It’s imperative that the data our customers trust us to store securely remains secure. There are a number of ways to go about safeguarding your data. Here we’ve attached a video that introduces the idea of data loss prevention and how it applies to your organization. And if you’re looking for a tech support in Columbia, TN, please give us a call!

Introduction to Data Loss Prevention

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Hi this is Chris Leffel with Code Green Networks and today we’re going to be doing an introduction to data loss prevention solutions. The first thing that you want to think about when you’re thinking about a data loss prevention solution is what are your objectives for having a solution in place? In this example, what I want to do is prevent confidential information from moving from the inside of my organization, represented by these folks here, out to external entities. In this case, we’ll just be looking at the movement of confidential information out onto the internet. The second thing that you want to think about is, what are your current policies around the safe handling of confidential data? So, under what circumstances do you want to encrypt it, under what circumstances are people allowed to send it out and get a handle on those types of things. Once you have that in mind, then what you can do is put a data loss prevention solution in place to help you enforce those policies. To help you enforce those policies we need to know what the data is that these folks should not be sending out.

What I’m going to do is attach my data loss prevention solution to my customer database. My customer database, in this case, has account numbers, and social security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, all sorts of confidential information I don’t want leaving my organization. What we’re going to do is read all of that information out of the customer database into the data loss prevention solution. Now, we’re not actually copying the cells from inside of the database to the data loss prevention solution. What we’re doing is reading a cell over here, running it through a cryptographic hash and storing that hash inside of the data loss prevention solution. That procedure of read, hash, store, read, hash, store is called data fingerprinting and that allows you to have very accurate data detection on the backside of the transaction and we’ll get to that in just a minute.

Now that I have hashes of all my confidential information stored over here in my data loss prevention solution, I can write policies to the effect of, if I see a name and SSN leaving my environment in a document, I want to for example prevent that information from leaving. This name and this SSN, remember, come from your customer database. We’re looking for two very specific pieces of information. Let’s look at an example of what happens when somebody tries to send that information out. Let’s say we’ve got Bob down here and Bob creates a spreadsheet with a bunch of names and accounts and social security numbers in it and he prepares it every month to send it to one of your business partners. He attempts to send that information out. In this case, we’ll say he crafts an email, attaches the Excel spreadsheet to the email and sends that out. The data loss prevention solution opens the email, opens up the Excel spreadsheet attachment, reads through all of the cells in the spreadsheet, looking for any of the cells that match these fingerprints and then also, applying this policy that we put in place.

So, do we have any of the SSNs, social security numbers, that were in this database? Do we have any of the names that were in this customer database? If we do then the policy we wrote would hit and we can take some sort of remediated action on that email message. Now, if this was going from a legitimate user to a legitimate business partner, you might just encrypt it and send it on. If it was going from a user that was not supposed to have access or send this information, you might just block it. You might also do things like sending a bounce back message to the user saying, “Please don’t send this type of information out.”, and quarantine the message until it could be reviewed.

The last thing that I wanted to talk about is, let’s say you wanted to block that same type of transaction except this time instead of just using email, we’re using Gmail or Yahoo mail or MSN Hotmail. Let’s say Bob gets his message bounce back when he tries to send the spreadsheet out via email so he opens up Gmail and creates a Gmail message, attaches the spreadsheet and tries to send it out. Well, a data loss prevention solution can see that transaction as well. It’ll take apart the Gmail message, it’ll take apart the Excel spreadsheet that’s been attached to it and apply the same policies that we talked about before for the email to the webmail as well.

Now then, the ability to inspect network traffic, webmail, email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Wikis, all of that type of stuff is referred to as data in motion data loss prevention. So the two things that I want you to remember from this video are fingerprinting, when we copy the data out of the database into the data loss prevention solution we get fingerprints of the data, so we don’t actually have the actual data. This lets us look for your customers’ for example, social security numbers in transactions, not just nine digit numbers. The other key concept to remember is the ability to monitor network traffic like we talked about here, is referred to as data in motion in data loss prevention. Thank you very much.

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If you’d like more information on setting up a data loss prevention solution for your business, or are interested in aquiring other IT services for your business, contact us here at Simplify Tech via phone (615) 375-6634 or by email at