Communication, contact, and teamwork are being simpler than ever in the modern industry. But as we digitalize and run on the web, so does the need to protect information from sensitive business data leakage.
We operate remotely, access records on our devices, and check in when we are on the go with our colleagues and friends. Laptops, smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi networks, emails, all can be a victim of a cyberattack, and that’s far from the full list.
The prevalence of social networking and growing forms of online communication, along with the influx of new devices and media into the workplace—allows data theft in more ways than ever before.
Interconnected devices bloom in counts, and so do the points of a breach. Data safety is a luxury in every way. It is only fair to protect and upkeep data on various servers, directories, PCs, notebooks, USB sticks, and mobile devices spread through different networks, so where should strategy start??
In this guide, Advanced Firewall Solutions explores some of your options to cope with data leakage. To implement a breach reduction initiative, business needs to think strategically!
First, what does DLP (Data Leak Prevention) really mean?
Data leak prevention (DLP) is a set of techniques and policies to secure classified data from leaving company systems.
It applies to any method or mechanism that defines and monitors sensitive data’s trajectory. It defines any method, mechanism, or procedure that detects and monitors critical data trajectory and travel. DLP aims to stop unauthorized or accidental leaks or data exposure.
Nowadays, ever more businesses opt to implement DLP to preserve intellectual property, company, or client records.
However, because of technical difficulty, know-how complexity, and the workload to complete and manage such projects and processes end up neglected and unfinished. To prevent data leakage, you need to shut off all possible access points for a breach, and missing just one could cost you everything.
How does data leakage happen?
Breach of sensitive information happens in three ways:
- While your data transfers between parties – Stands for emails, chats, traffic on the web, ad, etc.
- When your data is stored in devices – Stands for cloud storage or physical disks.
- When middleman access date in use – Stands for video or audio recordings, printers,
At the enterprise level, you need to deconstruct each case, locate all data points where you store information, and categorize based on risk.
Set degrees of sensitivity and put the list in order. Only after understanding the data and threats are you able to implement safety protocols.
How can businesses protect confidential data?
1. Reliable encryption
All confidential data that exits on your systems should have quality encryption.
You would require specialized software to do besides relying entirely on staff. A single missing USB stick, notebook, or phone may be catastrophic to a business.
2. Endpoint data protection
A data endpoint is any device that staff use. You have desktops, tablets, smartphones, hard drives, everything. That’s where sensitive information and confidential data sit or travels.
Attackers may use endpoints to monitor machines and processes. Compromised devices allow cybercriminals to see who uses what, what does what, and what information was accessed or downloaded.
Businesses can still have protection protocols in effect that control how they are used. Employees keep confidential details on their smartphones and computers, such as addresses and records. Your protection policies can fix concerns such as login ambiguity, files saved, and screen locks.
3. Management of email data
Since consumers often email sensitive data and records, the medium holds a stronger tendency for data leakage, which makes spotting email phishing a must.
Screening of material requires profound content analysis to avoid and prevent the risk from email text, pictures, and files to flag potential leaks.
The filtering of contents can even alert insider threat administrators. Inform professionals if users attempt to submit sensitive data away from the organization.
4. Professional firewalls
Your details often pose a danger along with mobile, instant messaging (IM), and heavy Internet usage. Firewalls offer defense against the dangers of intrusion for individual devices and entire networks.
However, they may still enforce immediate automatic action against possible data breaches, improper logins, access, or malice. This happens by alarming system administrators or blocking all events. A well managed NGFW (next generation firewall) will prevent most of the threats coming from automatic attacks. Next generation firewals do not only detect where is the coming from/to, but inspect and analyze the packets for malicious code. Most next-gen firewalls, like Cisco, Palo Alto, Fortinet etc provide high security but require a professional service to tune and maintain.
5. System & device management
Most staff would have a modern phone at all times. In the context of data leak prevention (DLP), this ensures ways far simpler for workers to steal or leak sensitive info.
To restrict the risk, companies must have safety protocols for control on the use of personal computers for work. Password difficulty, installation guides, application instructions, and screen timeouts should all have a place in your cybersecurity strategy.
Without such procedures, confidential data is in danger as security is up to employees.
6. Evaluation of security access
Most organizations allow far greater access to employees than required.
That’s why we call the Zero-Trust policy to access copes with the matter. Zero faith implies that staff can only access data used regularly. This set of protocols limits the extent of breaches and prohibits staff from obtaining classified information.
Organizations should also trigger alerts to any events outside the Zero-Trust standards.
If workers behave out of the norm, a properly configured firewall should send warnings to managers and administrators.
- When vast quantities of records are viewed or downloaded.
- Or whether a consumer attempts to access records that are restricted.
- These are also indicators of a running script or an affected account.
7. Control print and paper documents
Since multi-function printers (MFPs) are normally unmonitored, they have a strong propensity for data leakage.
Requiring people to account for usage can minimize the risk of an informational breach. If using a user account and login system, you could restrict certain features and actions.
Such protocols can prevent people from leaving sensitive documents behind.
8. Protect data copies & backups
Safe-storing critical records is an essential aspect of doing business.
Backups, on the other hand, could be insecure as well. Although the original datasets are protected, access to secondary mirrors could leave confidential data exposed to theft and cyber attacks.
Copies can be encrypted in the same way as initial files are
Just bear in mind that mirroring systems are by no way exposed nor accessible via public endpoints.
This makes it far more difficult for data attackers to try to obtain an unlawful entry into your system.
9. Visuals can leak information, too
Graphical files, such as photos and videos, may contain classified information that business has to safeguard. It’s not only text files that pose risk to a data breach.
The proliferation of camera-equipped devices in the office, such as smartphones, makes leaking sensitive information a lot easier.
DLP technologies can analyze text inside images, avoiding data leakage.
10. Inform & educate staff
Organizations often presume that staff understands what is secrecy and sensitive information, and what isn’t.
However, data breaches are not necessarily intentional, and an individual might be unaware that his or her acts are placing confidential information and the company in danger.
It is useful to inform employees of the risks of data leakage as part of the onboarding process and down the road of duty.
Hold monthly meetings to guarantee that everybody is mindful and knows about the risks and up-to-date business policies.
An effective protection strategy would be well-defined and simple to comprehend.
Otherwise, staff would not follow it if not done in transparency. In its turn, employee responsibilities would remain unclear, which only poses more risk for informational leakage. Apart from