I was on a client reference today learning about someone’s DLP deployment, and it highlighted one of the biggest issues we often face when moving to an information-centric model. No, it’s not a failure of content analysis techniques, data classification, or over-hyped tools, it’s that we often don’t even know who owns what, who’s supposed to have access to what, or our own infrastructure.

I often start my data security/information-centric rants by mentioning you need to have good identity management in place, but I don’t normally spend a whole lot of time talking about the details.

The truth is, this comes up all the time when I’m talking with end users who are implementing this stuff. Oftenthey don’t have a good directory infrastructure, or one that reflects the org chart, and thus they can’t do everything they want with their DLP, DAM, or other tools. Sometimes they don’t even know where all their assets/servers are, or how to access them for scanning.

Thus the tip- if you have a good directory infrastructure that accurately reflects your organizational structure, you’ll be in much better shape for any of these projects. Many of these tools can directly integrate with AD/LDAP, allowing you to build role-based policies.

You can’t inform someone’s manager they’re sending customer lists home or running weird DB queries if you don’t know who they work for.