How to Put Up a Fence Around Your Sensitive Data 

If you own a trucking company, you can erect a high fence or use location trackers to keep your trucks from being stolen. But if your primary asset is your client list, price list, or other electronic product, how do you stop an employee from using your data in an unauthorized way? Data loss prevention (DLP) from Microsoft 365 (M365) plus 1nteger CORE can help you build fences around sensitive, valuable data. Key Security Threats Facing Your M365 Environment and How to Protect It,” a recent webinar we hosted, explored the importance of DLP and monitoring to help keep your digital assets safe.  

What is data loss prevention? 

Per Microsoft, data loss prevention is a security solution that identifies and helps prevent unsafe or inappropriate sharing, transfer, or use of sensitive data. DLP relies on a combination of people, processes, and technology, and utilizes antivirus software, AI, and machine learning to detect suspicious activities. Suspicious activities are those in contrast to your organization’s DLP policy, which defines how your organization labels, shares, and protects data without exposing it to unauthorized users.  

Mass exodus + no DLP = big trouble 

In a recent real-life example, a small to medium-sized business (SMB) without data loss prevention in place operated a branch office in another state. The branch office experienced a mass exodus, in which account managers, salespeople, and engineers all resigned and started their own company that was in direct competition. It soon became obvious that their new business was being built using sensitive information stolen from their prior employer. Of course, no protocol can stop 100% of data loss, but having DLP protocols in place would have provided much earlier warning signs, which could have prevented some of the leakage.  

Now, the company is dealing with the issue in the courts, which is expensive and time-consuming. Even just one employee’s data breach can result in five years of litigation. Cases of proprietary leakage often involve the FBI, local authorities, and forensic cybersecurity firms. All of this is a distraction, an opportunity cost and an actual cost, which can be avoided simply with better monitoring. 

Cyberattacks and data leakage don’t just happen to “other” people 

Effective cybersecurity is all about layers, combining people, processes, and technology in a way that covers as many angles as possible, such is the case with managed detection and response (MDR) offering, 1nteger CORE. Our Security Operations Center monitors clients’ M365 environments 24×7, working to stop data loss before it starts. 

Within a few days of onboarding with CORE, clients begin to gain awareness as to the traffic within their M365 environment… and they’re usually surprised by what they learn. A recent 1nteger CORE client quickly learned that some of their staff regularly sent sensitive budget and other financial information to an accountant straight over email, without encryption. They also discovered that certain individuals were sharing information via SharePoint in a way that could be easily intercepted. Since then, the client has implemented controls and training to put up better fences around their digital assets.  

The ability to act in real time is essential to be able to identify, isolate and remove threats, both internal and external. Contact 1nteger to learn how you can proactively protect your environment within a few days.  

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