Data Classification as a Catalyst for DLP

Employee round-table discussion
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Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is different from most traditional data-centric security solutions in that it primarily focuses on internal, as opposed to external, threats. Unauthorized disclosure of internal data through any media, network mechanism or the accidental disclosure by well-meaning users can have disastrous results for an organization’s brand, reputation or standing with regulatory bodies. There are a number of solutions that can and should be brought to bear in the ongoing challenge to ensure that data is made available to authorized resources in the appropriate context while remaining adequately secured at all times. DLP provides an organization the ability to apply controls commensurate with value assigned to the data as it interacts with business partners and providers. Additional precision can be achieved when data classification is employed allowing an organization the ability to extract value while simultaneously managing the inherent liability of regulated data.

Historically, the successful implementation of a DLP capability was time consuming and relied heavily on the expression of data governance policy as interpreted by IT staff in an attempt to balance solution effectiveness, while avoiding false-positives and the negative user experience that resulted. The use of data classification as a complimentary capability that increases the effectiveness, efficiency and overall precision of DLP solutions is one aspect of an effective metadata strategy that can substantially improve overall data security posture.

Data governance policy and subsequent data classification labeling provide DLP solutions with the ability to efficiently and effectively enforce controls, preventing the unauthorized or unintended transmission of confidential and sensitive data. By engaging users in labeling documents in line with data governance policy, along with their intimate knowledge of the information that they work with daily, users can dramatically reduce false positives; improving decision accuracy and transparently integrating DLP into daily workflow.

By deploying an end-to-end solution, managing the information lifecycle from creation through consumption and eventual destruction, data governance objectives can be achieved and applicable regulatory requirements met. Many times DLP solutions represent the very last opportunity for an organization to stop, or at least quarantine for additional inspection, data that is being ex-filtrated from the environment. The initial complexity that a DLP solution may represent when deployed with a lucid policy can provide the platform to ensure that data ex-filtration, intended or otherwise, by unauthorized users to unauthorized destinations can be monitored and responded to in a proactive manner.

With data loss a serious and critical concern for all organizations, it is key that organizations are more business-centric in their approach for DLP to be successful. By combining data classification with best-of-breed DLP solutions, your organization can ensure it is implementing a truly comprehensive data security strategy. Discover the best-of-breed DLP technologies Boldon James integerates with now to kick start your data security ecosystem.