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Updated: Jun 24, 2024   |   Fergal Glynn

What are Data Loss Prevention as a Service (DLPaaS) and Data Loss Prevention as a Managed Service?

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What is Data Loss Prevention as a Service (DLPaaS) and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) as a Managed Service?

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is an approach to protecting an organization’s valuable data resources. It employs a combination of multiple processes and tools and human expertise that protect an organization’s data from being lost or misused by unauthorized or malicious parties. 

In this article:

Wh‎at is Data Loss Prevention as a Service (DLPaaS)? 

As the implementation of traditional DLP solutions can be complex and time-consuming, Data Loss Prevention as a Service (DLPaaS) offers a streamlined method with which companies can quickly and effectively implement a DLP solution. However, customers are responsible for running and managing a DLPaaS solution. 

Wh‎at is Data Loss Prevention (DLP) as a Managed Service?

Some companies that lack the in-house expertise or would rather hand off the task of managing their DLP to professionals who specialize in it. For these companies, DLP as a Managed Service includes DLP software and also provides a professional services team who can run and manage the software for customers. Next DLP’s Reveal is available as a DLPaaS and can also be purchased as a DLP as a Managed Services solution for customers who prefer to hand off DLP management to the experts.

Let’s take a look at how legacy DLP works and the advantages of DLP as a Managed Service.

Ho‎w legacy DLP protects an organization's data

A typical legacy DLP solution prevents the loss of important information with five coordinated steps.

  1. Create a data handling policy. Creating a data handling policy that will be used to drive subsequent data classification efforts is the first step in a DLP initiative. The data handling policy must be aligned with an organization’s business objectives and requirements. This includes addressing the complications of complying with regulatory data privacy and security standards such as those imposed by HIPAA or PCI-DSS. The policy will define how data is classified and how different classifications are protected. For example, all high-risk data should be encrypted while low-risk data can remain in plain text format.
  2. Inventory the IT environment. The computing environment must be inventoried to discover where sensitive data is stored and processed. This can be a complex process that must include all of a company’s on-premises and cloud resources. Additional complexity is introduced in organizations that have promoted a mobile workforce, as each endpoint has to be incorporated into the inventory.
  3. Classify data. Once all data resources have been discovered and identified, they need to be classified using the organization’s data handling policy as a guide. Companies can classify data in any way they wish but, in most cases, data will be designated as being low-risk, moderate-risk, or high-risk. Automated content-based and context-based classification are supplemented by a manual user-based process to ensure every data element is correctly classified.
  4. Implement DLP software to enforce data handling policies. A DLP software tool or solution is then used to ensure that data handling policies are followed. A viable DLP solution can automatically take actions such as encrypting data or making it inaccessible to unauthorized users as it enforces the data handling policy.
  5. Provide ongoing training and education. Ongoing employee training and education are necessary for companies implementing DLP. More education equates to greater compliance and fewer data breaches as employees understand the measures they must take to protect information and the ramifications of performing risky activities.

Wh‎at are the benefits of DLP as a Managed Service? 

DLP as a Service is a cloud-based method of providing data loss prevention without requiring the hardware and software resources necessary for an on-premises installation. As with other SaaS solutions, customers have a streamlined method of implementing DLP, and the customer has full control and responsibility over managing the software. 

However, not every company wants to be hands-on with DLP management. For these companies, Next DLP can also be purchased as a DLP Managed Service offering. Next DLP’s DLP Managed Service customers take advantage of our innovative Reveal product while also gaining access to a professional services team that can handle the management of the DLP solution on the customer’s behalf. 

A DLP as a Service solution such as Reveal from Next DLP eliminates two of the complicated steps required by traditional DLP tools, reducing your DLP security checklist to three simplified steps. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques, Reveal categorizes data on the fly, eliminating the need to pre-classify data and inventory the environment. 

Companies still need to develop a data handling policy that will be enforced by Reveal. Every company has unique data resources that must be handled appropriately, and policies must be in place to guide the DLPaaS’s automated processes. 

