November 16, 2012
Every day the world becomes more dependent on computers as a means of storing data. Both businesses and private individuals store large amounts of information on their desktops, laptops and portable tablets, and if anything bad happened that resulted in the loss of that data, the consequences would be absolutely disastrous. The same holds true if an unauthorized user gets hold of the information as he can then distribute it to real or potential competitors, to the detriment of the business. According to the Verizon Data Breach Report over 80 percent of all enterprises have had a data breaches in the course of their existence. IT consulting can help improve your businesses online security to help prevent breaches and data loss.
For that reason it is crucial that every business have a system in place for detecting such events and preventing them from ever occurring. The real challenge in setting up a DLP system is in making sure that it does its duty without restricting the ability of authorized personnel to access and use information. The paragraphs below outline the procedures to follow to protect the system against data loss and leaks.
A distinction must be made between a data loss, in which the data is simply erased from the machines on which it was stored, and a data leak, in which it also falls into the hands of an unauthorized party. Hiring a proficient IT consulting team is important when handling digital security, just like how hiring a business and marketing consulting team is important to marketing trends.
Data loss prevention software
Many software companies specialize in designing data loss prevention programs to detect potential breaches and monitor data. The means by which they carry out these operations may be divided into four groups according to the level of protection that they provide:
- Standard Security Measures—These include the ones that we are all familiar with—firewalls, antivirus software and the like.
- Advanced—The more advanced measures include using algorithms to detect malicious emails and data access attempts deemed “abnormal.” Such tactics include the use of “honeypots” to trap attempts by authorized personnel whose intentions go against the company’s best interests.
- Access Control and Encryption—prevention of unauthorized access of machine data
- designated DLP solutions—prevention of attempts to duplicate data and send it out, even unintentionally, by authorized users.
There are also numerous types of DLP systems, each of which has its own methods of detection and prevention. For example, data leak detection can be used to determine whether a data leak was caused by one a third parties to which the data had been. File-level DLP identifies the files with sensitive information in them and embeds the information security policy in them so that it goes with the files whether they are sent or downloaded in whole or in part.
Typical DLP software is designed to assist your IT consulting firm in the following:
- block malware, spam and threats of data loss
- secure documents, emails, spreadsheets and other “unstructured” data on a computer network
- create an inventory of sensitive information
- automatically enforce security measures and manage data cleanups
- use a unified platform to accurately detect content
- define universal policies and deploy them all across the company
A data loss and leak prevention system can be not only efficient but flexible—it can detect real and potential threats to sensitive data, either directly or through the use of algorithms, and can be updated to meet the latest threats.
Fergal Glynn is the Director of Product Marketing at Veracode, an award-winning application security company specializing in data loss prevention from veracode, injection security solutions, and other security breaches with effective risk assessment tools.