Why Does Linux Need Data Loss Prevention?
Linux has earned a reputation of being the most secure operating system, but it still has its own security flaws despite this.
Deploying a secure operating system is an important starting point for every business, but even the most secure networks can be invaded. Like the myth of the invulnerable Mac, there is a misconception that Linux OS is completely secure – but in fact, we have to admit that no operating system is fully immune to security threats.
Linux has gained more popularity among users over the past few years, as well as more attention from attackers. Although the open-source operating system is secure by design, as its adoption continues to soar, there is an increased risk for external and internal threats. Most Linux distros come with some advanced security tools, but security incidents have proved that these are not enough anymore to prevent data breaches.
Linux Security Concerns
The latest Linux vulnerabilities include “Dirty Sock“, an exploit discovered by Chris Moberly, a security researcher. This vulnerability affected Ubuntu primarily and could have been used to gain total access and control to a target system. Last year Gentoo, a widespread Linux distribution, had its GitHub repository hacked. The incident was a reminder of how hard it is to keep everything secure in a cloud-centric world, where multiple people have access to information, multiple repositories deal with traffic, and a growing number of attackers with ranges of motivations want access to digital data.
Besides external threats, internal ones are both common and extremely harmful, regardless of the used operating system. For organizations, it is crucial to make a difference between the security of an operating system and the security of the data created, which is edited and handled by people and saved on the operating system. Human error and insider threats are some of the main reasons for data loss and data theft, which can and do still occur even in a “secure” environment.
For years, Linux was primarily used by smaller, more tech-centric groups, but nowadays, several sectors – including education, government, nuclear, and aviation are extensively relying on it. It is also worth keeping in mind that, with the rise of BYOD, more and more companies have mixed OS networks that include machines running on Linux and either Windows or macOS (and sometimes even on all three operating systems).
Boosting Security with Data Loss Prevention
As data security has been a hot topic for years and new privacy regulations proliferate, organizations using Linux operating systems and those with multi-platform environments can enhance their security with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions, safeguarding both sensitive data and intellectual property.
Controlling Data in Transit and at Rest
With a DLP product, organizations can gain control of who can access sensitive data through safeguarding endpoints, gateways, and cloud services, thus protecting it from malicious threats that attempt to compromise data integrity. Portable storage devices such as USB flash drives, smartphones, tablets, and cloud services like Skype, Dropbox, or Google Drive may put companies’ sensitive data at high risk. Therefore, it is critical to control data use within and outside the company.
Although the number of Linux vulnerabilities is growing, the number of available security solutions is limited. Cross-platform solutions, such as Endpoint Protector, help secure sensitive data and prevent data loss, data leaks, or data theft on an organization’s entire network, whether it is Windows, macOS, or Linux-based. It also provides Content-Aware Data Loss Prevention, Device Control, and eDiscovery for various Linux versions and distributions.
A DLP solution can help organizations using Linux to manage the portable devices connected to the computers and to monitor all transfers of data to authorized devices. Thus they can prevent users from taking unauthorized data outside the company or bringing potential harmful files on storage devices.
Another important feature of DLP products is data discovery, which helps businesses identify and locate sensitive data to properly protect it or securely remove it. Data discovery can minimize both internal and external attack vectors: unauthorized employees storing sensitive data on their computers and outsiders who manage to bypass the network defense and try to get access to the company’s records.
Safeguarding Sensitive Data and Intellectual Property
The best DLP solutions on the market can give organizations using Linux OS detailed control over sensitive data leaving the company’s network through efficient content inspection. Therefore it is possible to safeguard not only sensitive data, like name, phone number, or bank account, but also the intellectual property, such as software source code or Rich Media Content.
Endpoint Protector makes it possible to block the transmission of files depending on the file type; filters can be created based on predefined content, thus blocking the transmission of the selected sensitive data.
Looking for a Data Loss Prevention solution? Check our DLP for Linux.
Frequently Asked Questions
With a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software, you can set-up policies on Linux endpoints, control exit points, and detect and block sensitive data in your organization. DLP can help you protect confidential business information and employees’ records against data breaches on Linux machines (various distributions like Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS, OpenSUSE), taking you step by step through the policies building. Deploy a DLP solution and stop users from uploading, sending, and copying/pasting confidential data from Linux workstations to the cloud, to online applications and to portable storage devices.
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Data Loss Prevention Best Practices
Helping IT Managers, IT Administrators and data security staff understand the concept and purpose of DLP and how to easily implement it.