Legal and Financial service providers are accustomed to dealing with stringent security requirements and managing the secure flow of personal data – to maintain the trust of their customers as well as meet strict regulatory compliance. However, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and as our organisations continue to work remotely, now is not the time to be complacent when it comes to protecting important and highly sensitive data. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) has an important role to play here in preventing real-time data loss helping businesses prevent future risks.
Let’s take a look at where your organisation could improve on your DLP set-up.
The surge in remote working means that data protection policies are proving more difficult to monitor, with staff working off-site and learning to adapt to a new way of managing their tasks and storing data securely. An increased use of external cloud-based storage systems like Dropbox or Google Drive, that are not protected by the organisations IT provider, has opened up businesses to a host of new risks for their data protection.
A lack of password protected or encrypted access to files leaves sensitive information vulnerable to cyber threats that can result in data loss. DLP software creates a secure environment where your team can use the file sharing and collaboration platforms used within your organisation with the confidence in knowing the data is protected from getting into the hands of someone it shouldn’t be.
At Home Printing
The necessary signing, scanning and printing of specific documents is simply a day to day part of the legal and financial sector. However, network printing and scanned data isn’t always transferred securely on different networks and can compromise your data’s security. Prior to Covid-19, when board meetings were held within the four walls of the office, company’s financials were handed out to all attendees and the documents were shredded and disposed of securely and promptly afterwards to protect this sensitive information.
Now consider a remote meeting, where this data is transmitted electronically. Does the team or board member distributing the information understand the risk of this transmission and how to mitigate that risk? Thankfully, Data Loss Prevention software can act as a “virtual shredder”, by preventing commercially sensitive data from leaving the business. DLP software helps to eliminate risk and the sending of important internal data by blocking the information from being sent externally and creating a password protection barrier to external sources.
Securing Sensitive Information
When it comes to managing financial and sensitive monetary information, it is crucial that your organisation is secure and trustworthy enough to manage it. Under Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation, companies must mask the first 12 digits of customer cards to keep them secure and DLP software takes care of this. What if an employee scans a private document at work to email to themselves? Because this has happened on company hardware, the company now has a responsibility under GDPR to manage and protect this data. DLP software has the power to trace and then block these transmissions from occurring and this, in turn, helps to train people to think about all forms of data moving through the business.
Within the legal and financial sector, email is the number one form of communication across the business and supply chain. Correspondence containing highly sensitive information needs to be protected and comes under strict FCA compliance regulation. However, because of the pace that we work at and given the prevalence of auto-complete fields in email clients –mistakes easily happen and the impact, particularly in legal and financial settings, can be costly to businesses and their clients.
DLP software intervenes at the point of user error; by tracking the intended movement of sensitive data, not allowing the email to be sent as it can identify the fact there’s sensitive data attached to the message. The software can track and notify users of their error, to help give them insight into the issue. In this way, DLP tools can be used to train teams, helping them keep data more secure in the future.
The evolution of a hybrid-working environment means that it’s more important now than ever to invest in data protection. Being a trusted bearer of highly sensitive data is earned through client confidence and having a water-tight security system in place where the data is exchanged. Mistakes can easily happen, and a lack of understanding can cause costly data breaches as a result. However, by using DLP software you can bolster your defence against data loss.
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