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Best data loss prevention


Included in this guide:

Representational image of a user accessing data from the cloud
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Jirsak)

The best data loss prevention (DLP) services make it simple and easy to protect your business against data loss.

The immediate line of defense is to ensure that business data is securely stored in the first place. The next is to ensure that only the correct individuals or usergroups have the right permissions for the right data.

In that regard DLP services runs somewhat differently to other data security software such as disaster recovery software, which simply aims to keep up to date backups, or endpoint security software which aims to prevent unauthorized access to systems. Additionally, there is also employee monitoring software that aims to prevent employees compromising business data and IT infrastructure by ensuring proper access permissions are in place.

DLP software has to go further than all these steps, however, and be proactive rather than reactive about preventing data loss. This is especially when regulations such as GDPR threaten big fines for lapses in data control that sees confidential consumer data accessed by unauthorized third-parties, or otherwise released into the public domain.

Therefore DLP software will often use AI to watch for suspicious behavior, in a similar way that they would for virus activity, to ensure that anything outside of normal parameters can be stopped before causing damage or loss to data, and that IT security can be properly alerted to the potential problem.

DLP software has to be good, and while there are a lot of contenders, here we'll list the best DLP software providers currently available.

We’ve also highlighted the best data visualization tools.

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(Image credit: McAfee)

1. McAfee Total Protection for Data Loss Prevention

Deep data analysis

Reasons to buy
+Forensic analysis+Intelligently prioritizes sensitive data
Reasons to avoid
-Complex settings

McAfee Total Protection for Data Loss Prevention 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, McAfee 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 prioritize more sensitive data. There’s also location and application tagging, which makes it easier to put data protection strategies in place.

The software aims to ensure you remain compliant, while simplifying deployment and management with a centralized dashboard for monitoring. It can also ensure the same protection policies are applied across all aspects of your IT infrastructure, whether on-premises networks or cloud-based applications.


(Image credit: Check Point)

2. Check Point Data Loss Prevention

An easy-to-use DLP solution

Reasons to buy
+Single console+Simple to use
Reasons to avoid
-Could be overly simplistic for some

Check Point Data Loss Prevention 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.

It does this by tracking data use across services, not least email, web browsing, and file-sharing. It also takes pre-emptive steps to prevent data-loss by providing automated alerts to users to ensure proper data-handling, without having to involve security teams directly.

This is a less complicated system than some of the others listed here, sporting a centralized 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. 

No pricing flat-rate pricing options are made available, so you will need to contact sales for a quote. However, there is a free online demo you can use to test out its features.


(Image credit: Digital Guardian)

3. Digital Guardian Endpoint DLP

A powerful system with broad coverage

Reasons to buy
+Windows, Mac and Linux endpoints+On-premise, cloud or hybrid
Reasons to avoid
-Opaque on pricing

Digital Guardian Endpoint DLP is one of the broadest data loss prevention 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.

As with the other services listed, there is no standard pricing made available due to custom-user requirements so you will need to contact Digital Guardian for a quote. However, you can test out a demo before making a buying decision.


(Image credit: SecureTrust)

4. SecureTrust

A DLP system that’s ready to go

Reasons to buy
+Large range of predefined settings+Automatically blocks threats
Reasons to avoid
-Lots of settings

SecureTrust 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. SecureTrust will monitor all web-based documents and attachments that come into your business, including emails, blogs and social media posts. They’re analyzed for violations of company governance and compliance. The system will automatically block any violations, keeping your data safe.

It does this by utilizing a number of features, not least advanced content control, investigation management, and real-time identity matching, all of which works under a general Content Control Engine for security monitoring. No flat-rate pricing is provided on the website, so you will need to contact sales for a quote.


(Image credit: Symantec)

5. Symantec Data Loss Prevention

A respected DLP solution

Reasons to buy
+Highly scalable+Impressive cloud coverage
Reasons to avoid
-May be too enterprise-oriented

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. 

It does this through a number of ways, not least through monitoring for suspicious behavior, not least from user-installed apps. It can also identify and stop apps from accessing secured information, as well as prevent any data-transfers which are non-compliant, all of which can be managed through a management dashboard.

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 Microsoft 365.

There is no flat-rate pricing fees advertised, so you will need to contact Symantec directly, else contact a partner reseller.

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Brian Turner

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing and technology titles, and has been interviewed multiple times for BBC News and BBC Radio. His specialty on Techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.