Data loss prevention (DLP) solutions help to prevent data loss, theft, and data leaks by monitoring your network and proactively preventing sensitive data from being shared in an insecure manner or deliberately leaked or stolen. Your DLP solution relies on your DLP policy as a set of rules and conditions for who has access to certain data, how they can use it, and how it can be shared.
For example, your DLP policy may specify that certain classes of data (such as sensitive or confidential data) can only be accessed by authorized users who require access to it to perform their jobs. When an unauthorized user attempts to access this data, or when an authorized user attempts to perform actions outside of the scope of their work, your DLP solution prevents them from doing so. Your DLP solution can block actions such as sharing certain types of data via email, uploading sensitive data to the cloud, and downloading sensitive data to removable storage devices (such as USBs), along with many other scenarios.
What is a DLP policy?
A data loss prevention policy is a set of rules and guidelines that specify how data should be handled within your organization. A DLP policy aims to ensure that data is available and accessible to authorized users when it’s needed to support business processes and decision-making while simultaneously ensuring that it cannot be shared with any unauthorized parties.
When you implement a DLP solution, your DLP policy is the framework for how your DLP platform handles scenarios involving your company’s sensitive data. For instance, if your DLP policy dictates that documents containing data classified as sensitive cannot be attached to emails, your DLP solution should block that action should a user attempt it.
How DLP policies aid regulatory compliance
DLP policies are often used to help organizations meet the requirements of laws and regulations, such as data privacy laws or industry regulations like PCI-DSS or HIPAA. While these regulations may not state outright that companies must implement them, DLP policies and solutions provide a practical and effective means to comply with regulatory requirements related to securing sensitive data.
Companies bound by regulations should ensure that their DLP policies adequately address all applicable legal and compliance requirements. Additionally, testing and validating your policies and DLP tools with Next’s DLP policy testing tool will help you avoid improper data handling that can lead to serious data breaches and costly regulatory fines.
How to test and validate your DLP policies
Creating comprehensive DLP policies is vitally important, but how do you know if your DLP solution is taking the appropriate actions related to different classes of data in response to your defined conditions? Testing and validating your DLP policies is crucial for ensuring that both your policies and your DLP solution are functioning as intended.
With our DLP policy testing tool, it’s easy to test and validate your DLP policies. You can use our sample data or provide your own data. If your DLP policies are effective and your DLP tools are performing as expected, any attempted actions that violate your policies will be blocked.
How does Next's DLP policy testing tool work?
Our DLP policy testing tool will assess your data loss prevention solution and policies, using either our sample data or your own data, to give you insight into how well your existing DLP solution and policies perform.
With Next’s DLP policy testing tool, you can evaluate the performance of your DLP solution and your policies for data in motion (network traffic) using HTTP and HTTPS protocols. Specifically, our DLP policy testing tool assesses your DLP solution’s ability to block file uploads and form fills for both HTTP Post and HTTPS Post.
Why use a DLP policy testing tool?
Testing your DLP policies with our DLP policy testing tool can help you ensure that you’re keeping highly sensitive data safe, such as data subject to regulatory requirements. It provides insight into whether your policies are properly defined, whether your data is classified appropriately, and whether your DLP solution is installed and configured properly. If any one of these elements is missing, your DLP measures may fail, and your sensitive data may be lost, stolen, or exposed to unauthorized parties.
Using Next’s DLP policy testing tool to validate your policies and evaluate the effectiveness of your DLP solution is a simple and straightforward way to gain confidence in your company’s data loss prevention strategy — or make you aware that they’re not performing as expected. Armed with this information, you can take steps to correct your policies before your sensitive data is handled inappropriately, putting your organization at serious risk of a data breach.