Data Leakage Prevention (DLP)
Data loss (leakage) prevention (DLP) is a set of tools and processes used to ensure that sensitive data is not lost, misused, or accessed by unauthorized users. DLP software classifies regulated, confidential and business critical data and identifies violations of policies defined by organizations or within a predefined policy pack, typically driven by regulatory compliance such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or GDPR. Once those violations are identified, DLP enforces remediation with alerts, encryption, and other protective actions to prevent end users from accidentally or maliciously sharing data that could put the organization at risk.
The term describes software products that help a network administrator control the data that users can transfer. DLP products use business rules to classify and protect confidential and critical information so that unauthorized users cannot accidentally or maliciously share data, which would put the organization at risk. For example, if an employee tried to forward a business email outside the corporate domain or upload a corporate file to a consumer cloud storage service like Dropbox, the employee would be denied permission.
DLP software and tools monitor and control endpoint activities, filter data streams on corporate networks, and monitor data in the cloud to protect data at rest, in motion, and in use. DLP also provides reporting to meet compliance and auditing requirements and identify areas of weakness and anomalies for forensics and incident response.