Calendar Icon White
March 7, 2024
Clock Icon
 min read

Data at Rest Encryption: How DLP Protects Data at Rest?

Learn the importance of DLP for data at rest with encryption techniques and strategies. Protect sensitive data across endpoints, cloud, and SaaS platforms.

Data at Rest Encryption: How DLP Protects Data at Rest?
Calendar Icon White
March 7, 2024
Clock Icon
 min read

Data at Rest Encryption: How DLP Protects Data at Rest?

Learn the importance of DLP for data at rest with encryption techniques and strategies. Protect sensitive data across endpoints, cloud, and SaaS platforms.


  • Encryption for security is crucial for modern businesses and DLP enhances this approach to protect your data comprehensively.
  • Challenges like unauthorized access and data breaches are proving to be major security concerns across endpoints, SaaS, and cloud environments
  • Securing data at rest with encryption strategies including symmetric encryption (AES), asymmetric encryption, full disk encryption (FDE), and file-level encryption.
  • Strac DLP fortifies data at rest with seamless integration, data redaction, and compliance with regulatory standards.

Data at rest encompasses all information stored digitally across various locations, including cloud environments, endpoints, and SaaS platforms. Despite the data being immobile or not subject to any processing, it is still vulnerable to threats such as unauthorized access, theft, and loss, which can lead to data breaches and leaks. Consider the incident involving T-Mobile, where a significant breach exposed the personal data of 37 million customers. This breach raised concerns about their encryption protocols.

Encryption is, of course, a start. However, protecting data at rest requires a holistic DLP strategy to monitor and manage the data. Let's explore how DLP for data at rest keeps your data secure, compliant, and under your control.

What Threatens Data at Rest?

Data at rest is subjected to numerous security threats - from external and internal agents. External threats include cybercriminals who deploy malware, and ransomware, or exploit vulnerabilities in software and hardware to gain unauthorized access.

Internal threats come from employees or insiders who, intentionally or accidentally, expose data to risk. This can occur through mishandling of data, such as storing sensitive information on unsecured devices or through malicious intent.

Endpoints are often the first line of interaction for employees accessing and generating data. The information stored on these devices can be easily compromised if not properly secured. Meanwhile, cloud storage offers scalability and accessibility but presents unique security challenges. The same applies to SaaS applications, which contain vast amounts of sensitive data that must be protected.

With the proliferation of remote and hybrid work, data at rest is now stored not only across multiple platforms and devices but also in remote locations. A comprehensive data security strategy must be in place to address this shift.

Other common threats include:

  • Physical theft or loss: Devices containing sensitive data can be stolen or lost, providing direct access to unprotected data.
  • Inadequate access controls: Poorly implemented access controls can allow unauthorized users to view or manipulate sensitive data.
  • Lack of encryption: Unencrypted data is easily readable and exploitable if accessed by unauthorized parties.
  • Software vulnerabilities: Exploits in the software used to manage or access data at rest can provide access to cybercriminals.

18 Questions to Ask if Your Data at Rest is Secure Enough

Data Classification and Inventory

  1. Have I identified and classified all the data based on its sensitivity and regulatory requirements?
  2. Do I maintain an up-to-date inventory of all data at rest within my organization?

Access Control

  1. Have I implemented strict access control policies to ensure only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data?
  2. Does my organization use role-based access controls (RBAC) to minimize data access based on necessity?


  1. Is sensitive data at rest encrypted using strong encryption standards?
  2. Are encryption keys managed securely, with access strictly controlled and audited?

Physical Security

  1. Is the physical security of data storage locations, including server rooms and data centers, adequately ensured?
  2. Are there protections against environmental risks, and are storage media disposed of securely?

Data Lifecycle Management

  1. Are there policies in place for data retention, archival, and destruction that comply with legal and regulatory standards?
  2. Is data that is no longer needed, or that must be purged according to retention policies, securely deleted?

Monitoring and Auditing

  1. Is there continuous monitoring of access and activities related to data at rest to detect suspicious behavior?
  2. Are regular audits conducted to ensure compliance with security policies and standards?

Incident Response and Recovery

  1. Does my organization have an incident response plan that includes procedures for data breaches involving data at rest?
  2. Are backup and recovery procedures regularly tested to ensure data can be restored in case of loss or corruption?

Training and Awareness

  1. Is regular security awareness training conducted for employees, emphasizing the importance of protecting data at rest?
  2. Are training programs updated to address emerging threats and best practices?

Compliance and Legal Requirements

  1. Do I regularly review and update security measures to comply with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards?
  2. Is there proper documentation and evidence of compliance for auditing purposes?

What is Data Loss Prevention (DLP)?

While encryption focuses on making data unreadable to unauthorized users, DLP for data at rest provides a broader layer of security. It controls how data is used and prevents unauthorized distribution. 

