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November 6, 2023
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 min read

How does Data Loss Prevention solution (DLP) help with GDPR compliance?

Ensure GDPR compliance with DLP tools. Protect sensitive data, monitor transfers, and uphold the right to erasure.

How does Data Loss Prevention solution (DLP) help with GDPR compliance?
Calendar Icon White
November 6, 2023
Clock Icon
 min read

How does Data Loss Prevention solution (DLP) help with GDPR compliance?

Ensure GDPR compliance with DLP tools. Protect sensitive data, monitor transfers, and uphold the right to erasure.


  • GDPR, introduced in 2018 by the EU, emphasizes data protection and transparency. It grants individuals rights to access, erasure, data portability, and more.
  • As seen with British Airways and Google, non-compliance can lead to hefty fines.
  • DLP tools safeguard sensitive data, ensuring GDPR compliance.
  • Key DLP features include content discovery, data classification, access control and real-time reporting.
  • Best Practices for Implementing DLP for GDPR Compliance include regularly updating DLP policies, investing in employee training, and implementing robust DLP solutions.
  • Strac DLP simplifies GDPR compliance for businesses of all sizes, providing advanced data protection.

With the increase in cyber threats, the importance of data protection is becoming more apparent. The GDPR, implemented by the European Union, highlights this urgency by setting strict standards for data protection and imposing severe penalties for breaches. DLP and GDPR emerge as a combined force for businesses navigating this complex landscape, delivering robust solutions to prevent data loss and ensure compliance.

Understanding GDPR and It's Implications 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), established by the European Union in 2018, is a robust legal framework designed to empower EU citizens and residents by granting them greater control over their data. This legislation mandates that organizations treat this data fairly.

Essential rights of GDPR

It grants several essential rights, including:

  1. Right to Information: Individuals have the right to receive comprehensive information about the processing of their data, including details about the purposes, categories of data, recipients, and more. 
  2. Right to access: Individuals have the right to obtain confirmation of whether or not their data is being processed and to access their data.
  3. Right to rectification: Individuals can request the correction of inaccurate or incomplete personal data.
  4. Right to erasure (Right to be forgotten): Individuals can request the deletion of their data in certain circumstances.
  5. Right to restriction of processing: Individuals can limit the processing of their data under specific conditions.
  6. Right to data portability: Individuals have the right to receive their data in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format, and they can transmit this data to another controller.
  7. Right to object: Individuals can object to processing their data for specific purposes, including direct marketing.
  8. Rights to avoid automated decision-making: Individuals have the right not to be subject to automated decision-making, including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning them.

Consequences of Non-Compliance 

The GDPR is not merely a set of guidelines but a legally binding regulation demanding businesses prioritize compliance. Several companies have already faced significant penalties for data breaches, serving as cautionary tales:

  • In 2019, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) announced its plan to fine British Airways £183.39 million for a breach that compromised the personal information of 500,000 customers. 
  • The French data protection authority fined Google €50 million for not being transparent enough about their data consent policies. 
  • A German housing company called Deutsche Wohnen SE received a €14.5 million fine for holding onto outdated tenant information without a valid reason.

These instances underscore the vital importance of GDPR compliance. Failure to adhere to GDPR requirements not only carries the risk of severe financial penalties but also jeopardizes a company's reputation, customer trust, and legal standing.

The Role of DLP in GDPR Compliance 

DLP is vital for GDPR compliance as it ensures the security of sensitive data. It helps organizations meet the stringent data protection standards imposed by GDPR. By monitoring data movement and storage, DLP solutions prevent unauthorized access and disclosure of sensitive information. They reduce the risk of non-compliance and safeguard the personal data of EU citizens from potential breaches or misuse. In essence, GDPR DLP involves using DLP tools to adhere to GDPR's strict data protection requirements.

Top 5 Ways in Which DLP Enforces GDPR Compliance 

How DLP helps with GDPR compliance?

