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    Best Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Tools

    In a world where data breaches are becoming increasingly common, it’s essential to take steps to protect enterprise information. That’s where data loss prevention tools come in. These tools can help companies protect their data from hackers, accidental deletion, insider threats and more.

    Businesses need to ensure the tools they use are practical and effective enough for the level of protection they need. Good data handling and security best practices are a good start, but the volume of information in an enterprise requires automated monitoring, and that’s where DLP tools come in.

    Also read: Implementing Best Practices for Data Loss Prevention

    What is Data Loss Prevention?

    Data loss prevention is the proactive process of identifying, monitoring, and protecting data in use, in transit, and at rest. By doing so, organizations can prevent data breaches and protect sensitive information from being lost or stolen.

    Organizations are responsible for this, as they must adhere to specific regulations, including HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act), and SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act).

    For example, HIPAA requires covered entities to take reasonable safeguards to protect electronic health information from misuse or inappropriate access by an unauthorized person.

    By classifying data and identifying anomalous behavior, DLP tools give enterprises the visibility and reporting needed to protect data and satisfy compliance reporting requirements.

    Also see the Top Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Tools

    Common Features of DLP Tools

    Data loss prevention tools help organizations protect their data from unauthorized access and accidental or intentional deletion. Here are the must-have features of a good DLP solution.

    Cloud support

    If you use cloud services, looking for a provider that integrates with them seamlessly is essential. You want the system to automatically back up all of your data and notify you if there is any potential breach of privacy.

    Alerts

    A critical feature in any DLP tool is receiving alerts when suspicious activity occurs. It’s not enough to just know that an incident happened; it needs to give real-time notifications, so you can stop a problem before it becomes irreversible.

    Alerts need to include details about the situation, including how much data was lost, who may have stolen the data, and how soon you need to act to recover the lost data. It should also provide recommendations on how best to deal with the situation without sacrificing compliance measures such as perimeters or encryption keys.

    Advanced analytics

    Advanced analytics can automate tasks like detecting anomalies in an employee’s behavior pattern, sending alerts when someone is about to exceed their usage limits, or determining whether sensitive information has been leaked outside the organization using keywords. Some companies even offer predictive analysis to know which employees are most likely to leak sensitive information ahead of time.

    Audit and search

    Audits and searches provide the ability to see who accessed what, when they accessed it, where they were accessing it from, and what types of files were accessed as well as the capability to search for sensitive information across all kinds of files, including email, files stored on remote drives, social media, mobile devices, and cloud storage services.

    User account control

    User account control prevents users from accessing anything on a system unless they have specific permissions. It ensures that only those people with permission can access documents and folders and prevents workers from copying sensitive documents outside the office by blocking printing, downloading or sending out emails with attachments containing sensitive information without permission.

    Secure transport methods

    Secure transport methods encrypt data over any network connection and implement encryption standards to maintain the confidentiality of all company data at rest, during transmission and while being processed. They also integrate with other security solutions, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, to ensure a complete level of protection.

    Compliance with regulations

    DLP tools must comply with various standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI DSS, and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) 800-171, which mandate specific security measures for different data and environments and keeping logs. Hence, you know who is accessing what information.

    Also see the Best Cloud Security Solutions

    How to Choose the Best Data Loss Prevention Tools

    Data loss prevention tools are essential for any business that wants to protect its data. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the best one for your needs? Here are a few things to consider.

    Data location

    One of the first considerations when selecting a DLP tool is where your data is stored. Some DLP tools can only monitor and analyze cloud-based or local networks, while others have agents installed on physical devices like computers and servers. Make sure your software covers all your company’s data locations.

    Monitoring level

    You’ll also want to decide what level of monitoring you need from your DLP software. Do you want it to detect unauthorized access attempts and alert the team? Or do you need it to identify sensitive information and mitigate risks before they happen? There are some fundamental distinctions between these two levels of monitoring, but they both come with their advantages and disadvantages. The most effective solution may be somewhere in between.

    Reporting

    It’s important to remember that different companies have different requirements for reports, too. If reports are essential to you, ensure the DLP software can generate them. But if not, this could be an area where you could save money.

    Cost

    Cost should always factor into your decision about which DLP software to purchase for your company. There are some free products out there, but if you’re looking for enterprise-level capabilities, you might be better off with a premium product.

    No matter what product you choose, don’t forget to compare the costs against your budget. Your specific needs will dictate which features you prioritize, but it’s always wise to set aside some time for research before making any decisions.

    Top 11 Data Loss Prevention Tools

    Many data loss prevention tools are available on the market, but not all are created equal. After reviewing various DLP solutions, here are our top 11 picks for organizations looking to prevent data leakage.

    Symantec DLP

    Symantec Data Loss Prevention is a software suite that helps organizations prevent data breaches by identifying, monitoring, and protecting sensitive data. It can also monitor and log data access and activity.

