Despite my departure from the analyst world, thanks to the blog some of the vendors out there are still keeping me updated on their products. I also still have to track big swaths of the market to support my consulting work. While I don’t intend to this blog to just spew PR dribble, I do see some cool stuff every now and then that’s worth mentioning.

Disclaimer: I do not currently have a business relationship with any of the vendors/products in today’s post, but based on the nature of my business I do work with vendors and often have discussions about potential projects. I will disclose these relationships when I can, and while I strive to remain objective no matter who I work with you should never go buy something just because I said it was cool. Do the research, get balanced opinions, trust no one. I’m not endorsing these products over their competitors, just highlighting some interesting advances, and you’ll probably see competing products pop up in other posts over time.

Here are a few things that have caught my eye:

First up is SafeBoot, just acquired by McAfee. Overall I think the acquisition is positive, but there’s really no reason to consolidate whole drive encryption with endpoint DLP. File-level encryption linked to DLP is more interesting, but also very challenging and I suspect at least a couple years out for McAfee other than some basic content like Social Security Numbers. It’s wait and see on this one, but SafeBoot stands up on its own.

Next is Guardium, who just updated their product for the mainframe. Guardium briefed me last Friday on this and I meant to get something up earlier. This is a really smart move, especially since they partnered with Nuon Neon who sells to the mainframe buying center. They can now offer full database monitoring (including SELECT queries) on the mainframe outside of network sniffing (which misses certain kinds of connections). Why you care? Now you have an independent way to enforce separation of duties on mainframe administrators without interfering with how they work or affecting performance. And you can integrate the policies for alerts, and the logs, with all your other database monitoring. I think I was more excited about this one than the guys giving me the briefing- it’s one of these “small but big” markets.

An industry contact I work with pointed me towards Palo Alto Networks and I had a brief conversation with them about a month ago. Basically, they parse and secure network traffic based on the application, not just port and protocol. This is a big problem for things like DLP solutions that don’t really like it (or work as well) when they have to figure out which application is tunneling over port 80 this week. I think these guys have a lot of partnership opportunities down the road.

Last up today is Vontu, who just released version 8. The news here is increasing their endpoint capabilities to start blocking and integration with document management systems. This release isn’t notable for any new world-changing feature, but because most of the work was on the back end and increasing the capabilities of the product line. DLP is settling down a bit and focusing on maturing, rather than land-grabbing with hyped up features. I’ve had some other DLP briefings lately and I’m seeing this focus on maturing the platforms across the board; moving from start-ups to mature products is some seriously hard work. Blocking activity on the endpoint is a big deal and it’s nice to see Vontu add it (a few competitors also have their own flavor of it, so it’s not unique).

That’s it for now. I probably won’t do these more than once a month or so and I’ll only include any updates that seem interesting to me either because they are innovative of because they show an industry trend. I’m happy to take briefings from just about anyone, but that by no means guarantees a mention on the blog.

Now back to the absolutely thrilling world of data classification…