1. Data discovery

DLP tools can help organizations discover and identify all instances of personal data stored in their systems, including structured and unstructured data, as well as data in use, in motion, or at rest. This is essential for complying with GDPR's data mapping and inventory requirements.

For example, if a data subject requests data erasure, DLP tools can quickly identify and locate all instances of that data, regardless of where it is stored.

Related Read : Top 10 sensitive data discovery tools in 2023

2. Data classification and encryption

DLP tools can also help organizations classify their data according to its sensitivity level. They help implement appropriate security controls for different data types and prioritize protecting the most sensitive data.

After data classification, DLP tools restrict access to sensitive data, prevent unauthorized transfer, and encrypt it at rest. 

Strac DLP, for instance, automatically detects and hides sensitive data (images, text, audio, video) from all Cloud and SaaS apps (email, Slack, Zendesk, Intercom, AWS services, Google Drive, One Drive, ChatGPT, and more).

3. Data access control

DLP tools can help organizations implement fine-grained access controls for personal data. This allows them to restrict access to personal data based on job role, department, or location. Organizations can also use DLP to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access sensitive data.

Additionally, DLP tools enable organizations to create dynamic policies that adapt to changing circumstances, ensuring access controls remain effective.

4. Data breach detection and response

DLP tools can help organizations detect and respond to data breaches quickly and effectively. They can monitor data traffic for suspicious activity, such as the unauthorized transfer of sensitive data. If a data breach is detected, these tools can be used to quarantine affected data and notify the appropriate authorities.

For example, Strac Gmail DLP monitors outgoing email traffic for the presence of sensitive data. If sensitive data is detected in an email, Strac can be programmed to perform the following actions:

  • Redact sensitive content
  • Encrypt the email
  • Alert the appropriate personnel
  • Block the email from being sent
  • Quarantine the email for review
  • Log the email 
  • Forward the email to a specific tag

5. Real-time reporting and auditing

DLP tools can generate real-time reports and audit data usage and activity. This allows organizations to monitor GDPR compliance and identify potential risk areas.

For example, DLP tools can generate reports on all instances of personal data being accessed, transferred, or encrypted. They can also create audit trails of all data activity, which organizations can use to investigate suspected data breaches.

Best Practices for Implementing DLP for GDPR compliance

Digram showing Best practices for implementing DLP for GDPR compliance

1. Regularly update DLP policies

GDPR, while comprehensive, is also subject to interpretations, clarifications, and updates. As such, businesses must ensure that their DLP policies are not just set once but are reviewed and revised to stay aligned with the evolving GDPR requirements. 

Regular audits, assessments, and reviews can help identify gaps or areas of improvement in existing DLP policies, ensuring that they remain robust and relevant.

2. Invest in employee training and awareness

Employees are often the first line of defense against data breaches, and their mistakes can have significant consequences. Businesses should invest in regular employee training and awareness programs covering topics like GDPR compliance, the role of DLP tools, and company policies to mitigate these risks. 

By promoting a culture of data protection awareness, companies can ensure that their employees are proactive in safeguarding personal information, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of DLP tools.

3. Integrate robust DLP solutions 

While adopting DLP for GDPR compliance, it’s important to note that not all DLP solutions are equal. Choose a comprehensive Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solution that integrates seamlessly into your existing infrastructure and offers all the capabilities required to uphold GDPR compliance in endpoints and SaaS environments

Stay GDPR Compliant With the Help of Strac DLP

GDPR establishes the framework for safeguarding sensitive information, and advanced DLP solutions like Strac provide the means to meet these standards effectively. 

Strac offers a wide range of features, including content discovery and policy enforcement, simplifying GDPR compliance for businesses. Its ability to instantly detect and redact sensitive data like PII and PHI ensures organizations comply with the most stringent regulatory standards. 

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Strac's versatility is further highlighted through its no-code integrations with popular SaaS platforms like Zendesk, Slack, Gmail, and Office 365, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes. With Strac, businesses can confidently manage sensitive information and focus on growth while leaving compliance worries behind.

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

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