Together, they form a comprehensive data protection strategy that aims at:

  • Data Discovery and Classification: DLP tools helps identify and classify data across the organization’s systems and storage. Knowing where sensitive data resides is the first step in protecting it.  Classify Data Based on Sensitivity: Assign levels of sensitivity to data, which helps in applying appropriate security measures and compliance standards.
  • Preventing unauthorized access: Encryption makes data at rest inaccessible without a valid decryption key. DLP reinforces this by preventing unauthorized attempts to access or share the encrypted data.
  • Regulatory compliance: Data encryption is not the only requirement for compliance; it must also be appropriately managed and protected. DLP helps organizations comply with these regulations by enforcing policies that control data usage and prevent accidental data exposure.
  • Dynamic data protection: DLP policies can be updated in response to new threats or business requirements. It provides flexible and responsive protection for sensitive data.
  • Insider threat mitigation: DLP solutions are particularly effective at mitigating insider threats. By monitoring data usage and transfers, DLP can detect and block unauthorized attempts to copy, share, or move sensitive data.

How Does DLP Work to Protect Data at Rest?

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) systems are designed to identify, monitor, and protect data across various states. Here's how it functions across different data states and environments:

1. Data at rest

DLP solutions protect data at rest by scanning storage systems, databases, and endpoints for sensitive information. Once identified, DLP can enforce protective measures such as encrypt data at rest, access controls, and deletion of unnecessary data. This ensures that stored data is only accessible to authorized users and remains secure against external breaches and insider threats.

2. Protecting data in email

Email systems are frequent targets for data loss and breaches. DLP technologies scan both inbound and outbound emails to detect sensitive content and apply encryption to secure email communications. It prevents the accidental or intentional sharing of confidential information shared via email.

Redacting Sensitive Information Shared in Email
Redacting Sensitive Information Shared in Email

3. Securing data in cloud storage and SaaS applications

As organizations rely on cloud storage and SaaS applications, DLP for data at rest and use protects these platforms. Its role is to ensure that cloud data is monitored and protected the same way as data within an organization.

4. Implementing DLP for HIPAA compliance

For healthcare organizations governed by the HIPAA, DLP protects Protected Health Information (PHI). It helps achieve compliance by identifying PHI, monitoring its handling, and applying necessary safeguards such as encryption and access restrictions.

How Does Strac DLP Protect Your Data in Endpoints, SaaS and Cloud?

Strac is an industry-leading DLP solution to protect sensitive information within endpoints, SaaS platforms, and cloud environments. 

Watch how Strac help with protecting your data at rest. In this video, we explain how Strac’s DLP system helps protect data in end points.

Here’s how it secures your data across these critical channels:

Automated redaction

Strac's automated redaction feature identifies and masks sensitive information in documents and communications. It ensures privacy and regulatory compliance by automatically redacting personal identifiers and financial information.

Proxy APIs

Through the use of proxy APIs, Strac manages data requests and transfers. This setup allows for the inspection and filtration of data in real-time so that only authorized data transactions occur. It effectively prevents data leakage by intercepting risky data transmissions and offers an additional layer of security for data in motion.

Integration with cloud and SaaS platforms

The platform seamlessly integrates with cloud and SaaS platforms. It ensures that consistent data protection measures are applied everywhere data resides or is accessed.

Real-time data tracing and monitoring

The system immediately detects unauthorized data handling by offering real-time insights into data movements and activities. This monitoring level is essential for promptly identifying and mitigating potential threats to prevent data breaches.

Encryption and secure data transfer protocols

Strac ensures data security at rest and in transit through stringent encryption standards and secure transfer protocols. This approach protects data from unauthorized interception and maintains its security regardless of location.

Zero trust framework

Adopting the Zero Trust model, the platform operates on the principle of not trusting any entity by default. Access to data is strictly controlled and granted only after thorough verification. It reduces the potential for unauthorized access and enhances overall data security.

Role-based access control (RBAC)

Strac DLP implements RBAC to manage users' access to sensitive data based on their organizational roles. This approach ensures that individuals have access to the data necessary for their job functions to reduce the risk of data exposure. 

Schedule a free demo to learn more about protecting your data at rest, in motion, and in use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is HIPAA and Data at Rest encryption?

For healthcare organizations, protecting Protected Health Information (PHI) is not just a best practice but a legal requirement under HIPAA.

The HIPAA data-at-rest encryption requirements obligate health care companies to ensure unauthorized individuals cannot read or use sensitive health information. This includes encrypting PHI stored on any electronic medium, from servers and databases to laptops and other portable devices. 

Healthcare organizations must conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities in their handling of PHI. They must also consider access controls, audit controls, and device and media controls.

Founding Engineer. Ex-Amazon Payments Security Engineer for 10 years.

Latest articles

Browse all