Nowadays, the majority of businesses work with a mixture of device types and operating systems. Cross-platform Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions help diminishing security vulnerabilities in heterogeneous IT environments.
Security risks in multi-OS environments
Over the past decade, organizations have shifted from a predominantly Microsoft Windows environment to various platforms, including macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. The shift from a largely homogeneous environment to a multi-OS one is due to multiple reasons. These include, among others, the consumerization of IT, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies, cloud-based infrastructure, and an increasingly mobile workforce. Nowadays, users expect to access confidential corporate information at any time, from any device, using any type of connection. These trends have led to increased risks in terms of security.
Today it is common for organizations that workloads run on a variety of platforms in various places, some of them on-premises while others in the cloud. As each OS and device type has its own particularities, a cross-platform environment is causing challenges to IT admins and is a solid premise for data security issues. The amount of data that businesses handle is also growing; thus, the risk of transferring it on the cloud, on portable storage devices, and other exit points is increasing. Public disclosure of confidential data can happen both due to human error or malicious intentions and can cause irreparable damages to companies, including fines and reputational harm.
Therefore it is crucial for businesses to choose IT security vendors focused on delivering mixed-platform solutions. Hereafter, solutions that secure and manage heterogeneous system environments will be the norm, not the exception.
How does a cross-platform DLP solution help?
By deploying a cross-platform DLP solution like Endpoint Protector, companies can apply the same data protection policies on all workstations. These solutions can secure data processed in endpoint devices, data in transit, and stored on servers or other digital stores. Using monitoring, filtering, blocking, and other remediation features, cross-platform DLP solutions safeguard confidential information such as personal information or intellectual property. The risks posed by internal threats that could lead to data being leaked, stolen, damaged, or otherwise compromised significantly diminish. In addition to these, compliance with various rules and regulations, like GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS, is also met.
Control data transfers via USB ports
Although mobile devices and cloud storage are becoming more popular, traditional endpoints still are major repositories for sensitive corporate data. Device Control is an essential feature of DLP solutions, as it allows full control of the USB ports and connected storage devices, regardless of the operating system. It serves as an important measure of protection as it can open or block access to devices such as USB flash drives, external HDDs, printers, modems, etc.
As today’s workforce is becoming ever more dynamic and data on the move is particularly vulnerable, it is crucial to protect confidential information copied to removable storage devices. With Enforced Encryption, companies can encrypt sensitive data while on the move, and employees can access it on any Windows or macOS computer.
Protect data in motion and at rest
With the Content Aware Protection module, organizations can prevent accidental or intentional data loss of files containing confidential data, such as contracts’ details, personally identifiable information, and confidential financial data like IBAN numbers, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers.
For businesses collecting and managing information like Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Credit Card Numbers (CCNs), and other confidential data, it is critical to ensure that this information is safely stored and, in case of computer loss or theft, the information does not get into malicious or careless hands. The eDiscovery module allows scanning of identified sensitive data stored on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, and administrators can take remediation actions like encrypting or deleting data at rest.
As a wrap-up
Heterogeneous IT environments present some particular security challenges, and having a variety of platforms increases the complexity and cost of managing the infrastructure within an organization. However, by choosing the right security solutions, companies can significantly diminish security vulnerabilities. Cross-platform DLPs efficiently address data-related threats on Windows, Linux, and Mac computers, including the risks of inadvertent or accidental data loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
When used in conjunction with complementary controls, DLP helps to prevent the accidental exposure of confidential information across all devices. Wherever data lives, in transit on the network, at rest in storage, or in use, DLP can monitor it and significantly reduce the risk of data loss.
DLP solutions provide IT administrators a 360-degree view of the location, flow and usage of data across the enterprise.
It checks network actions against your pre-defined organization’s security policies, and enables you to protect and control sensitive data, including customer information, personally identifiable information (PII), financial data and intellectual property.
With an in-depth understanding of this data, your organization can set the appropriate data policies to protect it and make risk-prioritized decisions about what assets need to be protected and at what cost.
DLP capabilities for the enforcement of corporate policies and processes can help improve technical and organizational productivity, promote compliance, and provide tools & methods for more comprehensive information governance.
DLP solutions provide up-to date policy templates that address specific requirements, automate compliance, and enable the collection and reporting of metrics. When a policy need is identified, DLP can make the change as simple as enabling an appropriate policy template on your system.
Some DLP systems require lengthy and complex deployment plans that demand highly specialized skills to build. Be sure that you know what a typical deployment timeline is for each DLP software you are evaluating, but also what professional services will be required to get your DLP plan up and running.
You also must understand the ongoing, operational resources that will be needed to manage the solution. How easy is it to make policy changes as needed, what kind of training will be required for your team and end users, and does it meet your reporting needs?
Understanding what your company’s data security needs are in these key areas, and what can deliver a potential DLP, will help you identify the solution that best fits your environment and resources available.
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