Considering how quickly technology has evolved and the fact that most of us have devices like smartphones, it’s no wonder that we’re collectively creating a massive amount of data on a daily basis. In fact, according to research from tech giant IBM, our devices generate around 2.5 quintillion bytes of the stuff every day.
Data is extremely diverse, and it can be anything from images to emails. These are things we’ve come to value in our daily lives, and often there’s a considerable degree of secrecy around our data. You probably wouldn’t want a stranger to get access to your computer and start going through your personal photos. Why? Because it’d be an invasion of privacy.
And the same thing goes for businesses, only the need for privacy is even greater. Companies collect masses of information, such as customer orders and communication between employees. If this is suddenly leaked onto the internet, or if it gets into the wrong hands, so many bad things can happen.
This is why data loss prevention (DLP) is a crucial area for businesses. You’ve likely come across this term before if you’re a business owner or work in technology. Essentially, it refers to a strategy that organisations use to ensure that sensitive information doesn’t end up outside the corporate walls. But the term also extends to software and tools that can be used to control who has access to certain data and how it’s managed, and in this article we’re going to look at some of the best.
1. Symantec Data Loss Prevention
A respected DLP solution
Platforms: Desktop | Capabilities: Data management and tracking | Autonomous features: No | Cloud compatible: Yes | Free trial: No
Symantec is well-known for its cybersecurity offerings, both in the consumer and business world. Its Data Loss Prevention product helps you monitor and protect valuable business information and assets. With this scalable software suite, you can see where data is stored throughout your business, taking into account cloud, mobile, and multiple endpoints.
There’s also the ability to see and control how your data is used, regardless if your employees are online or offline. The system puts safeguards in place to ensure data is never leaked or stolen, wherever it’s stored – and that includes a host of cloud apps, with coverage of over 60 of these including popular offerings such as Box, Dropbox, Google Apps, Salesforce and Office 365.
2. Trustwave Data Loss Prevention
A DLP system that’s ready to go
Platforms: Desktop | Capabilities: Data management and tracking | Autonomous features: Yes | Cloud compatible: Yes | Free trial: No
Trustwave’s DLP solution provides companies with the tools they need to discover, monitor and secure data while complying with internal and external regulations.
The system has been designed so that it’s ready to be used straight out of the box, offering over 70 predefined policy and risk settings, which you can adjust and turn on (or off) according to your everyday business needs. As well as these, you get a configurable dashboard, so you can easily see where your data is located and put mechanisms in place to protect it.
Analysis plays a big role in this platform. It’ll monitor all web-based documents and attachments that come into your business, including emails, blogs and social media posts. They’re analysed for violations of company governance and compliance. The system will automatically block any violations, keeping your data safe.
3. McAfee Total Protection for Data Loss Prevention
Deep data analysis
Platforms: Desktop | Capabilities: Data management and tracking, forensic analysis | Autonomous features: Yes | Cloud compatible: Yes | Free trial: No
This offering from McAfee (part of Intel Security) is, like some other systems, highly scalable and can be tailored for the needs of your company. The big difference, though, is that it places an emphasis on forensic analysis.
Indeed, Total Protection for DLP goes a step further than most by exploring ways that data may have been leaked in the absence of internal compliance rules and regulations. That’s handy for firms that may not have concrete corporate rules in place.
Another great thing about this solution is that it’s an intelligent system which can identify and prioritise more sensitive data. There’s also location and application tagging, which makes it easier to put data protection strategies in place.
4. Check Point Data Loss Prevention
An easy-to-use DLP solution
Platforms: Desktop | Capabilities: Data loss education and remediation | Autonomous features: No | Cloud compatible: No | Free trial: Yes
Check Point’s DLP offering combines a variety of different cybersecurity processes to help businesses prevent data from being leaked or sent accidentally to the wrong person. It aims to educate users on the risk of data loss and help them respond to incidents as quickly as possible.
This is a less complicated system than some of the others listed here, sporting a centralised management console for security policies. There are also a few preconfigured rules, so you don’t have to worry about creating new ones if you don’t have the time or technical knowledge. You can sign up for a free trial of Check Point Data Loss Prevention, too.
5. Digital Guardian Data Loss Prevention
A powerful system with broad coverage
Platforms: Desktop | Capabilities: Data management and tracking, advanced encryption | Autonomous features: Yes | Cloud compatible: Yes | Free trial: Yes
Digital Guardian is one of the broadest DLP systems you can get. It’s been designed to work with Windows, Mac and Linux endpoints, which is perfect if you use a plethora of desktop systems within your firm. As soon as you set it up, it’ll begin tagging and classifying datasets, a process that can otherwise prove time-consuming.
Flexibility and scalability are strengths of this particular DLP offering. In terms of the former, you can deploy the Digital Guardian platform on-premise, or as a cloud-based system, or indeed a hybrid of both. And when it comes to scaling, a single management server can cover up to 250,000 users, no less. Not that your business is likely to have that many employees, but if you need a system that scales well, then this is obviously worth bearing in mind.
Digital Guardian also boasts a series of add-ons which can extend the product and offer elements like advanced encryption for better data protection.