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Ten Key Steps To Success In Data Loss Prevention

DLP could protect your enterprise from data leaks, but implementation is no cakewalk. Here are some tips to make it easier
[Excerpted from "Ten Key Steps To Success In Data Loss Prevention," a new report posted this week on Dark Reading's Insider Threat Tech Center.]

For many organizations, integrating data loss prevention capabilities into the data center is no longer optional. In an environment where a breach or lack of compliance can cost millions of dollars, not having DLP is like driving down the highway blindfolded.

Few organizations have an appetite for gambling or flying blind when it comes to the integrity of their data, so DLP has become an insurance policy for many. However, while insurance policies are relatively easy to understand, DLP is not.

Managing an enterprise DLP deployment is in many ways as challenging as it is to deploy and manage a large-scale security information and event management system. From day one, you'll likely be amazed at the visibility that you'll get into all sorts of data that's traversing the network perimeter, but with that visibility comes lots of information that will need to be viewed, addressed and acted upon.

And that's just for the data in motion. If you're doing full-scale DLP, you'll also need to process data from endpoints and the datacenter, which will involve managing and tweaking the security policies that define your structured and unstructured data. All of this is just the beginning of your new life as a DLP administrator.

Indeed, don't let anyone tell you that managing DLP on a day-to-day basis is a walk on the beach. But with proper planning and advance knowledge of possible "gotchas," you can maximize the success of your organization's deployment.

Tip #1. Define success before you spend a dime.
It's difficult to overstate how important it is to nail down the scope of your deployment in advance. An enterprise DLP package can be an extremely complex ship to steer, and not having a clear understanding of where you're sailing can lead to disaster.

With so many features available in the top DLP packages that are commercially available, it's vital that you take the time to figure out what you're really looking to get out of DLP. From that conversation, you should narrow down the scope of your deployment into a small set of achievable goals. This is important because as you deploy DLP and start seeing real data being generated, you're likely to uncover some holes in things like compliance.

Tip #2. Consider DLP design carefully to get a full picture of cost.
Organizations purchase DLP for many reasons: Some purchase it to protect endpoints. Some purchase it to make decisions about when to encrypt email. Some purchase it to inspect data in motion or for Internet Content Adaptation Protocol (ICAP) features, and yet others may purchase DLP as a data discovery tool. Organizations with higher-level security needs may use DLP for some or all of these reasons, as well as others not even mentioned.

Organizations that purchase DLP systems will likely do so with a particular goal in mind, but it's typical for organizations to change the way they use DLP over time. These changes may make sense, but they will likely have big cost implications.

To get details on these tips -- and eight others that could help your organization with DLP implementation -- download the free report.

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Editors' Choice
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Shikha Kothari, Senior Security Adviser, Eden Data