Data leakage and how to prevent it


Data leakage prevention, also known as DLP, is a set of technologies and policies designed to prevent sensitive data from being disclosed or stolen by unauthorized parties. This can include confidential information such as personal data, intellectual property, financial records, and other sensitive materials that companies collect on daily basis especially in the health care finance and insurance industries .

Data leaks can have serious consequences for organizations, such as:

Legal and regulatory fines: Organizations that experience a data leak may be subject to fines and penalties under data protection regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA. These fines can be significant, with some reaching into the millions of dollars.

Reputational damage: Data leaks can damage an organization's reputation, eroding customer trust and loyalty. Negative publicity surrounding a data leak can also impact employee morale and recruitment efforts.

Lost revenue: A data leak can result in lost revenue due to customers leaving the organization, decreased sales, or disruption of business operations.

Increased security costs: After a data leak, an organization may need to invest in additional security measures to prevent future incidents. This can include security audits, technology upgrades, and employee training.

Intellectual property theft: Data leaks can also result in the theft of intellectual property, such as trade secrets or proprietary information. This can have long-term impacts on an organization's competitive advantage and market position.

Data tampering or loss: In addition to data theft, a data leak can also result in data tampering or loss. This can impact an organization's ability to make informed decisions based on accurate information.

According to Statista In 2022, the number of data compromises in the United States stood at 1802 cases. Meanwhile, over 422 million individuals were affected in the same year by data compromises, including data breaches, leakage, and exposure. While these are three different events, they have one thing in common. As a result of all three incidents, the sensitive data is accessed by an unauthorized threat actor.


Statistic: Annual number of data compromises and individuals impacted in the United States from 2005 to 2022 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Industries most vulnerable to data breaches

Some industry sectors usually see more significant cases of private data violations than others. This is determined by the type and volume of the personal information organizations of these sectors store. In 2022, healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing were the three industry sectors that recorded most data breaches. The number of healthcare data breaches in the United States has gradually increased within the past few years. In the financial sector, data compromises increased almost twice between 2020 and 2022, while manufacturing saw an increase of more than three times in data compromise incidents.

Largest data exposures worldwide

In 2020, an adult streaming website, CAM4, experienced a leakage of nearly 11 billion records. This, by far, is the most extensive reported data leakage. This case, though, is unique because cyber security researchers found the vulnerability before the cyber criminals. The second-largest data breach is the Yahoo data breach, dating back to 2013. The company first reported about one billion exposed records, then later, in 2017, came up with an updated number of leaked records, which was three billion. In March 2018, the third biggest data breach happened, involving India’s national identification database Aadhaar. As a result of this incident, over 1.1 billion records were exposed. Therefore, it is crucial for organizations to implement effective DLP measures to protect their sensitive information.

SURF Zero-Trust Browser is designed with security in mind and provides a secure browsing environment for users.

Here are some of the ways the browser can help with DLP:

  1. Prevents unauthorized access to data- The Zero-Trust browser employs a zero-trust security model, which means that it assumes that all requests are potentially malicious and requires verification for every request. This helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data by ensuring that only authorized users can access it.

  2. Blocks data exfiltration the secured enterprise Browser also employs a variety of techniques to block data exfiltration, including preventing copy and paste, disabling downloads,PII masking, screen capturing blockage, preventing printing  and blocking access to certain websites. This helps ensure that sensitive data does not leave the secure browsing environment and is not transmitted to unauthorized parties.

  3. Monitors and alerts on suspicious activity-SURF provides real-time monitoring of user corporate activity, which helps detect suspicious behaviour and potential data leaks including an abnormal behaviour report,  the ability to kill the session for the user at any time, killing the session tokens and cookies. The browser can also be configured to alert administrators if it detects any unusual activity, providing an additional layer of security.

  4. Enforces security policies-The zero-trust browser can be customized to enforce specific security policies on specific users, groups and entities, such as restricting access to certain websites or blocking certain types of files from being downloaded or uploaded. Surf can also disable the ability to connect to the users personal acoounts, such as Gmail or github etc. , for the chance to steal the code or the data outside of the organization as internal malicious users. This helps ensure that users are adhering to security best practices and that sensitive data is being protected.

In conclusion, data leakage prevention is an essential aspect of modern cybersecurity. The SURF ZERO TRUST Browser can help organizations with DLP by providing a secure browsing environment that prevents unauthorized access to data, blocks data exfiltration, monitors and alerts on suspicious activity, and enforces security policies. By using the SURF Zero Trust Browser as part of your overall security strategy, organizations can better protect their sensitive data and mitigate the risks associated with data leaks.

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