Data loss can spell big trouble for your business. According to a study conducted by Verizon, small data breaches have an average cost of roughly $18,000 to $35,000, whereas large data breaches — those consisting of at least 100 records — have an average cost of roughly $5 million to $15 million. Whether small or large, though, you can prevent the costly effects of data loss by deploying Data Loss Prevention (DLP) strategy.

#1) Leverage User Permissions

User permissions are a core concept of DLP. What are user permissions exactly? They consist of rules that limit or restrict data access based on a user’s level. In other words, you can create multiple levels of permissions. Users at the bottom level may have access to broad and less-sensitive data, whereas users at the top level may have access to all of your business’s data.

#2) Monitor Traffic

You can create a more effective DLP strategy by monitoring traffic. When an unauthorized user tries to access your data, he or she will create traffic. Traffic is simply users moving around a network. By monitoring traffic, you can look for suspicious activities that could otherwise indicate a data breach. If you spot a suspicious Internet Protocol (IP) address attempting to access a protected database multiple times, for instance, you can configure your firewall to block it.

#3) Encrypt, Encrypt, Encrypt!

Don’t forget to encrypt your data. Encryption is arguably the single most important thing you can do to protect against data loss. Encryption uses an algorithm to make data unreadable. When encrypted, otherwise readable data becomes a seemingly random sequence of characters. Therefore, even if an unauthorized user accesses it, he or she won’t be able to use it.

#4) Scan for Threats

Another tip for a more effective DLP strategy is to scan for cyber threats. Malware can make its way onto the same local or cloud-based storage drives that contain your data. Depending on the type of malware, it may attempt to copy or steal your data. You can prevent this from happening by scanning for cyber threats. Be sure to scan the storage drives containing your data for viruses and other forms of malware.

#5) Clean Data Regularly

Data often requires cleaning. If you no longer need a particular set of data, there’s no point in keeping it. Keeping the data will only consume storage drive space while simultaneously increasing the risk of data loss. As a result, you should delete it. Once deleted, there’s no chance of a nefarious user copying or otherwise stealing it.

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