The evolving need for liability protection and DLP solutions
When you think about business value today, what do you imagine? Total capital? Liquid assets? Or, have you considered the amount of data it possesses?
What dictates value in the modern digital era has greatly shifted. It’s no longer perceived capital or current holdings. In fact, one can argue today’s most valuable asset is information and data. Knowledge is power, after all, and the knowledge to steer your enterprise is indeed a strength.
Today, information goes well beyond knowing your client or customer name. It grants valuable insights like demographics, peak active times for websites, pricing structures, automated solutions, and methods to fine tune every process of an enterprise’s production model.
But with this fine tuning and surge of “data lakes,” so too is another problem: third-party threats. You don’t have to look far to see the constant barrage of phishing schemes, malware campaigns, and ransomware attacks to know there are hackers after this precious information. Because that data is so precious, hackers use it against their targets for leverage to extract a demanded ransom.
In many cases, this results in unfortunate data loss. But, even if it’s not caused by an attacker, data loss is a serious reality. Infrastructure failure and human error can lead to abrupt loss of information. For these reasons, many consider DLP – or data loss protection – as a solution.
What is DLP?
DLP is data loss protection, and as the phrasing suggests, it’s about guarding your information against loss. Whether that loss is caused by fraud, threat, or error, DLP covers all areas of loss.
However, DLP isn’t just a catch all for generic data recovery. There are different platforms which address and identify problems and work to protect against information loss. What determines the “platform” is generally the client(s), size of the data cache, and the threat factors facing said data.
It’s crucial to know the ideal type of DLP if you’re looking to shield your data from loss. To figure that out, we’ll break them down.
There are at least three formats of data loss protection, as follows:
- Integral DLP
- Enterprise DLP
- Cloud Based DLP (or Cloud Service Provider DLP)
As you can imagine, they’re not all the same. If you want to utilize DLP solutions, you have to select the model best fitting your organization’s size and needs.
To understand them, we’ll explain them each further.
Integrated Data Loss Prevention (IDLP)
This format of DLP is built on existing cybersecurity measures, or on top of security-based products/services. The primary advantage of an IDLP is agility, meaning its easier to setup and utilize than other DLP solutions.
The drawback is the IDLP’s use, or more specifically, lack thereof. Features are limited to the software’s capabilities, so those looking for expansive features may not find what they’re looking for. DLP suites with integration also check specific forms of traffic, not all. Inspecting additional traffic flows may require additional products and apps, which creates partitioned and fragmented networks.
Enterprise Data Loss Prevention (EDLP)
Suited for larger organizations (thus the name, enterprise level) with monitoring for all traffic avenues. Operations as a standalone solution, meaning that while it handles the needs of larger company demands, it still needs additional tools to make full use of, adding to the “fractured network” dilemma.
Considerations for this DLP solution should be made. It’s considerably more expensive and a great deal more complex, since additional planning is needed. Operates with a single accessible platform, but said management platform is separate from other network security tools and services.
Cloud Based Data Loss Prevention (CBDLP)
Unsurprisingly, this DLP solution operates and is provided by a cloud-based model. This does mean it can virtualize services and scales as needed, with versatile backup options for shielding data. Of the three solutions, it’s one of the more accessible with a SaaS model.
The limitations are based on the provider, meaning it only analyzes traffic sent through the cloud platform. What it covers and its uses vary, but with the growing implementation of cloud solutions, we could see greater use of the CBDLP environment.
Which DLP solution is right for my enterprise?
And now we come to the most crucial question: what fits your organization best? You know that protecting data and potential loss is critically important. But, as you can read, even in brief, not every DLP toolset works for your needs. Understanding what works best means you need to know your organizational needs, budget concerns, and time bandwidth available for setting up a DLP solution.
To help, here are a few key things to remember:
- Enterprise level DLP is the best for widespread detection and offers the better coverage, but, it has larger cost demands and is difficult to set up/integrate
- The Integrated DLP models are inexpensive and simpler, but do not have the same coverage levels, and are more segregated since they require multiple tools and resources to fully utilize
- Cloud DLP is accessible and versatile but becomes increasingly difficult to utilize with additional cloud platforms onboarded (cloud also does not cover or account for third-party software/apps, aka Shadow IT)
Alternatives with SASE DLP
When standard data loss protection options don’t fit an organization model, some turn to what is known as “SASE DLP.”
SASE stands for Secure Access Service Edge. It’s an all-in-one security platform utilizing serve edge, SD-WAN, all to unify security functions into a single-use and accessible platform. The idea is to transfer that into DLP functionality.
Like other solutions, SASE is a platform offered by a provider. What toolsets and utilities are offered will depend on said provider, but typically, clients can expect full traffic coverage from a single accessible platform. Even then, however, your enterprise may prefer one of the previous DLP methods.
As information and data grow in value, as does our reliance on technology, the need to protect this information will always remain a critical point.