Protecting Data with a SASE Solution

3 min. read

Data loss prevention (DLP) is the practice of protecting a company’s data against loss, theft or misuse, regardless of where it is located and whether it’s at rest, in use or in motion.

Today, companies collect and process massive amounts of information, ranging from confidential business and customer data to sensitive intellectual property to everyday data. They’re also storing their data in more places than ever – data centers, public and private clouds, software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, mobile devices and so on. As a result, many organizations no longer know where all their data is or which applications their employees use, nor do they have any visibility into how or from which devices their data is being accessed, used, transferred or shared. Organizations also struggle with the configurations of tools they use to distinguish sensitive data from normal, shareable data. As an example, while Social Security numbers are nine digits, invoice numbers could also fit that description. For reasons like this, it can be cumbersome – and generally require manual effort – to create generic descriptive policies to try to define and protect sensitive data.

This makes it difficult for organizations to secure their crown jewels. In addition, limited coverage of data channels, such as partial visibility into network traffic or SaaS usage, can result in “shadow IT” (systems or software used for business purposes without the organization’s approval) being overlooked. This is critical since Gartner predicts that, by 2020, one-third of successful attacks on enterprises will be on shadow IT resources.

Current Solutions Are Not Ideal

To address a variety of high-priority problems around their sensitive data, Organizations need a data protection solution that can:

  • Prevent data breaches
  • Maintain regulatory compliance
  • Protect intellectual property
  • Minimize user mistakes
  • Stop malicious insiders

Legacy enterprise DLP solutions don’t fit the needs of modern organizations transforming their networks and adopting the cloud. These solutions are costly, require a massive amount of customization, are siloed and don’t extend well into the cloud. Embedded DLP solutions from cloud providers only protect one channel or repository at a time, requiring their customers to invest in multiple products to protect every data channel and egress point. Organizations need a simplified yet comprehensive data protection solution.

Cloud DLP with a Side of SASE

Cloud DLP allows consistent discovery, monitoring, governance and security of an organization’s sensitive data regardless of its location, everywhere it resides and moves, both on-premises and in the cloud. By utilizing the cloud, a next-generation DLP solution provides simplified implementation, unified data policies and quick remediation actions.

Secure access service edge (SASE; pronounced “sassy”) is a newer cybersecurity model proposed by Gartner that combines networking solutions like SD-WAN with security services, such as cloud DLP, cloud access security brokers (CASB), next-generation firewalls and others, to deliver comprehensive security in a cloud environment.

Through a SASE approach, DLP becomes a cloud-delivered solution centered around the data itself. As an embedded solution within the organization’s existing control points, cloud DLP eliminates the need to deploy and maintain multiple tools. A SASE solution automates the process of:

  • Discovering and classifying sensitive data at rest, in use or in motion
  • Authenticating users and devices to better manage who has access to applications and data
  • Applying policies across a company’s entire network, including multiple cloud environments, applications, mobile devices, on-premises data centers and more
  • Identifying and potentially stopping illegitimate or malicious activity

Benefits of SASE

With SASE, organizations can use DLP to identify sensitive data and implement security policies in order to control unauthorized data access and unsafe movement across the organization. SASE provides many benefits, including:

  • Consistent security and cloud data protection while enabling organizations to establish and maintain regulatory compliance
  • A single, centralized view of the network
  • Simplified network complexity, management and reporting as well as lower costs with a single cloud platform for networking security and DLP instead of multiple point products
  • Reduced time spent dealing with DLP and security-related implementation challenges, such as capital expenditures on hardware, upgrades, firewalls in the field, customization, etc.
  • Secure access to a company’s network, anytime, anywhere and from any device
  • Faster DLP and security response with fewer IT personnel

Learn more about SASE in our 10 Tenets of an Effective SASE Solution e-book.