Wins versus Losses

During the last 18 months we have been asked by a range of organisations how they can protect data that resides on laptops or portable media, to allay concerns over sensitive data loss resulting from device theft or loss. On doing some probing around the nature of the interest we find that Data Loss Prevention (DLP) quickly becomes the topic of discussion and typically sees us outlining that loss prevention efforts should focus on two areas: data moving through the network (known as data-in-motion) and the data residing in file systems or databases (known as data-at-rest).

As the discussion continues it becomes apparent that the CIO or IT Manager and other team members present understand their organisation is exposed in many areas to sensitive data being lost inadvertently or deliberately. Often no policies or controls are in place to protect data in motion and at rest within head office or branch offices, let alone with field workers using laptops.

The challenge for the IT team can appear daunting as it considers  - Where would we start and how do we get management buy-in for the investment? Our recommendation is to identify a "quick win" scenario in which the IT team demonstrates some short term gains with a longer term plan to evolve the DLP deployment more broadly throughout the organisation.

The most common example we see is that many organisations staff are used to being able to access all of their own data from anywhere and expect the same of the business. Without any formal policy, procedural guidelines or controls in place this means business data is often being sent to personal web-based email accounts or to public file shares so that staff can work remotely.

This example allows the IT team to have a conversation with business managers to put some context around the likely risks mitigated and benefits derived from making an investment in a DLP deployment. At the very least it should assist business managers in understanding the "what if" scenarios associated with losing control of their data.

To discuss how we can assist you to identify the DLP "quick wins" and to obtain some further reading - Demystifying Data Loss Prevention - contact

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