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Data Loss Prevention: How Companies Could Secure Their Data

DLP helps organizations prevent data loss. Cyber attackers use malware, phishing and smishing to steal sensitive information from organizations. Departing employees may want to expose company information to competitors or publicize it, and DLP policies can help stop them. DLP tools track sensitive data at rest and in transit. They can also detect insider threats and protect intellectual property.


Whether ransomware, hackers or disgruntled employees, data breaches have become common and devastating. Cybercriminals are continually inventing new ways to steal information or cause disruptions. DLP can help you stop the flow of confidential information into malicious hands by detecting and blocking the movement of sensitive data across your network, cloud infrastructure and internal “endpoint” devices.

DLP solutions scan and analyze unstructured data and structured files to identify and block sensitive information. Depending on the product, the software may use a pre-configured or customized taxonomy to identify and classify confidential, personally identifiable information (PII), financial or regulated data. Some products also allow content owners to visually evaluate certain data types and select and customize their categories.

In addition to securing data in motion, DLP solutions can protect archived organizational data and ensure data on employee endpoint devices. Some systems can even identify if sensitive data is being sent to external parties, flag that activity and alert security teams. Choosing the right solution isn’t as simple as “set it and forget it.”

The technology must be constantly adjusted to match evolving threats, and employees must also receive education and training to identify and avoid sensitive information leaks. The finest DLP security software has sophisticated detection capabilities that employ machine learning and behavioral analytics to identify abnormal behavior that could result in a data breach.


Many compliance regulations, like GDPR for personal information and HIPAA for protected health data, require companies to have DLP strategies and tools to prevent unauthorized access and exfiltration.

DLP enables you to tag and classify sensitive data, monitor activities and events surrounding it and take action when violations are detected. It can also automate incident response workflows and reporting, reducing the workload on IT teams and improving efficiency.

DLP solutions are designed to protect all kinds of information in motion and at rest, whether on a network, email, or employee device. For instance, technology installed at the network edge can analyze traffic to detect information sent outside the organization violating security policies. It can include sensitive information such as 16-digit credit card numbers, 9-digit U.S. social security numbers or other personally identifiable information, IP addresses and other organizational data.

DLP can also secure data at rest by encrypting files stored on servers and endpoints so that even if hackers can access the file, they won’t be able to read it. This feature is especially useful in reducing the risk of sensitive information leaving the organization through accidental sharing by employees. In addition, it’s important to develop and implement success metrics for your DLP program to measure your efforts’ effectiveness and share reports with business leaders.

Business Operations

DLP can help your organization with operations and business management by securing information at the file level, whether it’s in the cloud or on user devices. It can prevent data breaches that can result in fines from regulators, and it will protect you if employees accidentally lose sensitive files and other information.

DLP solutions can encrypt information in transit, secure data at rest on endpoint computers, and scan for sensitive information on portable devices. These are important features because many companies allow employees to work from home and on their mobile devices. And a recent survey found that more than half of respondents have been victims of ransom ware, malicious software that hijacks a computer and demands payment to regain control.

To make the most of your DLP solution, clearly define your critical data and how much damage it would cause if lost or stolen. Then you can create a classification framework that helps the tool discover and automatically classify files as sensitive to control their egress. You should also regularly review and test your DLP tools to see how they perform with new threats, tactics and techniques. It is especially important as the DLP capabilities available on the market continue to evolve.


As regulations on personally identifiable information (PII), healthcare data, financial details, and intellectual property become more stringent, businesses must take extra measures to secure sensitive information. DLP solutions can help by classifying, tagging, and monitoring sensitive data, allowing organizations to set policies that match their needs.

Using network DLP, businesses can scan files to identify sensitive information, which is then blocked from leaving the corporate network through email or USB transfer. It prevents malicious attackers from accessing information and violating compliance regulations.

Additionally, endpoint DLP solutions can scan for data at rest on computers company-wide and block unauthorized transfers to external devices. It protects against internal data breaches, which can occur from disgruntled employees or accidental mishaps. As with any security measure, building a strong case for DLP with leaders within your organization is important.

It will ensure that the solution is a priority and will be well-managed. It also helps if these individuals are engaged throughout the process to understand how DLP will impact their central business activities. Having leaders from engineering, operations, HR, legal, and marketing involved can make getting buy-in for DLP implementation easier and help mitigate issues as they arise.

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