Data Loss Prevention (DLP)—Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person? Research shows that 58% of employees say they’ve sent an email to the wrong person and in some cases confidential information gets in the hands of the wrong person. This type of security breach can be detrimental to an organization’s success. Therefore cybersecurity, and more specifically, data loss prevention, is top priority for so many companies worldwide.

In our third blog in our four-part series about BDO Digital’s suggested path towards security maturity, we’ll be talking about data loss prevention (DLP) and how you can start implementing it across your organization.


What Is Data Loss Prevention? (DLP)

Data loss prevention (DLP) is the act of a business trying to prevent unauthorized leakage of data outside of their organization. Mechanisms typically used to share data outside of an organization include emailing documents or uploading them to an external cloud storage site. Organizations must protect their sensitive data, so it is not lost or compromised.

More so, companies must protect their Intellectual Property (intangible assets owned and legally protected by a company). Organizations don’t want employees to take information with them when they leave, and they certainly don’t want competitors to get their hands on it. This is where data loss prevention comes into play.

Labeling data is a way to prevent data loss and a part of the data classification process. For instance, if certain data is extremely sensitive, an organization can label the data as confidential. Any data with this label can have rules placed around it via established policies, ensuring it cannot leave the organization via email. Without data classification and labeling, DLP can be difficult to implement.


Impact of Microsoft 365 E Compliance

Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™, a study commissioned by Microsoft in June of 2021, is an analysis of various organizations across different industries, all of whom use Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance. The study reveals that these organizations improved their ability to meet regulatory requirements and reduced risk of sensitive data loss or mishandling by providing better visibility and control through a single platform. 

Implementing Data Loss Prevention in Your Organization

As noted above, when it comes to data loss prevention, you can configure the policies for your organization so that some data can be highly controlled and other data can be more loosely controlled. No matter what data policies are in place, it is crucial for organizations to prevent risky or inappropriate sharing of sensitive data that needs to be protected. Implementing DLP policies helps to remediate or prevent accidental or intentional sharing.

Data loss prevention can be difficult to deploy and even harder to maintain. Data classification is a time-consuming process and a comprehensive DLP solution is necessary to ensure data is secure. Is your organization overwhelmed at the thought of implementing DLP? At BDO Digital, we help companies with comprehensive data loss prevention solutions.

For example, we helped a large financial institution with a market cap greater than $10 billion implement DLP by first helping them inventory all their data using Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) software. We deployed a ‘starter labeling package’ and developed DLP policies to prevent personal identifiable information (PII) from leaving the organization via email or Microsoft Teams. The graphic below visually represents how we helped the organization implement DLP.

Microsoft Information Protection graphic.BDO Digital can implement DLP as a part of our Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) solution. Our solution helps organizations identify and protect their sensitive data via classification and labeling. Once the data is classified and labeled, DLP policies can be applied to prevent unwanted data sharing or leaks across Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Exchange, OneDrive, and other third-party applications. BDO Digital can also help with Endpoint DLP to prevent sensitive data from leaving the organization via any devices.

We can help prevent sensitive data loss from your organization by defining and implementing DLP policies. Ready to get started? Contact BDO Digital today to learn more.