Data Loss Prevention

Data Loss Prevention

Data loss prevention (DLP) includes tools, processes, and policies specifically used to ensure that sensitive information is not lost, leaked, or misused.

DLP tools help classify data and identify violations of predefined policies. Once identified, DLP enforces remediation, it triggers alerts, utilizes encryption, and other actions to prevent users from accidentally or maliciously sharing data that could expose organizations.

DLP Adoption

According to Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise DLP of 2017, Gartner estimated DLP market would reach USD 1.3 billion in 2020. In 2022, Grand View Research – DLP Market Size and Share Report estimated the global data loss prevention market at USD 1.8 billion and expects an annual growth rate of 22% until 2030.

The data loss prevention market has evolved, now it includes cloud storage, complex security services, such as advanced threat protection, multi factor authentication, etc.

The massive uptick in DLP adoption is not accidental. Here are the main reasons that are driving the wider adoption of data loss prevention programs:

  • Nowadays, there are more places that require protection, such as multiple cloud platforms, complex networks and services which make data protection processes more difficult.
  • Global data protection regulations constantly change, usually tightening data protection requirements.
  • Data breaches are more frequent, potentially exposing a lot more data as people and organizations rely on technology more than ever.
  • Stolen data is worth more.

DLP Best Practices

Determine your main data protection objective.

Are you trying to protect your intellectual property or meet regulatory compliance? Having a clear understanding will allow you to easily determine the most appropriate DLP architecture.

When searching for DLP solutions, cover as many aspects as possible.

  • What types of deployment architectures are offered?
  • Do you need to defend against both internal and external threats?
  • Will users be able to self-classify documents?
  • Are you interested in protecting mainly structured or unstructured data?
  • What compliance regulations are you bound by? Are there any industry-specific standards?
  • How quickly do you have to implement your DLP program?
  • Will you need additional staff to manage your program?
  • What technologies would you like to integrate with your DLP?

Also, a comprehensive DLP solution will provide the IT security team with complete visibility into all data on the network:

Data in use: Protecting data being used by an application or endpoint through user authentication and access control.

Data in motion: Securing transmission of sensitive information while it moves across the network.

Data at rest: Protecting any network-stored data including cloud through access restrictions and user authentication mechanisms.

Always collaborate with all business units and with your IT security provider to define the DLP policies that will govern your organization’s data. This will ensure that all business units are aware of the policies in place.

Define success metrics and share results with business executives. Determine measurable key performance indicators and monitor them closely to determine the efficiency of your DLP program and areas of improvement.

Contextualize suspicious attempts to strengthen prevention measures and remediation activities.

Document your processes carefully. This will help you implement policies consistently, give you a document of record for when reviews are needed, and will also be necessary when onboarding new team members or employees.

Perform regular audits to ensure that your DLP program is working as intended.


DLP is a program, not a product. Observing how users, systems, and events interact is crucial for data protection. Understanding that DLP is a constant process to be continuously worked on will help you achieve long-lasting success.