and compelling data loss prevention policies, your employees will have a helpful guide on how to protect data.
2. Track Data Properly
Another DLP strategy to impose is identifying where data is, where it’s going, and how it’s being used. For example, larger corporations invest in DLP tools such as Endpoint Protector. It scans the entire company network to monitor sensitive data, allowing IT experts to interpret their movement.
So, by accurately tracking the data lifecycle and the associated cybersecurity risks, your organization can make intelligent decisions. Moreover, you’ll know how to protect your data correctly because you know how it’s moving.
If you ever find data in unauthorized locations, you’ll have the choice to delete or encrypt it for safety purposes.
3. Data Encryption Across All Platforms And Devices
For maximum safety against cyberattacks, data encryption would be an excellent DLP strategy. It’s an essential step that will protect your company from data breaches. So, you should implement encryption of USBs, hard drives, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other devices used for work before transferring data to the cloud.
Data encryption is a simple fix for two common data protection concerns in this day and age: remote working and employees’ instant movement. In case of theft, loss, or other concerns regarding loss of work devices, your data won’t be accessible to people outside your company.
4. Implement Strong BYOD Policies
Nowadays, companies are slowly embracing bring-your-own-device policies to promote productivity and reduce costs. However, it’s important to note that some DLP security measures are to be taken along with this policy. Using personal devices means that company data is traveling outside the confines of a company’s database. In this case, it’s already a security hazard that the company must take care of.
Nowadays, organizations restrict data that users can transfer outside the company circle. At the same time, you may also apply device control policies to ensure that only secure devices can be used. This way, your employees are given a chance to align their personal devices’ security with the company standard.
As the world moves into the age of data protection by default and by design, all businesses, small or large, must implement DLP strategies to protect their company information. Moreover, HIPAA regulations require companies to protect data at all costs not to compromise their credibility.
With this, you should constantly evaluate potential security hazards and apply proper DLP strategies to eradicate them in the future. By following the strategies provided on this list, you’ll be a few steps ahead of cyberattacks.