Protecting Credentials and Company Secrets with DLP

Protecting Credentials and Company Secrets with DLP software has become paramount in every organization. Question; What can you do as an individual to protect and secure your data, password, credentials and company secrets from falling into the wrong hands? You will agree that we all need to Protect Credentials and Company Secrets with DLP (Data Loss Prevention). As a matter of fact, it is very important to secure key information in your computer, and that is why we have written this article.

Some personal and sensitive data like company credentials and secrets are in constant danger of leakage, especially in the cloud database. Because of the highly collaborative and always-available nature of cloud services, it has become an environments where security best practices are hard to enforce without either lots of time and effort or automated controls.

Generally speaking, this is really a bad news for security tech teams trying to prevent breaches. On a daily basis, there’s a new data breach seen in the news. Due to this day to day breaches, the impacts are getting bigger and more expensive. In the first place, Cybersecurity should be a top priority for Information Technology teams. But business-critical data can slip through via leakages, even if there are strict controls on cloud systems. Startups and already big organizations need data loss prevention (DLP) to secure essential data from being exposed to hackers. As you can see, Protecting Credentials and Company Secrets is very important.

What are Credentials and Secrets?

Credentials and secrets are very sensitive pieces of data like login details including passwords, tokens, certificates and API keys. Others include encryption keys and business data that should be encrypted or secured within a cloud environment and typically found in source code. Keep in mind that these credentials and secrets act as a key to unlock protected information or resources. they are also used to identify a privileged end user or role of a team member. Therefore, they should always be kept private and not shared openly within or outside an organization. However, there is a reality that login credentials and secrets are in constant danger of being leaked or shared on cloud systems everyday. Take a good example; credentials and secrets may be embedded directly in code repositories, or shared via e-mail or chat among developers & end users.

How does Data Loss Prevention apply to protecting credentials and secrets?

From the look of things, Cloud adoption has become mainstream. Since a lot of the platforms and services humans use in our daily life are connected across the cloud, companies face the challenge of business-critical data being sprayed across multiple systems. Research shows that in August 2020, about two hundred thousand patient health records were exposed via GitHub due to embedded hard-coded login credentials left in a public repository.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) allows security teams to easily identify, classify, and protect very sensitive data like credentials & secrets across cloud silos. A developer could Slack message an API key. They can even commit one to a code repository at a moment’s notice. Tackling such incidents requires a tool like DLP software which is capable of totally scanning cloud environments for sensitive data with machine learning based detectors.

On a normal note, credentials and secrets are hard to detect because they are highly arbitrary and don’t follow any specific format or rules. An API key for one service can be wildly different in format from a token for a different service. Likewise, credentials & secrets can look like random strings of characters when surrounding context isn’t taken into account. In addition, there are traditional methods like regular expressions and high entropy string detection often fall short because they either miss too many real findings, or they produce high volumes of false positives. Furthermore, there are several machine learning based methods found online which allow for context-aware detection that yield much higher detection accuracy on unstructured data types like credentials & secrets.

How does DLP Companies help with protecting credentials and secrets?

These Data Loss Protection companies integrates directly with applications like Slack and GitHub, so integration takes a few seconds. Immediately they are integrated, they scans these services for sensitive data based on detectors you’re interested in. You’ll be alerted about these sensitive findings and have the opportunity to take action on them to remediate. Learn more about online DLP for Slack here, and Radar for GitHub here.

What does DLP Software detect that’s relevant to protecting credentials and secrets?

DLP software detectors are suited to detect over 250 types of credentials & secrets in both structured & unstructured data, (for example); messages and code files. These include things but not limited to API keys, encryption keys, UUIDs, cookies, tokens, and other identifiers for platforms like Slack, Stripe, Twilio, Heroku, AWS, GCP, Azure and many other popular services. DLP detectors are trained and tuned on vast amounts of data, so they work well out of the box. This is to say that you don’t need to specify the exact types of credentials & secrets you are looking for.

Calgary Public Library keeps credentials and secrets safe with DLP Radar for GitHub

Through DLP Radar for GitHub, the Calgary Public Library IT companies can integrate the ability to scan different types of secrets and credentials directly into their custom workflows. With Radar automatically scanning for data that could leak, Calgary Public Library doesn’t have to worry about exposing data that could compromise their systems. There are different online deep learning based detectors deliver higher accuracy and fewer false positives than traditional approaches. “You can search for programmers can sleep better at night but can spend time developing enterprise applications instead of custom solutions to lint code for secrets.”

How do I learn more about protecting credentials and secrets?

The Hybrid Cloud Tech blog contains news and information about cloud security, DLP, and Nightfall products to help infosec leaders level up their orgs’ security posture. Find more information about protecting credentials and secrets in these posts from our blog.

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