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Data Loss Prevention

What is Data Loss Prevention? Data loss prevention (DLP) is more than preventing data breaches that land your company in the news. DLP can protect from accidentally sending a SSN or account number via email. It can prevent a price list or client list from being copied to a thumb drive.

Data loss prevention (DLP) is a strategy for protecting confidential or sensitive information from unauthorized access. It involves identifying, monitoring, and protecting data in transit and at rest. DLP solutions can monitor and protect data stored on hard drives, cloud storage systems, email servers, networks, and other connected devices.

What does it cost?

Microsoft offers DLP for Office 365 in most enterprise plans as well as business premium.  There's no additional cost if you're on one of those plans.  If you're paying more than $22 per month for an Office 365 license there's likely no additional charge.

Basic DLP implementations such as email only might cost a few hundred dollars.  Comprehensive DLP implementations for a small business might cost several thousand.

There are alternatives to Office 365 DLP such as Zix.  Zix products can catch private information in emails and provide a method to securely transfer files.

Is DLP for large companies only?

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    No - but there are some challenges.

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    DLP adheres to the Pareto Principal.  A relatively small amount of work can get you most of the benefits.

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    DLP helps you comply with relevant rules and regulations, such as GLBA, HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), Sarbanes-Oxley, and the PCI Data Security Standard.

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    DLP can also act as an inexpensive yet strong form of prevention.  For businesses that handle sensitive data encryption is a must…like MSPs.;

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    DLP can also help businesses that have reporting requirements in the event of a breach like accountants.

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    DLP can provide piece of mind.  Piece of mind in terms of protecting information entrusted to you.  Piece of mind knowing your data is safe. You should always follow data loss prevention best practices for any size business.


Challenges of implementing DLP

Larger implantations get complicated quickly.  It can be hard to get all the interested parties to agree on how much security is required and what information is sensitive.  This is a case where being small or having a limited number of managers and owners is an advantage.  You can decree what information is sensitive and get to work.  

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Check out our guide to cyber security for small business