Update– Lanscope posted some new information positioning this as a compliment, not substitute, to DLP. Looks like the marketing folks might have gotten a little out of control.

I’ve been at this game for a while now, but sometimes I see a piece of idiocy that makes me wish I was drinking some chocolate milk so I could spew it out my nose in response the the sheer audacity of it all.

Today’s winner is Lancope, who astounds us with their new “data loss prevention” solution that detects breaches using a Harry Potter-inspired technique that completely eliminates the need to understand the data. Actually, according to their extremely educational marketing paper, analyzing the content is bad, because it’s really hard! Kind of like math. Or common sense.

Lancope’s far superior alternative monitors your network for any unusual activity, such as a large file transfer, and generates an alert. You don’t even need to look at packets! That’s so cool! I thought the iPad was magical, but Lancope is totally kicking Apple’s ass on the enchantment front. Rumor is your box is even delivered by a unicorn. With wings!

I’m all for netflow and anomaly detection. It’s one of the more important tools for dealing with advanced attacks. But this Lancope release is ridiculous – I can’t even imagine the number of false positives. Without content analysis, or even metadata analysis, I’m not sure how this could possibly be useful. Maybe paired with real DLP, but they are marketing it as a stand-alone option, which is nuts. Especially when DLP vendors like Fidelis, McAfee, and Palisade are starting to add data traffic flow analysis (with content awareness) to their products.

Maybe Lancope should partner with a DLP vendor. One of the weaknesses of many DLP products is that they do a crappy job of looking across all ports and protocols. Pretty much every product is capable of it, but most of them require a large number of boxes with sever traffic or analysis limitations, because they aren’t overly speedy as network devices (with some exceptions). Combining one with something like Lancope where you could point the DLP at target traffic could be interesting… but damn, netflow alone clearly isn’t a good option.

Lancope, thanks for a great DLP WTF with a side of BS. I’m glad I read it today – that release is almost as good as the ThinkGeek April Fool’s edition!