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Cloud Data Loss Prevention

What is Cloud DLP (Data Loss Prevention)? 

Cloud Data Loss Prevention (DLP) refers to a set of solutions that ensure the protection of sensitive data within an organization’s cloud storage from being misused or leaked externally. Traditional data loss prevention solutions differ in that they are typically deployed on-premise and focus on protecting an organization's endpoints and internal network infrastructure. 

Everything changed once the pandemic hit. 

A primary use case for cloud DLP solutions was accelerated when employees had begun transitioning into a hybrid WFH model. Data usage had gone from traditional on-premise setups to the cloud. This shift greatly increased the risk of data breaches due to the heavy reliance on cloud-based collaboration platforms, opening the door to new possibilities for data exposure. 

Research by Thales found that an alarming 45% of businesses had experienced a cloud-based data breach in the past 12 months. Protecting sensitive data in today’s dynamic cloud environment became a challenge for organizations. A challenge that cloud DLP solutions can address. Let’s dig deeper. 

How Cloud DLP Works 

Cloud Data Loss Prevention

Cloud DLP works by leveraging best practices and advanced cloud data security techniques to minimize data at risk within cloud environments. A good example of data at risk is personally identifiable information (PII) which may contain financial data or patient medical records stored in a company's database.

According to IBM's Cost of a Data Breach Report, customer PII was the most common and expensive type of record loss, accounting for 44% of breaches alone. Couple that with other risk factors such as human error, vulnerabilities found in third parties, and cloud misconfigurations, and you can imagine the constant worry for IT departments.   

Cloud DLP enables organizations to effectively adhere to strict data compliance regulations such as PII, GDPR, and HIPAA.

How else can Cloud DLP tools take the pressure off IT teams? Here’s how it works.   

Data Discovery: Cloud DLP starts by scanning the organization's cloud infrastructure, including cloud storage services, databases, and applications. It looks for sensitive data such as personal information, financial records, intellectual property, or any other data defined by predefined policies that can cause a breach.

Data Classification: Once sensitive data is discovered, it is then classified into different categories based on predefined rules and policies. Data classification further breaks down the data by types which include public, internal, confidential, and restricted, being the most sensitive, typically involving trade secrets or financial transaction history. 

Policy Enforcement: If a potential policy violation is discovered, the cloud DLP solution takes action based on predefined policies. This might include blocking data transmission, encrypting data, or applying data masking to prevent unauthorized access.

Continuous Monitoring and Detection: Finally, the cloud DLP continuously monitors data in transit and at rest within the cloud environment. It also scans for anomalies and suspicious behaviors that indicate potential security risks, such as data exfiltration attempts or unusual movement. 

Traditional DLP vs Cloud DLP: And the Winner is... 

Here is a side-by-side comparison of how traditional DLP tools stack up against its counterpart in the cloud. 

Traditional DLP (The Old Way)

Cloud DLP (The New Way)

Struggle to provide comprehensive visibility into data flowing within cloud environments

Designed to seamlessly integrate with various cloud platforms, applications, and services with more enhanced visibility 

Require complex and time-consuming manual configuration efforts to implement and maintain

Simple to deploy and built with pre-configured policies and templates tailored for popular cloud services

Cannot inspect the content within encrypted files

Supports data encryption at rest and in transit

Cannot effectively detect insider threats or accidental data exposure

Can easily identify potential insider threats earlier through suspicious user behavior and anomaly detection capabilities

Cannot scale when handling large volumes of data

Designed to scale and handle the increased volume of data flow

Falls short when adapting to evolving data policy regulations 

Easily updates to comply with changing data protection laws and policy regulations

Those are just some of the ways in which a cloud DLP keeps organizations ahead of the curve.  

We’ve also compiled a list of 5 Essential Components of a Cloud DLP Solution that will bring you up-to-date with how the cloud changed the game from traditional DLPs. 

4 Convincing Benefits of Cloud DLP 

  1. Shadow IT Discovery: Gartner found that in large enterprises, 30% to 40% of IT spending goes to shadow IT. And if that’s not enough, 97% of the cloud apps in use in the average enterprise are cloud shadow IT. Cloud DLP helps identify unauthorized or unmanaged cloud applications. This is particularly important for employees who are unaware of an organization's IT policies or if proper security controls aren’t set in place.

  1. Enhanced Data Visibility: Cloud DLP enhances data discovery and classification capabilities, enabling IT teams to gain valuable insights into their data landscape. It does this by quickly identifying any sensitive data, understanding data flows, and prioritizing data protection efforts based on severity risk factors. 

  1. Streamline Regulatory Compliance: Regulatory compliance fines are expensive. GDPR violations, for example, can cost a company up to €20 million or 4% of worldwide turnover. Cloud DLP enforces encryption policies for sensitive data at rest and in transit, adding an extra layer of protection to meet compliance requirements. It also helps identify and classify sensitive data, implement data handling policies, and generate audit trails. 

  1. Provide a Security Shield Against Cloud Misconfigurations: AWS S3 misconfigurations account for 16% of cloud security breaches. Cloud DLP solutions can assess the security configurations of cloud services and applications almost instantly. It looks for common misconfigurations such as excessive permissions, disabling of logging and monitoring settings, and exposed storage access in public cloud containers such as S3 buckets. 

Those are just some of the benefits of a cloud DLP. The adoption of tighter access security controls and cloud DLP solutions has emerged as an essential cornerstone of security measures for fast-scaling enterprises. And this is where Dig Security comes along to rescue your data from active threats. 

Lockdown Your Data with Dig Security's Cloud DLP Solution

When it comes to preventing breaches, Dig Security is the only unified cloud DLP solution that combines the capabilities of both DSPM and DDR for end-to-end data protection. Discover shadow data assets in cloud providers without impacting your production environment. Strengthen your data security posture with Dig Security’s cloud-native DLP solution

Cloud Data Loss Prevention FAQ 

  1. What is cloud data loss prevention? Cloud Data Loss Prevention (Cloud DLP) is a security solution that protects sensitive data in cloud environments. It helps organizations identify, monitor, and prevent data exposure, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.
  2. What are the 3 types of data loss prevention? The three types of data loss prevention include Endpoint DLP which protects data on individual devices and endpoints, Network DLP which monitors data in transit, and Cloud DLP to minimize data exposure.
  3. How does cloud DLP work? Cloud DLP continuously monitors data in cloud environments, identifying sensitive information and applying predefined policies to prevent unauthorized access.