Code42 Policy-Free DLP- It’s Time to Rethink Data Protection

It’s Time to Rethink DLP

As much as we may not like to talk about it, half of the major threats to the security of our corporate data come from the inside. That doesn’t mean that our employees are all malicious — insider threats can surface in many ways: user errors and accidents, lost or stolen devices, even hardware failures — and the list goes on. In fact, a report by International Data Group (IDC) showed that three of the top five most common high-value information incidents involve insiders.

Given this, it’s no surprise that for years, organizations have been using data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to try to prevent data loss incidents. The problem is that the prevention-first approach of legacy DLP solutions no longer meets the needs of today’s IP-rich, culturally progressive organizations, which thrive on mobility, collaboration and speed. The rigid “trust no one” policies of legacy DLP can block user productivity and are often riddled with exceptions and loopholes. For IT, legacy DLP solutions can be expensive to deploy and manage — and only protect selected subsets of files.

“ The prevention-first approach of legacy DLP solutions no longer meets the needs of today’s IP-rich, culturally progressive organizations, which thrive on mobility, collaboration and speed. ”

A fresh start

The prevention focus of traditional DLP forces a productivity trade-off that isn’t right for all companies — and isn’t successfully stopping data breaches. That’s why it’s time for organizations to rethink the very concept of DLP and shift their focus from prevention to protection. Next-generation data loss protection (next-gen DLP) enables security, IT and legal teams to more quickly and easily protect their organization’s data while fostering and maintaining the open and collaborative culture their employees need to get their work done.

Rather than enforcing strict prevention policies that block the day-to-day work of employees, next-gen DLP clears the way for innovation and collaboration by providing full visibility to where files live and move. This approach allows security and IT teams to monitor, detect and respond to suspicious file activity in near real-time.

Next-gen DLP benefits

This next-gen approach to data protection provides the following benefits:

Works without policies: Unlike legacy DLP solutions, next-gen DLP does not require policies — so there is no complex policy management. Because next-gen DLP automatically collects and stores every version of every file across all endpoints, there is no need to set policies around certain types of data. When data loss incidents strike, affected files are already collected, so security and IT teams can simply investigate, preserve and restore them with ease — whether the incident affected one file, multiple files or multiple devices.

Removes productivity blocks: Next-gen DLP enables employees to work without hindering productivity and collaboration. Workers are not slowed down by “prevention-first” policies that inevitably misdiagnose events and interfere with their ability to access and use data to do their work.

Lives in the cloud: As a cloud-native solution, next-gen DLP solutions are free from expensive and challenging hardware management, as well as the complex and costly modular architectures that are common with legacy DLP.

Deploys in days: Next-gen DLP solutions can be rapidly implemented, since the extensive time and effort required to create and refine legacy DLP policies is not needed. Since it works without policy requirements, next-gen DLP is also much easier to manage once deployed than legacy DLP. This is especially important for smaller organizations that can’t wait months or even years for a solution to be fully implemented.

Provides access to every file: While next-gen DLP doesn’t require blanket policies, security teams can still use it to observe and verify employee data use. For example, next-gen DLP can alert administrators when an unusually large number of files are transferred to removable media or cloud services. If the files have left the organization, next-gen DLP can see exactly what was taken and restore those files for rapid investigation and response.

By focusing on all files in an organization, next-gen DLP offers many additional benefits:

  • Visibility into file activity across endpoints and cloud services to speed security investigations. This differs from legacy DLP, which only provides a view of defined subset of data.
  • Fast retrieval of file contents and historical file versions to perform detailed analysis or recovery from data incidents. Legacy DLP solutions don’t collect the contents of files and thus can’t make them available for analysis or recovery.
  • Long-term file retention to help satisfy legal and compliance requirements as well as provide a complete data history for as long a time period as an organization requires. Again, legacy solutions don’t retain file contents and so aren’t able to provide this history.

A new paradigm for DLP

Next-gen DLP is a huge departure from legacy DLP solutions, but it’s a logical and necessary evolution of the category given the changing needs and work preferences of today’s IP-rich and culturally progressive organizations — small, mid-size and large.

Armed with a more discerning tool, organizations no longer have to lock down or block data access with restrictive policies. With full visibility into where every file lives and moves, security teams can collect, monitor, investigate, preserve and recover valuable company data in the event of a data loss incident.

Companies today are looking for better ways to protect their high-value data — while freeing knowledge workers to create the ideas that drive the business. By choosing to implement next-gen DLP, organizations will be able to keep their vital data protected without hindering productivity and innovation.

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