Research Publication

Understanding and Selecting a DLP Solution

By Rich

Data Loss Prevention has matured considerably since the first version of this report three years ago. Back then, the market was dominated by startups with only a couple major acquisitions by established security companies. The entire market was probably smaller than the leading one or two providers today. Even the term ‘DLP’ was still under debate, with a menagerie of terms like Extrusion Prevention, Anti-Data Leakage, and Information Loss Protection still in use (leading us to wonder who, exactly, wants to protect information loss?).

While we have seen maturation of the products, significant acquisitions by established security firms, and standardization on the term DLP, in many ways today’s market is even more confusing than a few years ago. As customer interest in DLP increased, competitive and market pressures diluted the term – with everyone from encryption tool vendors to firewall companies claiming they prevented “data leakage”. In some cases, aspects of ‘real’ DLP have been added to other products as value-add features. And all along the core DLP tools continued to evolve and combine, expanding their features and capabilities.

Even today it can still be difficult to understand the value of the tools and which products best suit which environments. We have more features, more options, and more deployment models across a wider range of products – and even services. You can go with a full-suite solution that covers your network, storage infrastructure, and endpoints; or focus on a single ‘channel’. You might already have DLP embedded into your firewall, web gateway, antivirus, or a host of other tools.

So the question is no longer only “Do I need DLP and which product should I buy?” but “What kind of DLP will work best for my needs, and how do I figure that out?” This report provides the necessary background in DLP to help you understand the technology, know what to look for in a product (or service), and find the best match for your organization.

Special thanks to Websense for sponsoring the research.

Version 2.0

Version 1.0