Data Loss Prevention Best Practices and Strategies

Last Updated on 1 day by Touhid

Data losses can occur when a person gets unauthorized access to your system, or you have been compromised by an attacker. In this post, we’ll put data loss prevention best practices and strategies that will protect your information from cyber threats.

Data loss prevention practices and techniques will ensure that your sensitive and critical data are safe from unauthorized access and cyber-attacks. 

What is Data Loss Prevention?

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) refers to the process of protecting and precautions of sensitive and business data from unauthorized access, cyber-attacks, data destruction, and different types of data breaches.

Data Loss Prevention is an approach and strategy that identifies, classifies, and prevents individuals or organizational confidential data from unauthorized disclosure outside of the business network.

There are different ways that data loss can breaches or happen such as password breaches, ransomware, phishing, insider threat, malware, and keyloggers. The data are very sensitive and confidential data such as login credentials, financial data, personal identification numbers, and business information.

Data loss prevention best practices or guidelines will ensure that your important and sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access.

Data Loss Prevention Best Practices

Data is very important because it plays an important role in computer systems, 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 that will protect your data and ensure business continuity and improvement.

Data Loss Prevention Best Practices

Classify Sensitive Data

The first and best practices of 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 must 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 can’t properly secure your data. You have to make a strategy for where and how your data will be stored on your system to protect against data loss.

Use Data Encryption

Encryption is another data loss prevention best practice 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:

  • Blowfish
  • AES
  • IDEA
  • MD5
  • SHA 1
  • RSA
  • Twofish

The key benefits of using encryption techniques are ensuring data security, confidentiality, and integrity. So, the best practice is to use encryption algorithms to protect against data loss during transmission and storage.

Learn more about Data Encryption.  

Individual Roles and Responsibility

Make sure that each employee has individual roles and responsibilities 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.

Only authorized employees (such as IT security officers) of the organization can access the sensitive data. So, to protect against data loss, you should assign individual roles and responsibilities to each employee.

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 to protect from data loss. Up-to-date versions of the 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 click 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.

Install Antivirus Software

Installing antivirus software is another data loss prevention best practices that can protect your data and documents from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other threats. You should use antivirus software for database servers. Also, have to ensure that sensitive data is secured and protected from viruses and malware.

To ensure data security and protect against data loss, you should use professional antivirus software such as NortonBitdefenderKasperskyPandaESETAvast, and AVG.

Access Control

Access control is another data loss prevention best practice that 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

Authentication is the best practices of data loss protection that verify the user’s login credentials into the database. Typically, no unauthorized or malicious users can’t log in or access your database.

To protect against data loss, you must add verification processes (such as 2FA) to your application. So that only authorized users can log in and access the database.

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 a data loss incident.

As an organization, you should backup your data on a secondary server which may be physically installed in other places. As an individual, you can back up your data and files to an external hard drive, Dropbox or Google Drive, or any other external device.

Data backup will ensure data loss prevention

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 a backup schedule.
  • Make sure to back up data regularly.
  • Determine your backup location.

Prepare a Data Loss Prevention Policy

Prepare a data loss prevention policy (DLP Policy) to protect against insider threats and unauthorized exposure of sensitive data. The DLP Policy defines how organizations identify confidential data, how to store, and 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 to train your employees about the DLP policy and they should know how to protect the organization’s sensitive data.

Conclusion

Finally, a 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 data.

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