The specter of data loss and data leakage looms large over many an enterprise. Every organization has data it needs to protect, whether that data be customer financial information, patient health information, or confidential internal documentation or intellectual property. To protect that data, you’ll need to take control of it through an effective cloud data loss prevention solution. Here are three criteria to identify the best one for you.
1. Tight integration with cloud applications and existing DLP investments
In most cases, organizations don’t just use one cloud application or service. They often use several, and that means their data lives and works not just in one location, but in many, further complicating DLP and compliance issues. And there’s little to no standardization across different cloud applications, making consistent detection and enforcement a challenge. To address this, your cloud data loss prevention solution needs to be tightly integrated with every cloud computing service provider your organization uses. Additionally, it should play well with your existing on-premises DLP solutions in order to extend protection across all your enterprise’s operations. You’ve already made investments in developing content policies and implementing DLP appliances to enforce them; a strong cloud data protection solution can help you make the most out of those investments by extending their power to the cloud. Out-of-the-box integration is ideal.
2. Automated, policy-based enforcement
Let’s say your cloud DLP solution is well-integrated with your cloud applications and capable of discovering all the access and activity around your company’s sensitive or protected data. Now what? DLP tools that require a great deal of manual configuration and human response tend to let suspicious activity slip by thanks to the possibilities of human error and human negligence. Look at what happened to New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University. A physician chose to connect a personally owned server to the hospitals’ shared data network for work purposes. It was a well-meaning decision that went bad when the physician tried to deactivate the server but instead exposed the records of 6,800 patient records, resulting in the largest health privacy settlement to date. A cloud data protection solution capable of detecting and stopping the out-of-compliance access could have nipped the problem in the bud, before it cost two organizations seven-figure penalties. The best cloud data loss prevention solution will provide automated, policy-based enforcement of your organization’s internal data protection policies, taking response out of human hands wherever possible.
3. Accessibility and ease of use
Finally, even the most sophisticated DLP capabilities won’t be much use unless they’re easy for administrators to use. Got granular visibility into user and data activity? That’s great—as long as those tasked with monitoring that activity can easily see and interpret it. Got multiple detailed reporting options. Fantastic—if administrators can quickly access the reports they need. Your ideal cloud data loss prevention solution should provide a unified, user-friendly dashboard that’s configurable for each administrator’s needs.
What do you look for in a cloud data loss prevention solution? Tell us your requirements in the comments.