Choose the right DLP tools to help execute your DLP strategy

Last updated:March 2017

Editor's note

Data loss prevention is both an enterprise security strategy and a category of software and hardware. The execution of a strategy should go hand in hand with DLP tools, but often, they do not.

More and more companies are dealing with sensitive, personal or valuable data, and if businesses don't have a data loss prevention (DLP) strategy or the coinciding software, they are risking that data falling into the wrong hands, or being noncompliant and potentially losing millions of dollars. Knowing the type of DLP product your company needs is crucial for your business to protect itself, its data, its employees and its customers.

There are different types of data with which all companies deal. Government agencies, health insurance companies and financial institutions deal with very different types of data.

Businesses store financial and tax data they receive when working with vendors and customers. This data resides in different areas of a company's infrastructure. It travels through the business in many different ways and to many different endpoints, like mobile devices and cloud-based file sharing systems.

Much like the data that they protect, not all DLP products are the same. Stand-alone DLP products are built solely for the purpose of protecting data and preventing leaks holistically. Meanwhile, integrated products protect one aspect of the data, whether it is data in use, in motion or at rest. Other data loss prevention functions can be found in other perimeter security gateways, such as endpoint security gates or intrusion prevention systems.

The size of a business, or the industry it's in will determine what type of DLP tools a company should deploy (or if it even needs DLP).

To assist in determining whether a business should procure DLP software or hardware, this buyer's guide dives into DLP technology, what DLP tools do, the business scenarios in which one should deploy DLP and the criteria to keep in mind when procuring DLP products. It presents a how-to on creating a DLP strategy, mapping data flows and classifying data. It compares stand-alone and integrated vendors in the DLP market, and offers insight into other technologies that are complementary to DLP software.

1Use cases for DLP software and appliances

A DLP strategy and DLP tools can help businesses shore up their data security, potentially saving millions of dollars and avoiding litigation. These use cases can help companies determine if they need DLP tools or not and, if so, which type.

2Map out and classify data before purchasing DLP tools

Creating a data flow map and a data classification policy are the first crucial steps a business should take before procuring DLP tools. Once a company knows the type of data it has, how it moves and where it resides, it needs to know the criteria for assessing DLP software or appliances.

3Select DLP tools that are best for business

Purchasing a DLP tool is easy. Selecting the right one that best matches business needs is the challenge. It's a necessary challenge, though. Select the wrong tool, and hundreds of thousands of dollars could be wasted on a tool that may not even be able to protect data and prevent loss the way a company needs. Companies need to choose the right DLP software or appliance based on what type of data they have, where it lives and how it moves. To holistically execute a DLP strategy, businesses should also consider complementary technologies that can enhance DLP tools.

4Deep-dives into DLP tools

Here are in-depth overviews of both comprehensive DLP suites and integrated DLP tools. These vendors were selected by TechTarget editors after extensive research into the top DLP market share holders, as well as seeing who fit the presented buying criteria best.