Reducing Security Risks with Cross-Platform DLP

February 11, 2019

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.

Over the past decade, the organizations have shifted from a predominantly Microsoft Windows environment to using multiple platforms, including macOS and Linux as well as iOS and Android. The shift from a largely homogeneous environment is due to multiple reasons, including the consumerization of IT, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies, cloud-based infrastructure and an increasingly mobile workforce. In today’s world, users expect the ability to access confidential corporate information 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 a variety of 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 as well. 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.

By deploying a cross-platform DLP solution like Endpoint Protector it is possible to apply the same data protection policies on all workstations, as well as secure data processed in endpoint devices, data in transmission and data stored on servers and other digital stores. Using monitoring, filtering, blocking and other remediation features, these 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 are significantly reduced. In addition to these, compliance with various rules and regulations, like GDPR, HIPAA or PCI DSS is also met.

Although mobile devices and cloud storage are becoming more popular, traditional endpoints still are a major repository for sensitive corporate data. Device Control is an important feature of DLP solutions, as it allows full control of the USB ports and connected storage devices, regardless of the operating system on which it is deployed. 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.

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.

As today’s workforce is becoming ever more dynamic and data on the move is particularly vulnerable, it is important to protect confidential information copied to removable storage devices. With Enforced Encryption sensitive data can be encrypted while on the move, and it can be accessed everywhere on any Windows, Linux or MacOS computer.

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.

Heterogeneous IT environments present some special 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, vulnerabilities can be significantly diminished. Cross-platform DLPs address data related threats on Windows, Linux and Mac computers, including the risks of inadvertent or accidental data loss.


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