I was quite bemused today to read this article in NetworkWorld that Google’s Postini is jumping into DLP.

Google”s Postini division today announced that its e-mail-content-filtering service has been enhanced to detect “logical expressions,” such as credit-card data and Social Security numbers. … Adam Swidler, Postini senior product manager, says the e-mail security service includes filtering of more “sophisticated expressions” that extend beyond Postini”s earlier limits to keywords. “This is for compliance and content-policy management, with content-based inspection for inbound and outbound traffic,” he says. “Today it’s for companies using Gmail, but we expect to extend this to instant messaging, the Web and the rest of Google Apps, like Google Spreadsheets.”

I don’t see why they can’t just call it regular expressions like everyone else. This is a great example of a vendor hopping on the bandwagon by adding a small part of DLP functionality to a product line. Knowing the problems even established, dedicated DLP vendors have with false positives I suspect this will be a bit more challenging than Google/Postini realizes.

Not that a basic DLP feature or two don’t have value in lower-risk environments; something as basic as this might work for some of you out there, as long as you manage your expectations.

If anything, I think this, combined with the Vontu acquisition, might finally nudge DLP to the peak of the Hype Cycle.