What is Data Loss Prevention (DLP): How it Works, Benefits and Types

Published on 15 March 2024

Data Loss Prevention, what it is, how it works, benefits and types

In an era where data is a very valuable asset, data security has become a top priority for every company. This is inseparable from increasingly complex and diverse cyber-attacks making it increasingly difficult for companies to protect important data. 

To overcome this, Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is present as a very important solution for companies to protect their sensitive data from leaks or unauthorized use. 

By implementing DLP, companies can increase their level of internal security awareness and improve their ability to respond to security threats quickly and efficiently. So, what is Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and why do companies need DLP to ensure the security of company data? The following is a complete explanation. 

What is Data Loss Prevention (DLP)?

DLP (Data Loss Prevention) detects, monitors and terminates data traffic and connections considered unauthorized by the company. DLP also prevents users from deleting sensitive company data, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Additionally, DLP can protect company data from external attacks and insecure networks. 

DLP aims to stop the flow of information from leaving the company’s computer network. This means that DLP ensures that the data sent can only be accessed by internal company parties or employees who have access to it. The information in question can include financial data, customer and employee information, data that is the company’s intellectual property rights, and so on. 

The DLP work process is based on the rules or policies created by the company to detect unauthorized data traffic. For example, your employees have access to sensitive company data, but may not share it with external parties. This policy makes DLP immediately stop employee activities that are considered violations. 

Reason Why Companies Need DLP

What is Data Loss Prevention

First, DLP helps companies prevent data leaks that can be caused by human error, such as sending emails to the wrong address or using unsafe social media. 

In addition, DLP also plays an important role in complying with applicable data security regulations and standards. Many regulations such as GDPR in Europe or HIPAA in the United States require companies to protect the personal data of customers and patients, thereby ensuring companies remain compliant with applicable legal regulations and avoid the consequences arising from data security breaches. 

Lastly, DLP helps companies manage internal and external risks related to data security. By monitoring and analyzing user behavior, as well as identifying strange patterns or suspicious activity, DLP can help detect cyberattacks or other security incidents more quickly. 

What are the Types of Data Threats?

Threats to data can come from various sources and take various forms. Here are some common types of data threats: 

Malware Attack

Malware is malicious software designed to damage, disrupt, or steal data from a computer system. Types of malwares include viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, and spyware. Malware can cause damage to data or systems, steal sensitive information, or block users’ access to their data. 

Phishing Attacks

Phishing is a fraudulent technique used by attackers to steal personal information or login credentials from users. Attackers often use fake emails or fake websites that resemble genuine sites to trick users into providing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, or financial information. 

Man in the Middle (MitM) Attack

A Man in the Middle attack occurs when an attacker positions themselves between two communicating parties and intercepts or manipulates the data sent between the two. Attackers can use this technique to steal sensitive information or change transmitted data without the knowledge of either party. 

DDoS Attack

Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks aim to make a service or website unavailable to legitimate users by flooding network or server resources with unauthorized internet traffic. This can disrupt the company’s normal operations and result in financial losses. 

Insider Threat Attack

Insider threats occur when employees, former employees, or parties with internal access to company systems intentionally or unintentionally steal, damage, or disclose sensitive data. These threats can come from carelessness, indifference, or malicious intent. 

Zero-Day Attack

Zero-Day attacks occur when attackers exploit vulnerabilities in software or systems that are unknown or have not yet been patched. This allows an attacker to launch an attack before the software or security system manufacturer has developed and released a patch to fix the vulnerability. 

Being aware and understanding of these different types of data threats is important for designing an effective DLP (Data Loss Prevention) strategy. So, what is DLP? Here’s the review. 

What Types of DLP Can Companies Implement?

1. Network DLP

This type of DLP monitors data flows across corporate networks, including email, file transfers, and other communications. Network DLP can prevent data leaks by blocking or encrypting data that violates established security policies. 

2. DLP Endpoint

This DLP focuses on endpoint devices such as laptops, desktops and mobile devices. DLP endpoints protect sensitive data by controlling access, encrypting data, and detecting suspicious activity on user devices. 

3. DLP Cloud

Specifically designed to protect data stored and processed in cloud environments such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. It allows companies to monitor and secure their data stored in the cloud by implementing the same security policies as those used in on-premises infrastructure. 

4. DLP Email

Email DLP can monitor email messages for sensitive content, encrypt attachments, and prevent sending emails containing confidential information to unauthorized addresses. 

5. DLP Applications and Databases

DLP can also be applied at the application and database levels to protect sensitive data stored and accessed by business applications or database management systems. This DLP can prevent unauthorized access, encrypt data, and monitor user activity in applications or databases. 

Each type of DLP has a different role and focus, but often companies choose to implement a combination of several types of DLP to provide comprehensive protection for their sensitive data. 

