Of all businesses that experienced cyberattacks that resulted in data loss in 2021, nearly half (42%) were small businesses.
Here are three main ways small businesses can prevent cyberattacks and data loss.
What Is Data Loss Prevention?
Data loss prevention (DLP) involves the technologies, tools, and techniques that organizations apply to prevent these attacks and the loss of sensitive data. Organizations need to protect their data in three instances/levels:
Data at Rest: These are data stored in a business’s premises or network infrastructure and mediums like the cloud
Data in Use: These are data in apps and software that the business staff and management are authenticated to access and use (currently)
And, Data in Motion: Data in the process of being transmitted from one user, software, or app to another in or outside the organization
At any given level or instance, the organization’s data is at threat of a data breach, phishing attack, malware, and other cyber attacks. Cyber attacks target small businesses more frequently than larger companies.
New research shows that 69% of small businesses have expressed concerns about being victims of one or more cyberattacks, including phishing and ransomware. This is why it’s important for small businesses to invest in cybersecurity to prevent these attacks and data loss.
Types of Data Loss Prevention
To prevent cyber-attacks and protect data, there are three key types of data loss prevention (DLP) that small businesses can employ:
- Network DLP
- Endpoint DLP
- Cloud DLP
1. Network Data Loss Prevention
Network DLP involves monitoring and controlling the information and data flow through and within a company’s network. This includes data flow on Wi-Fi, the world wide web (WWW), ISP, Bluetooth, email, and others.
You can implement network security policies and use tools like a VPN, an anti-malware, and an anti phishing tool to prevent data loss through your network. These techniques will encrypt data or Flagg, quarantine, and block suspicious traffic through a network to prevent cyber attacks.
2. Endpoint Data Loss Prevention
As in large companies, small businesses need to protect the devices (endpoints) that employees use to access business apps, software, and sensitive business data.
Examples of these endpoints are company-provided or personal phones, tablets, laptops, computers (desktops), servers, printers, emails, and access points.
According to recent research, 76% of U.S. staff get inappropriate access to business-sensitive apps, software, and data. Endpoint protection methods include:
- Antivirus tools
- Two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Level authorization
- Cloud access control
- Data share and copy protection
- Device tracking
- Rename protection
- And more!
3. Cloud Data Loss Prevention
Cloud DLP protects a business’s data on the cloud from cyber threats, accidental/unsafe exposure, or malicious staff. This involves protection from ransomware, phishing attacks, unauthorized access, and data leak, loss, or mishandling. Cloud protections methods include:
- Data access rights
- Encrypting sensitive data
- Authorized app access or use
- Use of only authorized browsers to access data
Many cloud DLP tools can identify, categorize, remove, and modify confidential/sensitive company data before they’re shared with the cloud environment.
Cyber threats and attacks are partly human error and partly negligence. Taking steps to prevent these threats and compounding data loss is important for any business. Protecting your network, endpoints, and cloud against cyber threats like phishing, ransomware, network attacks, and more will prevent data loss and costs that come with it.