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Five reasons why Data Loss Prevention has to be taken seriously

Enterprises in India are spending more on information security each year and are keenly looking at innovative tools to defend themselves from cyber attacks and threats.

September 23, 2019 / 08:00 PM IST

Filip Cotfas

India is rapidly transforming into a digital society and protecting the constantly growing amount of sensitive data has become an essential question for all organizations. A Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution proves to be one of the key components to protect confidential information, as it helps organizations to keep close tabs on when, where and how data moves in and out of their networks.

Enterprises in India are spending more on information security each year and are keenly looking at innovative tools to defend themselves from cyber attacks and threats. Let’s check the main reasons why DLP solutions are a vital part of every organizations’ data protection arsenal.

Growing Amount of Data

Data has become one of the most valuable and vulnerable assets of enterprises. Safeguarding it has to be of paramount importance to any organization nowadays, given the high risks associated with the failure to protect data as an asset. Security has to shift towards a data-centric approach, involving a switch from securing networks, applications and endpoints to identifying, controlling and securing data.

A comprehensive strategy involves data loss prevention solutions that aim to prevent sensitive data and confidential information from being stored, used, or transferred insecurely. Organizations can set specific rules, at a very granular level, about data access and movement. The protection of sensitive data at rest, in-transit, and on endpoints can be assured, thus reducing the likelihood of data theft or unauthorized exposure.

Rising Costs of Data Breaches

Data protection has always been a concern for organizations and a host of factors have made DLP an even more important tool. Among these factors are data breaches and leaks that have become some of the most prevalent cybersecurity issues worldwide.

In the past years, security incidents in India included several leakages of Aadhaar numbers, databases of medical records as well as financial data. Data has an increasing value and costs of breaches are getting higher on a global level. DLP products can help organizations in decreasing the risks of data leaks by discovering, monitoring, controlling, and securing sensitive data.

Insider Threats

Although organizations place significant emphasis on keeping out external threats, insider risks are likely to pose an even greater threat. The volume and frequency of security breaches caused by disgruntled, careless or negligent insiders have risen significantly in recent times. Regardless of the intentions, a breach can cause financial and reputational harm to organizations. According to The Ponemon Institute’s report, “2018 Cost of Insider Threats: Global” the average cost of an insider threat annually is $8.76 million.

While these risks cannot be completely eliminated, with the right strategies and solutions they can be minimized. Training and awareness are essential tactics for thwarting insider threats; deploying a DLP solution can further help businesses to mitigate these risks. Organizations can monitor communication channels (ports, protocols or storage locations) and prevent certain data from leaving the corporate perimeter based on predefined rules.

Emergence of BYOD

The BYOD trend (Bring Your Own Device) is prevalent in the workforce, as it helps to increase productivity and decrease costs; however, it also represents a major security concern for businesses. As in many cases, employees aren’t tied to an office desktop anymore, the devices and security measures used throughout an organization have an essential role in enabling safe, efficient remote work.

With complete endpoint monitoring, DLP technologies can prevent employees, third-party vendors, and contractors from intentionally or inadvertently leaking data. Sensitive data can be scanned, encrypted or deleted remotely when found or blocked from being transferred.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance

With the worldwide emergence of data protection laws and regulations, such as GDPR, CCPA or PCI DSS, it is clear that across countries and industries, a greater emphasis is put on safeguarding sensitive information, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Intellectual Property (IP). Organizations now have to keep up with the ever-evolving data protection policies; not protecting these assets can cause both reputational and financial risk. India’s proposed Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 (PDPB) is modeled after the GDPR and changes the basic rules for companies to collect data from Indian citizens while offering a comprehensive data protection framework.

DLP products can help organizations in different industries to comply with required regulations by protecting sensitive data wherever it lives. Policies can be created in order to prevent unwanted breaches due to employee negligence or malicious intent. With such a solution, organizations can get insights about which users are transferring confidential data, detect where the data goes as well as restrict data movement.

The author is Channel Manager at CoSoSys, a leading developer of endpoint centric Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions and security software.

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first published: Sep 23, 2019 08:00 pm