After understanding the meaning and types of DLP, to understand more details about DLP, it’s a good idea to understand how DLP works. 

Also read: Get to know Cloud Data Loss Prevention and Strategies for Anticipating Data Loss in the Cloud 

How Does DLP Work? 

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) works in a complex yet organized way to detect, protect, and secure sensitive data from leaks or unauthorized use. 

Here are some general stages of how DLP works: 

1. Identify Sensitive Data

The first step in how DLP works is identifying the sensitive data that needs to be protected. This may include personal information such as identification numbers, financial information such as credit card numbers, or confidential company data such as product designs or strategic plans. 

2. Supervision and Monitoring

DLP monitors data flow inside and outside the corporate network. This can include emails, file transfers, chat conversations, and other activities. DLP uses various techniques such as content inspection, pattern analysis, and access blocking to identify potential security breaches. 

3. Violation Detection

Once sensitive data is identified and monitoring begins, DLP works to detect behavior or actions that violate established security policies. This may include attempts to unlawfully transfer sensitive data, attempted access from unauthorized locations, or activity that represents a security threat. 

4. Security Measures

Once a security breach is detected, DLP stops or blocks the unauthorized action. This could be blocking data transfer, providing warnings to users, or automatically deleting sensitive information. 

5. Reporting and Auditing

Lastly, DLP provides comprehensive reports on security activities occurring within the network. This allows security teams to analyze threat patterns, evaluate the effectiveness of security policies, and fix detected security gaps. 

5 Benefits of DLP for Business

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions offer many significant benefits to companies in their efforts to protect sensitive data. Here are some of the key benefits of implementing a DLP solution: 

1. Sensitive Data Protection

DLP enables companies to identify, monitor, and control the movement of sensitive data inside and outside their networks. This helps prevent unauthorized access, or unauthorized data transfer. 

2. Regulatory Compliance

Help companies comply with various applicable data security regulations and standards, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS. 

3. Increased Security Awareness

Helps increase user awareness and understanding of company data security policies. 

4. Early Detection of Threats

Analyzing user behavior and identifying strange patterns or suspicious activity, DLP allows companies to respond quickly and reduce the impact of security attacks. 

5. Increased Operational Efficiency

Helps improve operational efficiency by automating the process of monitoring, detecting, and responding to security events. 

Also read: Cloud Backup: Definition, How it Works and Examples of Application 

The Best DLP Solution from CDT to Overcome Company Data Loss Risk

With deep awareness of the challenges faced, CDT recommends a combination of effective solutions to ensure successful implementation of Data Loss Prevention (DLP). CDT’s Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions include two main platforms, namely Zscaler Data Loss Prevention and Hitachi Vantara Data Protection. Here is a summary of each platform: 

Zscaler Data Loss Prevention

Zscaler Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is one of the Data Loss Prevention solutions recommended by Central Data Technology (CDT). Zscaler DLP is designed to help companies close security gaps resulting from increased cloud usage and mobility, whether due to vulnerabilities or incorrect configurations. 

  Zscaler Data Loss Prevention

Source: Zscaler Data Loss Prevention 

One of the main advantages of Zscaler DLP is that it is completely cloud-based (100% cloud-delivered), meaning there is no need to add additional hardware to an already complex infrastructure. 

Additionally, some of the key features and benefits of Zscaler DLP include: 

  • Identical protection, regardless of user location and data 
  • Protection across the internet, endpoints, email, SaaS, private applications, and cloud posture 
  • Scalable SSL inspection 
  • Simplified workflows and ML-powered operations 
  • Zero Configuration Data Protection, to get visibility into all company data 

Hitachi Vantara Data Protection

Hitachi Vantara Data Protection is a leading cloud object storage solution, enabling businesses to store, secure and protect backup data at unlimited scale cost-effectively and reliably. 

These solutions improve your approach to data protection by addressing data complexity and risks, such as: 

  • Continuous Availability and Compliance 

Ensure your business can operate again without interruption when a data-threatening event occurs. 

  • Better Data Backup 

Through integrated solutions, helping you leverage data backup for audit, discovery, analysis and business processes. 

  • Protection Against Ransomware Attacks 

Our advanced technology in storage systems prevents modification or deletion of backup data, enabling data recovery without paying a ransom in the event of an attack. 

As such, both solutions offer a holistic approach to effective data protection, both through advanced DLP risk management and secure, scalable data storage. 

Consult the Best DLP Solution for Your Business with the CDT Team

It’s time to use Zscaler Data Loss Prevention and Hitachi Vantara Data Protection which offers comprehensive security, exceptional user experience, and has 150 data centers worldwide, so your company can detect cyber-attacks on data effectively. 

For further information regarding implementing Zscaler and Hitachi Vantara solutions in your business, don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking the following link 

Author: Ary Adianto 

CTI Group Content Writers 

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