DLP-as-a-Service: What MSPs Must Know About Managed Data Loss Prevention

DLP-as-a-Service: What MSPs Must Know About Managed Data Loss Prevention

November 23

As long as businesses need help solving the day to day challenges of their IT environment, there will be golden opportunities for MSPs to step in and shoulder the load. The field of managed services is a lucrative one that offers more than a handful of lively segments primed for tapping. If you’re looking for an area that is sure to remain prosperous into the future, managed data loss prevention could be it.

In a recent report, Gartner identified DLP as the fastest-growing segment of the IT security space, predicting a CAGR of nearly 19 percent through 2018. The objective of data loss prevention couldn’t be any simpler: do whatever it takes to keep data from leaking out of the organization and into the hands of parties that can potentially abuse it. Understanding why DLP technology has exploded at such a rapid pace is as simple as examining your own situation.

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Every company making a profit is sitting on information they can’t afford to lose. Customer records. Payroll data. Copyright details. They make a concerted effort to keep this stuff under lock and key, but can’t help losing confidence of their ability to do so in today’s over-connected world. The fact of the matter is that the proliferation of mobile devices, social networks, and sophisticated security threats only increase the likelihood of a data breach.

At its very core, the DLP concept aims to prevent evildoers from getting their hands on company data. Beyond that, it can help IT security personnel quickly identify exactly what has been compromised, provide a detailed trail to the crooks, and minimize the damage, all of which is equally vital in the event of a breach. With these factors at mind, here are some legitimate reasons organizations are investing in data loss prevention:

They’re vulnerable to internal attacks: Most firms have a strategy for protecting data against external threats. When it comes to thwarting attacks by staff, partners, and users, they don’t even know where to begin. If an employee is suspected of treachery, DLP technology can identify the data they’re trying to steal, block it directly at their workstation and prevent it from ever leaving the network.

Compliance is complicated: Compliance laws affect organizations in both the public and private sectors. The requirements are complex and the penalties for non-compliance have the potential to be crippling. Regulations related to privacy and breach notification are challenging firms beyond their existing capabilities. A comprehensive DLP solution can simplify these laws by automating the collection, reporting, and auditing aspects that are essential to achieving compliance.

Channel trends increase vulnerability: Enterprise mobility is the ultimate double-edged sword, one we can’t help but embrace. DLP controls help prevent data leakage across mobile devices, social media, and other channels that are essentially unsecured. If that data runs through the network, be it in storage or travelling over a smartphone, this technology can monitor it and greatly reduce the chance of it actually leaving the network.

Cloud security is an issue: Companies are flocking to the cloud, yet security continues to be a major concern. It’s hard to have confidence in cloud offerings when you’re not really sure where your data is physically stored. Using advanced encryption, DLP aims to protect data no matter where it resides – on the network, at the endpoint, or even in the cloud. So even if they’re able to lift it from the cloud, thieves can’t put the data they nab to use.

Better security means a better competitive edge: A security breach makes an organization vulnerable in more ways than one. Whether it’s a calculated strike from the outside or an honest internal mistake, the loss of sensitive data can hurt a company’s reputation, diminish shareholder value, and damage their brand beyond repair. By protecting valuable information, DLP helps organizations avoid bad pub, losing customers, and other negative situations that often follow a security breach.

Selling DLP as a Service

A leak can spell disaster for organizations that deal with sensitive data. Financial loss and reputation hits aren’t even the worst that can happen. Most firms understand this, yet don’t have the technology, expertise, or monetary resources to maximize their loss prevention efforts. In delivering DLP as a service, vendors can offer clients a solution that provides immediate access to technologies that protect them against continually evolving threats originating from both outside and inside of the company.

At a glance, managed data loss prevention looks like a recurring breadwinner. Let’s go over some key factors service providers need to think about before taking the plunge.

Delivery Model

On-premise DLP solutions have traditionally been too tedious and cost prohibitive for even established firms to handle. MSPs currently have it much easier thanks to appliances that aim to make DLP as simple as possible. The ideal appliance comes with the operating system pre-installed, the essential components pre-configured, and all the essential tools in easy reach. Everything you need to get optimal performance from the deployment is served up in a neat little package, including the diverse set of features you’d expect from an enterprise-class DLP solution.

The cloud offers a viable alternative for service providers that can’t afford to run with a traditional DLP infrastructure. With a little effort you can find white label solutions that make data loss prevention affordable for both resellers and the customer. Of course the cloud has its drawbacks, so technology companies are pushing hybrid solutions that connect to in-house systems. So if you’re eyeing true DLP-as-a-Service, you may want an offering that also integrates with software from McAfee, Symantec, WebSense or other known vendors.

DLP Features

In order to provide true data loss prevention capabilities, a DLP solution must be equipped with some basic features. Robust policy management is one of them. You want something that makes it possible to create and manage policies around compliance regulations and their associated data requirements. If you can find software that comes bundled with a set of built-in policies, you’re golden. These are essentially templates that provide the tools and guidance clients need to build custom policies for HIPAA, PCI DS, and other compliance standards.

Segment Scope

Finally, your ideal customer may determine the best DLP-as-a-Service path beyond delivery model and features. A select few companies still have little to no web presence and handle most of their business through email and face-to-face interactions. In this scenario, it may be wise to choose a product that exclusively focuses on scanning, analyzing, and protecting email instead of something that extends to web content. Knowing whether you need a full-on solution or a system that targets specific channels will ultimately factor into the return on your investment, and your ability to effectively manage the technology at your disposal.

Speaking of DLP customers, they exist across a broad range of sectors. This technology can be equally useful to the huge automobile manufacturer in possession of production blueprints as well as the small merchant with credit card data to safeguard. MSPs, VARs, and other vendors can win big by eliminating as many DLP challenges as possible.