Data Leak Prevention: A Vital Part of Your Armor

According to a recent study, the projected cost of cybercrime to businesses by 2025 will be $10.5 trillion per year. With the worldwide massive increase in distributed workforces through remote working since 2020, it has never been more critical to protect your digital assets. Data leak prevention (DLP) is a vital part of this process.

DLP describes a series of steps organizations must take to prevent eventual data breaches. These steps can differ, depending on the enterprise and its systems. Smart DLP, however, also describes a feature that is an inbuilt part of the FileCloud architecture. Along with other FileCloud security features, Smart DLP helps to minimize the time and costs involved in taking the steps necessary to prevent data leaks.

Here we discuss how the two definitions of DLP interact, and how FileCloud’s Smart DLP feature can be of huge benefit to any organization’s overall DLP strategy.

What is Data Leak Prevention, in General?

When it comes to protecting your digital assets, data leak prevention is infinitely better than cure. It’s undoubtedly better and less costly to avoid a data breach than to deal with the headache of remediating one.

In the general definition, a data leak is a part of an overall system that is exposed, and therefore vulnerable to attack from cybercriminals. A data leak provides cybercriminals with a possible attack vector.

If a malicious actor becomes aware of a data leak before you do, this can quickly turn into a data breach scenario for your organization. For this reason, identifying data leaks before they become data breaches is vital to the ongoing viability of any business. Data breaches are not only financially costly, but they can also cause significant reputational damage to an organization.

What Causes Data Leaks?

The causes of data leaks are many and varied, and unfortunately, there is no shortage of bad actors waiting in the wings to exploit them. Data leaks are caused by various factors, from poorly configured software to staff who are untrained to spot social engineering attacks, such as phishing emails. These vulnerabilities can result in the loss of sensitive information, such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII) relating to customers, proprietary company information, and the valuable contents of internal analytics databases.

Cloud is Now the Norm, Posing Fresh Challenges

According to a 2022 report by Radware Ltd., 99% of companies now use either public or private cloud for their application deployments. This means that cloud security and cybersecurity are increasingly the exact same discipline.

Approximately 58% of organizations are deploying on multiple public cloud environments, and this figure is set to increase in the coming years. Multi-cloud deployments provide useful failover solutions for enterprises in the event of outages, but they also provide more scope for malicious actors to find and exploit data leaks.

The same Radware report found that:

  • 70% of businesses are negotiating security with a shortage of qualified cybersecurity staff.
  • 64% have a low level of trust in the security provisions of their public cloud providers.

All of this suggests a highly challenging current cybersecurity environment. While it’s true that multi-cloud deployments ensure business continuity in the event of an outage or attack on a cloud vendor, they can also make data leak prevention more challenging for organizations. Almost two-thirds of organizations have experienced a data breach because of the inconsistent cloud security provisions between different cloud vendors’ platforms.

Data Leaks: Handing Cybercriminals Attack Vectors on a Plate

An attack vector is a vulnerability in a system that provides cybercriminals with a potential route to enterprise assets containing valuable, sensitive information. Data leaks create attack vectors, leading to breaches. The average cost of a data breach in 2022 is $4.35 million. Potential attack vectors are many and varied, which means organizations’ cybersecurity strategies need to be equally multi-faceted, preferably employing a layered, defense-in-depth strategy.

Defense in depth is an approach to cybersecurity that is often compared to a Medieval castle. If an attacker breaches the outer layer (the moat), there are still various layers of physical, technical, and administrative controls they have not yet successfully penetrated.

How Can FileCloud Help with DLP?

Although many organizations are finding data leak prevention an increasingly complex process, FileCloud has multiple built-in features that are specifically designed to help.

Worldwide, organizations use FileCloud’s Smart DLP feature to protect highly sensitive information and achieve compliance objectives. It helps with:

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII) protection
  • Personal Health Information (PHI) protection
  • PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, and ITAR compliance

Applying Smart DLP in FileCloud

Applying Smart DLP to your sensitive data is a straightforward process. In the FileCloud Admin portal, under Governance -> Smart DLP, you go into the Smart DLP screen. There, you can view several predefined rule types. To add a new rule, you click Add DLP Rule. This opens the Rule Update dialog box.

Rule Update Dialog Box

Populate the following fields, as required:

  • Rule Name: In this field, you provide an identifier for your new rule.
  • Affected User Actions: Here you specify the user actions that trigger the rule. Options are DOWNLOAD, SHARE, or LOGIN.
  • Rule Expression: In this field, you define the trigger for the rule. Here you can use the Rule Expression Text Editor or the Rule Expression Builder.
  • DLP Action: Here you can define whether to allow or deny the user action if the user triggers the rule expression.
  • DLP Mode: In this field, you determine whether you should prevent attempted violations of the rule. Options are Enforce (preventing the action) and Permissive (allowing the action).
  • Rule Notification: This field allows you to create a message for users to view when they attempt to violate a rule, with the exception of login rules. It supports the <p>, <a>, and <br> HTML tags.

Additional Smart DLP Capabilities in FileCloud

You can also choose from several regular expressions by clicking Rule Creation Help. Once you are finished, you simply click Create. You have now provided your file-sharing system with a vital extra layer of protection!

FileCloud helpfully logs attempts to violate your DLP rules in the system for later viewing. You can also create rules that allow or deny users according to their geographical location.

You can apply these Smart DLP rules at user or group levels. This makes it painless to automate your file-sharing and access permissions throughout your organization, without any complicated coding requirements. Combined with FileCloud’s Smart Classification feature, you can easily streamline your data security to prevent unauthorized access. This is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to your overall DLP strategy.

To find out more about FileCloud’s Smart DLP feature, as well as other powerful cloud security capabilities built into FileCloud, book a free demo now!

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References

INTRUSION Inc. (2020). Cybercrime To Cost The World $10.5 Trillion Annually By 2025. Retrieved November 25, 2022, from: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/11/18/2129432/0/en/Cybercrime-To-Cost-The-World-10-5-Trillion-Annually-By-2025.html

Radware Ltd. (2022). Report: Application Security in a Multi-Cloud World. Retrieved November 25, 2022, from https://www.radware.com/multi-cloud-report-2022/

IBM. (2022). Cost of a data breach 2022: A million-dollar race to detect and respond. Retrieved November 25, 2022, from https://www.ibm.com/reports/data-breach

Written by Deirdre Clancy, Technical Content and Communication Manager