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Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Types, Tips, and More

July 1, 2024

Data Loss Prevention

Regardless of your industry, the data your business holds needs protection. This is especially the case as companies move more toward remote workforces and rely on cloud infrastructures to share information.

Data often differentiates one business from its competitors. Unfortunately, from trade secrets to customer and employee personal information, cybercriminals can also use this data for their own benefits. But with data loss prevention strategies in place, you can build a safer system so your data is protected from potential exploits.

The best data loss prevention software aids in controlling access to this data, while also ensuring compliance of sensitive business information with industry and federal standards like HIPAA. Security vulnerabilities in systems make it easy for criminals to access this information, such as weak or stolen passwords, outdated software, or insider threats from malicious personnel.

Types of data loss prevention solutions

Businesses can employ three types of data loss prevention solutions. These can be used on an as-needed basis, or you can set up a combination of the three types to protect different types of data at once.

  • Network DLP: When using network DLPs, loss prevention concentrates on how data moves around and out of a given network. You can use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect traffic anomalies that could indicate a data breach, while other tools indicate what normal user patterns are on the network, like email sending trends or file transfers.
  • Endpoint DLP: Monitoring endpoints like servers, computers, or mobile devices can help you see when data is used or moved. These DLP solutions are typically installed directly on devices and can remotely block action on them if necessary.
  • Cloud DLP: Any businesses using cloud-based storage solutions should implement cloud DLP. Like endpoint and network systems, these DLP solutions can scan, monitor, and encrypt data in cloud storage.

Data loss prevention best practices

Businesses need to consider following a number of best practices to ensure that data is as protected as possible.

Prioritize data

Not all business data is as critical as others. Within your organization, determine which is the most sensitive and prioritize its protection. Start with your most vulnerable and valuable data and work down the priority list according to needs and budget.

Understand when data is at risk

Know when your data could be at risk and where the potential risks come from. Customer or vendor data, outside of company data, is usually some of the most important. Track how this type of information is shared, like in email attachments or removable storage devices that could be easily compromised.

Continually monitor data

You can only understand when data is at risk if you know what the normal usage patterns are. This is how you spot anomalies. It also helps businesses determine the scope of how DLP solutions should be implemented.

Train employees on cybersecurity 

Data isn’t always at risk from hackers. Often, it’s compromised by the negligent actions of internal employees. Many don’t even know that their behavior could result in data loss, so it’s vital to provide ongoing cybersecurity training to the team in order to provide better internal protections.

Main uses for data loss prevention software

While there’s all types of data that businesses hold, they can be broken down into three key categories:

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Personal data like social security numbers, protected health information covered under HIPAA, and payment card information (PCI) are all considered PII. In the hands of cybercriminals, this information can be used to steal individual identities or access financial accounts.
  • IP data. Intellectual property (IP) data can be a lucrative win for hackers. Business financial information can also be compromised when IP data is accessed by unauthorized users.
  • Data visibility. While this isn’t a specific type of data that needs to be protected, data loss prevention solutions may help companies improve their data visibility by helping you see and track endpoints, networks, and cloud connections related to your business.

Best data loss prevention software

Also known as data leak prevention software, DLP is used to secure control and ensure compliance of sensitive business information. Security staff can set business rules to determine who has access to view, change, and share confidential information.

To be included in the data loss prevention software category, platforms must:

  • Monitor data storage and sharing for compliance 
  • Allow administrative control over data governance 
  • Detect data leaks or misuse 
  • Facilitate data identification and discovery

Below are the top five leading data loss prevention software solutions from G2’s Spring 2024 Grid Report. Some reviews may be edited for clarity.

1. Fortra's Digital Guardian 

Fortra’s Digital Guardian gives companies immediate visibility into the status of critical assets, helping protect data and intellectual property wherever it lives on your business system. Pre-built dashboards and compliance policies make it easy for IT security teams to see results and mitigate risks as quickly as possible.

What users like best: 

“The software surpasses expectations in safeguarding our data, offering outstanding security features that ensure the protection of our critical information. Utilizing advanced measures, it successfully thwarts unauthorized access and shields us from potential cyber threats.”

- Fortra’s Digital Guardian Review, Dawna Xenia M.

