Why you need cloud data loss prevention in your cybersecurity tech stack
Here, we’ll discuss what cloud DLP is, the benefits of configuring it for your organization’s cloud apps. Finally, we’ll take a look at the key features you should look for in a cloud DLP platform.
What is Cloud DLP?
Data loss prevention is a strategy for ensuring that sensitive and protected information does not leave the organization’s network. Data loss can happen both accidentally and maliciously, from both internal and external users.
Cloud DLP is simply a strategy for protecting your data stored in the cloud. Cloud DLP is different than traditional forms of data loss prevention methods because your data is being stored in the cloud, rather than on-premise on a hard drive or local server. Simply put, this means that your data is not being stored within your network. Therefore, traditional network or perimeter security technology doesn’t protect it.
Benefits of using Cloud Data Loss Prevention
If your organization is storing data and/or communicating using cloud SaaS apps, you need cloud DLP. There are many benefits to using cloud DLP over perimeter-based security. These benefits include:
- Deep integration with cloud apps like G Suite and Office 365 using APIs, making it a near-native security feature of the apps your team uses
- Ability to audit existing data and classify it into set categories of sensitivity and protection
- Scan and classify new data as it is created or uploaded
- Monitor and act on risks 24/7, even as you and/or your security team sleeps
- Enforce data loss prevention policies 24/7, giving you and your team greater peace of mind
- Get administrator alerts when there is a DLP policy violation, so your team can investigate the source if necessary
Key Features for Cloud DLP Platforms
There are several cloud data loss prevention software options available on the market. So, how do you know which one is right for you?
There are several key features that are important to have in your cloud data loss prevention tools. They are:
1. Pre-built and customizable DLP policies
Pre-built or out-of-the-box DLP policies save you time, and ensure that you’re using data loss prevention best practices. But, no two organizations are alike, so you will also need the ability to adjust policies and easily build customizable ones from scratch.
2. Content and context aware DLP
Every cloud DLP platform available uses content aware DLP technology. This basically means that it’s scanning for key terms and/or text strings (including numbers) that have been set up as “rules” for the policy to follow. For example, content aware DLP will scan and find a set of 9 numbers and flag it as a social security number.
Context aware DLP can recognize other information around those 9 digits to help it determine if it is indeed a social security number in need of protection.
3. Machine learning
Machine learning is more than just a buzzword—and it’s critical in data security. Platforms that use machine learning allow the technology to continually get smarter about what should and should not be flagged as policy violations.
Machine learning technology in cloud DLP significantly reduces the number of false positives in the system. It also improves the platform’s ability to recognize more complicated data loss scenarios. Cloud DLP that uses machine learning continually gets better as time goes on—providing you with more bang for your buck!
4. Alerts and notifications
Believe it or not, you will want a cloud DLP solution that allows you to set administrator alerts and user notifications. While the sheer number of alerts can be overwhelming for some, it’s important to know when there is a policy violation so you can investigate.
DLP notifications are also helpful for two main reasons. First, they inform the user that they have violated a policy, so that user knows what happened to their communication and/or file. Second, notifications can help educate users about safe data handling practices to (hopefully) reduce the number of incidents in the future.
5. Automated actions
No cloud DLP platform is worth it if it can’t take some kind of action on the problem when a policy is violated. Even information security people need to sleep!
Beyond simply being alerted that a DLP policy has been violated, there are several types of actions you may want the tool to take. If you can set the policy to delete, unshare, quarantine, unsanction, and more you are going to save yourself a ton of time.
If your organization is creating, storing, and/or sharing information in the cloud, you need a cloud DLP solution. You will need a solution that can automate the majority of the work it takes to monitor, audit, and control what is occurring in your cloud apps. Save yourself a ton of time and effort by choosing a DLP solution that is built for the cloud, and is integrated with the cloud apps your team uses.