9 Data Loss Prevention Best Practices and Strategies
Last Updated on 1 year by Touhid
Data loss prevention practices and technique will ensure that your sensitive and critical data are safe from unauthorized access and cyber-attacks. In this post, we’ll clearly focus the 9 Data Loss Prevention Best Practices and Strategies which will protect your information from cyber threats.
What Is Data Loss Prevention?
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is referring to the process of protecting and precautions of sensitive and business data from unauthorized access, cyber-attacks, data destruction, and different type’s data breaches.
Data Loss Prevention is an approach and strategy which identifying, classifying and preventing individuals or organizational confidential data from unauthorized disclosure and outside of the business network.
There are different ways that data loss can breaches or happen such as password breaches, ransomeware, phishing, insider threat, malware and keylogger. The data are very much sensitive and confidential data such as login credentials, financial data, personal identification numbers and business information.
Data losses can occur when a person get unauthorized access into your system or you have compromised by attacker. Data loss prevention best practices or guidelines will ensure that your important and sensitive information are protected from unauthorized access.
Data Loss Prevention Best Practices
Data is very much important because it plays an important role in computer system, business, education and research. That’s why it is required to take necessary action about data loss prevention. Here, we’ve recommended data loss prevention best practices which will protect your data and also keep ensure business continuity and improvement.
1. Classify Sensitive Data
The first and best practices data loss prevention step is to identify and classify the data. Data classification depends mainly on data types, size, sensitivity, and importance of the business organization.
There are different levels of data classifications, such as high sensitivity (such as financial data), medium (such as email), and low sensitivity data (such as website contents). So, you have to identify what types of data you have and which data you need to protect and then classify the data according to data sensitivity.
If you don’t have accurate information about your data, then you can’t classify the data and also can’t properly secure your data. You have to make a strategy for where and how your data will be stored on your system in order to protect against data loss.
2. Use Data Encryption
Encryption is another data loss prevention best practices for protecting data from cyber threats and unauthorized disclosure. It ensures that only authorized users can access encrypted data while at a store or in transit.
Encryption means plain text data will be converted into an unreadable format (cipher text) which protects sensitive data such as financial information, and login credentials from unauthorized access.
For example, of encrypted data:
Plain text: Credit card number: 32628694635
Cipher text: u2cL6LIHkC3mmTIw6Ta5wKDNCQHb69VAanH7a0MjfTk=
There are some algorithms which are used for data encryption and decryption. The most popular encryption algorithms used to data encrypt and decrypt, which are as follows:
- SHA 1
The key benefits of using encryption techniques are ensuring data security, confidentiality, and integrity. So, the best practice is to use encryption algorithms in order to protect against data loss during transmission and storage.
Learn more about Data Encryption.
3. Individual Roles and Responsibility
Make sure that each employee has individual roles and responsibility which will help protect data loss. This data loss prevention strategy defines the tasks and duties of an employee for a particular job, where each employee is responsible for a specific job at the workstation.
Only authorized employees (such as IT security officers) of the organization can access the sensitive data. So, in order to protect against data loss, you should clearly assign individual roles and responsibility to each employee.
4. Update OS and Software
It is strongly recommended that update your operating system and application software with the latest security patches. Older versions of software may have vulnerabilities that compromise your system and data.
So, you have to ensure that the operating system and applications software are up to date in order to protect from data loss. Up-to date version of software will ensure that your computer is free from viruses, and malware.
Tips to Update Windows Operating System
- Go to Start button > control panel > system and security > and clicking Windows Update.
- In the left pane, click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer.
- If any updates are found, then click Install updates.
5. Install Antivirus Software
Installing antivirus software is another data loss prevention best practices which can protect your data and documents from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other threats. It is suggested that you use antivirus software for database servers and ensure sensitive data is secured and protected from viruses and malware.
In order to ensure data security and protect against data loss, you should use professional antivirus software such as Norton, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Panda, ESET, Avast, AVG..
6. Access Control
Access control is another data loss prevention best practices which restricts and ensures the access of databases by unauthorized users. According to this practice, no unauthorized user can’t access the database, and only authorized users (such as DBA) can access the database.
Authentication is the data loss protection best practices which verify the user’s login credentials into database. Typically, no unauthorized or malicious users can’t login or access your database. So, in order to protect against data loss, you have to add verification processes (such as 2FA) to your application so that only authorized users can login and access the database.
8. Data Backup
Data backup is the most important type of data loss prevention technique or strategy which involves copying or archiving data files to other places. The main purpose of data backup is to restore data and run the application in case of data loss incident.
As an organization, you should backup your data on a secondary server which may be physically installed in other places. And as an individual, you can back up your data and files to an external hard drive, Dropbox or using Google Drive or any other external device.
Tips for Data Backup
As part of a data backup plan, you may consider the following best practices:
- Organizing the data files and folder
- Use compression method
- Determine backup schedule
- Make sure backup data regularly
- Determine your backup location
9. Prepare Data Loss Prevention Policy
Prepare a data loss prevention policy (DLP Policy) in order to protect against insider threats and unauthorized exposure of sensitive data. The DLP Policy defines how organizations identify confidential data, how to store, share, who can access the sensitive data, and how to protect data from unauthorized access.
So, the policies will help you how to access the data without it being exposed to anyone who should not have the right to access the data. It is also required that, train your employees about the DLP policy and they should know how to protect the organization’s sensitive data.
Finally, data loss prevention strategy will ensure that your sensitive and critical information is safe from malicious users, unauthorized access, and cyber-threats. In this post, we have discussed Data Loss Prevention Best Practices and Strategies which may help you protect your information.