What users dislike: 

“Configuring Digital Guardian can pose challe­nges, especially for companie­s with limited IT resources. It ne­cessitates a comprehe­nsive grasp of the system and its various functions. Eve­n for newcomers (like myse­lf), navigating through its interface can be daunting.”

- Fortra’s Digital Guardian Review, Sherry H.

2. Nightfall AI

Using state-of-the-art AI tools, Nightfall AI provides cloud data loss prevention solutions available via a browser plugin or integrated APIs. Use apps like ChatGPT, Slack, and Google Drive to keep your data safe and become compliant wherever your data resides.

What users like best: 

“Their accessibility is one of their more unique attributes; their team is connected with our Slack channel and has been highly responsive to emails and calls.”

- Nightfall AI Review, Kenneth C.

What users dislike: 

“Nightfall is primarily designed to protect specific types of data, such as financial transactions OR PHI/PII, and may not be suitable for other use cases. This means that you may need to use additional privacy tools or workarounds to protect other types of sensitive information.”

- Nightfall AI Review, David D.

3. Coro Cybersecurity 

Coro Cybersecurity protects email, data, endpoint devices, and cloud applications at every level from potential threats. Powered by AI, 95% of risks can be identified and managed with the tool’s unique one-click resolve.

What users like best: 

“The software is easy to set up and clear about what actions are needed. When we were going through a security audit with one of our customers we needed to show proof that our anti-virus was updated regularly. With Bitdefender built into the product, we didn't have an easy way to demonstrate this fact. The Coro team was on top of it and arranged for an affidavit signed by their CTO which enabled us to pass our security audit.”

- Coro Cybersecurity Review, Tad L.

What users dislike: 

“I wish Coro had more functionality in Google Workspace. Particularly, integration with Google Drive to secure cloud files and sharing. I would like to see more with file sharing.”

- Coro Cybersecurity, Kenny S.

4. BetterCloud

BetterCloud is an industry-leading management platform, helping IT teams eliminate 78% of their SaaS management work and providing security coverage for a range of environments. The tools help automate critical work like user lifecycle processes that allow employee productivity to increase and keep unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data.

What users like best: 

“Automating our workflow needs has saved us a lot of time and speeds up the onboarding process. They keep expanding their lineup and services, and the product just works.”

- BetterCloud Review, Noel E.

What users dislike: 

“BetterCloud does come with a reasonably high price tag. You have to make sure that you put in the work configuring your integrations and creating the workflows. Also, it doesn't seem to mesh as well with Microsoft as an IdP.”

- BetterCloud Review, Jason S.

5. Zscaler Internet Access

As a cloud native security service edge (SSE), Zscaler Internet Access offers a scalable SaaS platform as part of the world’s largest security cloud. Replacing legacy network solutions helps businesses stop advanced attacks and provides protection against data loss with a zero trust approach that companies can count on.

What users like best: 

“Zscaler cloud security gives unparalleled protection with ease of use. Its integration with different platforms makes it unique.”

- Zscaler Review, Sarthak C.

What users dislike: 

“Sometimes you feel it impacts your network speed and latency. And sometimes customer support does not give you a proper solution.”

- Zscaler Review, Sahil K.


Keep your business data protected 

Few assets are more valuable than your business data. Implement data loss prevention solutions to stay on top of any security threats waiting to compromise these valuable resources.

Better understand your data vulnerabilities with risk-based vulnerability management software that gives you around the clock insight into threats. 

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Software Set your security systems!

Feel good about keeping your digital assets safe with data loss prevention software for your business.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Software Set your security systems!

Feel good about keeping your digital assets safe with data loss prevention software for your business.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Types, Tips, and More DLP software is the best way to keep your business assets safe from cybercriminals and unauthorized users. Learn more about implementing these solutions.
Holly Landis Holly Landis is a freelance writer for G2. She also specializes in being a digital marketing consultant, focusing in on-page SEO, copy, and content writing. She works with SMEs and creative businesses that want to be more intentional with their digital strategies and grow organically on channels they own. As a Brit now living in the USA, you'll usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea in her cherished Anne Boleyn mug while watching endless reruns of Parks and Rec.

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