Perimeter
11/15/2012
02:10 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

All Security Technologies Are Not Data Loss Prevention

While security technologies may share the common goal of protecting an organization's sensitive data, not all can -- or should -- be called data loss prevention

I recently read an article that made the following assertion (paraphrased in my words): Every part of an organization's security technology arsenal is, in fact, data loss prevention (DLP). At the very heart of every organization's information security strategy is the blessed data, the object of the safeguarding effort. Any and every security tool or technology that serves to protect that data, therefore, can be deemed DLP.

One example in the article suggests that disk encryption could very well be DLP to an organization with a mobile workforce because both technologies share the objective of data protection. If that logic holds true, then we might as well drop in uninterruptible power supplies and data recovery services to the growing list of DLP products because each one helps protect data. Why not add laptop privacy screen filters and portable hard drives, while we're at it? In fact, let's drop in all 3,009 products once listed on the website of an office supply giant in its innovative "DLP" category.

Of course, I'm being facetious to emphasize my point. The unfortunate reality is the marketplace is flooded with "data loss prevention" tools that wouldn't know sensitive data if it bit them in the power cord. Where should we draw the line?

While all security technologies may share the same objective of protecting an organization's critical data, different tools arrive at that objective from different angles, often using completely different technologies. Those different technologies require unique labels in order to distinguish one technology from another. (Imagine a world where all security technologies were referred to as "data loss prevention.")

Those who share the "all-security-is-DLP" mindset seem to disregard this point, claiming that any security tool can be DLP to one organization, while a different security tool can be data loss prevention to another organization. I agree that DLP often has different meanings to different people.

The problem I have with this approach is: I do not agree this should be the case.

While most of us can agree that data protection is the overarching goal of information security, the reality is very few information security defenses work at the data level. DLP technologies deliver something that other data protection tools do not -- and simply cannot: They monitor the actual data, detecting and preventing the leakage of that sensitive data. What's more, true DLP technologies accomplish this colossal task comprehensively, through deep packet inspection, using a high level of content-awareness across all major leakage vectors: data in motion at the network gateway, data in use at the endpoint and data at rest in storage.

For years, many argued the phrase "data loss prevention" was too broad and did not accurately describe the true benefit of these technologies. I would argue an even more significant problem is the generally accepted notion that data loss prevention is a product, rather than the complete process of safeguarding data. Regardless of how I feel about these arguments, both are now rendered moot. It's too late to turn back the clock. The marketplace has spoken definitively: DLP is the descriptive term for that category of solutions that prevent the leakage of sensitive data.

By accepting and promoting this reality, the marketplace -- and specifically those organizations with data protection needs -- will better understand how to meet requirements with the right tools for the greatest data protection benefit.

Jared Thorkelson is founder and president of DLP Experts, a vendor-agnostic VAR and consulting practice focused exclusively on data protection. He can be reached at jthork@dlpexperts.com Jared is president of DLP Experts, a value-added reseller dedicated exclusively to data loss prevention (DLP) and other data protection technologies and services. For over twenty years Jared has held executive level positions with technology firms, with the last six years ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
ANON1233964134849
50%
50%
ANON1233964134849,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2012 | 3:39:32 AM
re: All Security Technologies Are Not Data Loss Prevention
Core Technology of DLP - Protection of the Data (regardless of the device or file) -á http://www.gtbtechnologies.com...
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-1032
Published: 2014-09-17
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Euroling SiteSeeker module 3.x before 3.4.5 for EPiServer allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors. NOTE: the provenance of this information is unknown; the details are obtained solely from third party inf...

CVE-2012-1417
Published: 2014-09-17
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in Local Phone book and Blacklist form in Yealink VOIP Phones allow remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the user field to cgi-bin/ConfigManApp.com.

CVE-2012-1506
Published: 2014-09-17
SQL injection vulnerability in the updateStatus function in lib/models/benefits/Hsp.php in OrangeHRM before 2.7 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the hspSummaryId parameter to plugins/ajaxCalls/haltResumeHsp.php. NOTE: some of these details are obtained from th...

CVE-2012-1507
Published: 2014-09-17
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in OrangeHRM before 2.7 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) newHspStatus parameter to plugins/ajaxCalls/haltResumeHsp.php, (2) sortOrder1 parameter to templates/hrfunct/emppop.php, or (3) uri parameter to index...

CVE-2012-2583
Published: 2014-09-17
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Mini Mail Dashboard Widget plugin 1.42 for WordPress allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the body of an email.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio