Data Loss Prevention and SharePoint for Business
Millions of data are entering and leaving a company’s network at record rates, from emails being sent and received to files being downloaded and uploaded regularly. Some of these data are sensitive and confidential that it could only take one simple error to cause data leaks within your business.
Now that working from home or any remote location is already a part of business operations, the ability to monitor the employee’s activity in the digital space poses a challenge, and many fell victim to loss or leakage of data.
Data loss can be divided into two categories:
- Leakage – where companies will no longer have control of their sensitive data. It is usually caused by a hacked database that can lead to potential identity theft.
- Damage – where the current or right copy of data has disappeared and is no longer available to the company. This can be caused by a server crash or stolen devices, or ransomware.
Why Data Loss Prevention?
DLP is important because you need to detect, prevent, and eliminate data breaches. DLP is not just about technology problems but also a policy management issue. It’s a process you can implement to protect your organization from internal threats or ransomware. It also offers businesses a solution against the following pain points:
- Intellectual Property (IP) Protection – With policies in place, DLP solutions can classify intellectual property and protect it or any other trade secrets from unwanted exfiltration.
- Personal Information Protection – If your company collects and stores information such as Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or Payment Card Information (PCI), you are subjected to compliance regulations and required to protect your customer’s data. DLP enables you to identify and classify sensitive data and monitor the activities surrounding it.
- Data Visibility – DLP solutions can provide your organization with visibility on how internal users interact with data. It enables you to monitor and track data from various sources such as endpoints, the cloud, or networks.
Aside from these use cases, there are other pain points that DLP can remediate such as the Microsoft 365 data security, specifically with SharePoint Online.
Related Article: Reasons Why your Business Needs Data Loss Prevention
Data Loss Prevention in SharePoint Online
Microsoft 365 comprises various information security and protection capabilities. DLP is created to secure specific types of sensitive information such as financial data, medical records, tax numbers, and more.
With DLP, you can:
- Develop a DLP query to detect what sensitive information exists on your site. Before setting up a DLP policy, understanding the types of sensitive information your employees are working with and its location will be helpful.
With a DLP query, you will have a better understanding of the risks associated with the sensitive information and the requirements your DLP policies need to protect.
- Create a policy to automatically secure information within your site collections. For instance, you can implement a policy that provides the user information if the documents they save contain PII.
Companies utilize SharePoint Online to build a system where they can store information about services, products, and other confidential business data. If you opt to share a piece of information with partners outside your network, ensuring the security and protection of confidential data is a priority.
SharePoint consists of definitions for various common sensitive information types that are ready for users to use. Each sensitive information type is identified and detected by applying a combination of keywords, evaluation of regular expressions for pattern matches, internal functions for composition validation, and other content examination.
It is a type of information label to secure your business's sensitive data and critical data. Some security measures included within the sensitivity labels are the following:
- Implement encryption
- Cross-device content protection
- Third-party app and service content protection
- Classifying content
For SharePoint Online, Teams, or M365 groups, you can configure actions based on privacy, external user membership, and unmanaged device access. For example, if a certain label is converted to a private one, the owner wouldn’t be able to add external users.
However, for you to manage sensitivity labels, you must have one of the following roles:
- Global Administrator
- Compliance Data Administrator
- Compliance Administrator
- Security Administrator
Related Article: Establishing a Data Loss Prevention Policy for your Business
Essential Components of a Data Loss Prevention Program
This is where you will identify data usage policies, report data loss incidents, and establish a response to incidents if violated. Your DLP program should address issues on the process of accessing data, how the access is authenticated, and how the policies are implemented.
This is where you can organize your data depending on their sensitivity. Data at rest in your database, servers, or records should be identified and inventoried for you to secure and relocate any specific data, as necessary.
This includes monitoring data in motion by understanding usage patterns to gain more visibility. It can be network communication such as web, FTP, or data at the endpoints such as removable media devices.
Your policies should be enforced proactively to secure data and prevent it from leaking. This includes quarantine, automatic encryption, or restricting sensitive data from being saved or copied.
When these components are integrated properly, the valuable IP assets of your business can be protected.
For businesses who adopted cloud services, protecting their data especially when outside the business network is a primary concern. DLP is not just for users who are sharing content that they shouldn’t, it is also for those who don’t notice that the files they are trying to forward contain sensitive information. Implementing the right DLP strategy is essential to the success of your cloud adoption.
Want more information on Data Loss Prevention for Business? Contact us or give us a call, we would love to help you.