The following are the key benefits organizations can expect to enjoy when implementing Next DLP’s Reveal.

  •  Automated discovery and dynamic classification of enterprise data on the fly. This approach to discovery and classification addresses the needs of modern businesses with complex hybrid infrastructures. Continuous monitoring ensures there’s no chance of accidentally misclassifying data or not discovering sensitive data resources before implementing the DLP solution.
  • Out-of-the-box functionality and simplicity enable companies to quickly start protecting their data. Built-in and customizable data handling policies allow organizations to tailor the tool to their specific requirements. A user-friendly interface simplifies operations and lowers the skill requirements necessary to use the tool effectively.
  • Reveal is a scalable solution that is suitable for businesses of all sizes. Lightweight agents are available for Windows, Linux, and macOS that allow all devices to be protected from data loss. Security and policy enforcement continues even if remote workers disconnect from the network.
  • Leveraging Machine Learning on the endpoint (MLn)™, Reveal baselines user activity to monitor and alert for unusual behaviors. 
  • Reveal helps maintain user privacy and employee trust while building a security-positive culture. Reveal’s on-device intelligence that keeps personal data on the device instead of sending it to the cloud, and behavior and user identity are separated to preserve the user’s privacy. Reveal also distinguishes personal use and profiles from business use and profiles, enabling companies to apply different policies and actions to personal vs. business use. 
  • Incident-based training autonomously trains the workforce and can be instrumental in minimizing inadvertent data breaches. Employees are informed as to why a specific activity was prevented by the tool so they can modify their future behavior.

DLP as a Service enables any company to protect its information using cutting-edge techniques. In addition to Next’s Reveal DLP solution, Next DLP can also be purchased as a DLP Managed Services offering. With this option, our professional services team handles the operation and management of Next Reveal, giving customers a truly turnkey DLP solution they can deploy quickly for immediate visibility and data protection. Get in touch with Next DLP to learn how our DLP as a Service tool can help you gain visibility into your IT environment and better protect your company’s valuable data.

Fr‎equently asked questions

What’s the difference between DLP and DLPaaS? 

Data loss prevention (DLP) protects an organization’s valuable data. It uses processes, tools, and human expertise to guard data from loss or misuse. 

DLP as a service (DLPaaS) streamlines this process by giving companies a solution for quickly implementing a DLP. Instead of a company managing the service internally, it uses software and hires a team of professionals to manage the solution, freeing up internal resources. 

What is DLP as a managed service? 

DLP managed services go a step further than DLP software. It gives companies access to the expertise of a professional services team that manages the DLP. 

Managed services ensure continuous protection, monitoring, and compliance without hands-on intervention from the customer. They’re ideal for organizations that lack in-house expertise or that prefer outsourcing DLP management. 

Why are DLPs beneficial?

Data loss prevention systems protect data by: 

  • Establishing guidelines aligned with business objectives and regulatory requirements to classify and protect data
  • Identifying all data storage and processing locations both on-premises and in the cloud
  • Using policies to categorize data into risk levels (low, moderate, high)
  • Enforcing data handling policies through automated actions like encryption and access restrictions
  • Educating employees on data protection measures and compliance to prevent data breaches

Why is it helpful to outsource DLP as a managed service? 

Some organizations prefer to manage their data loss prevention solution in-house, but working with a managed service provider offers several advantages, such as: 

  • Expert management: Professional services teams handle the implementation, monitoring, and management of DLP solutions, ensuring optimal performance and compliance.
  • Reduced complexity: Outsourcing DLP management simplifies the process, freeing up internal resources and reducing the burden on IT staff.
  • Continuous protection: Managed services provide ongoing monitoring that helps businesses adapt to new threats and regulatory changes. 
  • Scalability: Managed services scale with the organization’s needs, providing flexibility and robust protection for businesses of all sizes.

See how Next protects your employees and prevents data loss