Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


03:21 PM
Connect Directly

Report: What Enterprises Want From DLP, And What It Really Costs

New InformationWeek Analytics report calculates a 904.5 percent ROI for DLP when the technology prevents a single breach

Enterprises worry most about the cost of operating and purchasing data leakage prevention (DLP) technology, and they want DLP products to include features that alert and prevent security policy violations, according to a new report.

"Risk Intolerant: Defense in Depth And the Rise of Data Loss Prevention," an InformationWeek Analytics report that includes data from a survey of 218 IT decision-makers in North America, also estimates the return on investment when a DLP product prevents just one data breach should alleviate some of the pricing concerns: The report estimates an ROI of 904.5 percent.

The ROI is based on data for a 200-employee retailer with 10,000 customer records (worth $202 apiece). With DLP's total cost of ownership during five years at $182,884 -- including training, installation, and product pricing -- if the DLP product stopped just one data breach, then it would save the company $1,837,116, according to the report's calculations.

But adopting DLP is not exactly a no-brainer for most organizations. According to the report, IT is still struggling to begin focusing on data security versus the tradition of defending desktops, and is facing end-user resistance when it comes to privacy and performance concerns about DLP technology.

"The Achilles' heel of DLP is that the people with access to the most sensitive data are also the people who are powerful enough to exempt themselves from enforcement tools and policies," an IT manager at an engineering and development services firm said in the InformationWeek survey. "Senior managers and sales staff often give short shrift to advice and education about data security. So even in organizations with strict policies, the overall risk is often not reduced sufficiently to justify the expense of DLP or the inconvenience to production employees."

At the top of IT's concerns about DLP are its cost of running and monitoring (67 percent of the respondents) and its price tag (65 percent). Around 40 percent worry about the possible negative impact on their business processes, and 32 percent don't think the technology is mature enough yet to use. Just less than 30 percent are concerned with DLP products generating false positives, and 18 percent with false negatives.

Given that regulatory and compliance requirements are the main factors driving DLP adoption and interest, it's no surprise some of the main features IT wants in these tools have to do with security policy enforcement. Around 64 percent want the tools to alert them on any user actions that violate policy, and 59 percent want the tools to prevent actions that violate policies, such as emailing a sensitive document outside the organization. More than 35 percent are looking for DLP to automatically discover where sensitive information sits on the network and on which machines, and 36 percent want it to report a data breach and match it to a specific regulation or business rule it violates.

Aside from other research data gathered in the IT survey, the report also provides a model strategy for deploying DLP from the network to the endpoint.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Zero-Factor Authentication: Owning Our Data
Nick Selby, Chief Security Officer at Paxos Trust Company,  2/19/2020
44% of Security Threats Start in the Cloud
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/19/2020
Ransomware Damage Hit $11.5B in 2019
Dark Reading Staff 2/20/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
The concept of application security is well known, but application security testing and remediation processes remain unbalanced. Most organizations are confident in their approach to AppSec, although others seem to have no approach at all. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
Heap-based buffer overflow in Xchat-WDK before 1499-4 (2012-01-18) xchat 2.8.6 on Maemo architecture could allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (xchat client crash) or execute arbitrary code via a UTF-8 line from server containing characters outside of the Basic Multilingual Plane (BM...
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
Information-disclosure vulnerability in Netsurf through 2.8 due to a world-readable cookie jar.
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
The HTTPS protocol, as used in unspecified web applications, can encrypt compressed data without properly obfuscating the length of the unencrypted data, which makes it easier for man-in-the-middle attackers to obtain plaintext secret values by observing length differences during a series of guesses...
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in Autonomy KeyView IDOL before 10.16, as used in Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange before 6.5.8, Symantec Mail Security for Domino before 8.1.1, Symantec Messaging Gateway before 10.0.1, Symantec Data Loss Prevention (DLP) before 11.6.1, IBM Notes 8....
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-21
Insecure plugin update mechanism in tucan through 0.3.10 could allow remote attackers to perform man-in-the-middle attacks and execute arbitrary code ith the permissions of the user running tucan.