    In addition, Symantec DLP can look for patterns in data usage and detect anomalies in user behavior. The suite includes a web gateway, email gateway, endpoint agent, and management console. Symantec DLP can also detect and block confidential information leakage through various channels, including emails, FTP sites, and cloud storage services.

    Features

    • ​​Critical data protection
    • Visibility and control
    • Unified policy framework
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Data management
    • Incident logs
    • Reporting
    • Encryption
    • Endpoint intelligence
    • Activity monitoring
    • Breach detection

    Pros

    • Offers real-time blocking, quarantining, and alerts to prevent end users from leaking data
    • Compliance with data protection regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR
    • Enhance incident response through behavioral analytics
    • Sensitive data storage locations can be automatically mapped by automated scanning

    Cons

    • Steep learning curve

    Cost

    Contact the Symantec team for quotes tailored to your enterprise needs.

    ​​Digital guardian DLP

    Digital Guardian’s Data Loss Prevention platform is a comprehensive solution that helps organizations prevent the loss of sensitive and confidential data. The platform uses technology, people, and processes to identify, monitor, and protect data across the enterprise.

    Digital Guardian DLP automatically identifies risky files based on predefined policies. These policies can be specific or broad in scope. This tool also includes endpoint detection and response (EDR) and user entity behavior analytics (UEBA) features to protect against external and internal threats from the same agent. In addition, it can be deployed on-premises or as a SaaS solution.

    Features

    • Data visibility
    • Compliance
    • Analytics and reporting
    • Data classification
    • Data discovery
    • Management console
    • Cloud data protection
    • Managed detection and response

    Pros

    • Real-time endpoint monitoring and behavioral insight
    • Total visibility and flexible control across all operating systems
    • Automatic monitoring and logging of all endpoint activities
    • Intuitive user interface (UI)

    Cons

    • Initial setup can be complex
    • Some users consider this product pricey

    Cost

    Digital Guardian pricing isn’t available on its website. However, you can contact the sales team to schedule a demo and request quotes.

    SecureTrust

    ​​SecureTrust is a comprehensive data loss prevention tool that helps organizations of all sizes identify and protect sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure. The system is autonomous and will block malicious attempts independently.

    It can be used for cloud-based and on-premises storage, providing access to any data type. DLP policies can be created to block or alert specific types of content. A company can also choose the kind of enforcement to use when the policy is violated — either blocking or notifying the user they are attempting to violate a policy.

    Features

    • Risk assessment
    • PCI compliance service
    • Investigation management
    • Advanced content control
    • Automatic encryption, blocking, and quarantine
    • Real-time identity match
    • Automatically block HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP traffic that violates compliance policies

    Pros

    • Offers 360-degree risk mitigation
    • Has over 70 predefined policy and risk settings
    • Provides a configurable dashboard to monitor sensitive data and manage protective settings

    Cons

    • Initial setup can take some time.

    Cost

    Contact SecureTrust to request quotes.

    CrowdStrike Falcon Device Control

    CrowdStrike Falcon Device Control is a security software that helps businesses prevent data loss. It works by blocking unauthorized devices from accessing sensitive data and monitoring and logging all device activity.

    It provides the visibility and granular controls to protect against malicious insiders and outside attackers, including attacks via removable media or over Wi-Fi. This tool provides detailed reports about device activity on your network and stores those records in an industry-standard format for easy sharing.

    Features

    • Automatic visibility across USB device usage
    • Behavioral analytics
    • Variable security set by policies
    • Proactive alerts
    • Malware detection
    • Intelligence reports

    Pros

    • Centralized management dashboard
    • User-friendly dashboard
    • Less false positives

    Cons

    • Expensive for a small-scale enterprise
    • Documentation can be improved

    Cost

    Pricing isn’t available on the CrowdStrike website. However, you can contact the sales team to request quotes.

    Check Point

    Check Point DLP is an enterprise-grade solution that offers content filtering, email protection, antivirus and anti-spam, application control, and many other features. The best thing about this software is how it can be customized to fit any organization’s needs.

    With modules like Email Protection, Web Protection, and Mail Gateway Protection, Check Point DLP ensures any data leakage from the network is stopped in its tracks. One of the more exciting features of Check Point DLP is that it’s based on artificial intelligence and machine learning which means that as time goes on, its ability to detect data leaks increases.

    Features

    • Web filtering
    • Firewall
    • Policy management
    • Logging and reporting
    • Load balancing
    • Continuous analysis
    • Data classification
    • Intrusion detection and prevention

    Pros

    • Prevent spam emails and other spam from entering the network
    • Whitelist a specific URL to bypass the scanning process 
    • Offers a virtualized network for client networks to mask identity, location, and other sensitive information
    • Choose from 60+ or 700+ predefined data content types for PII, PCI, HIPAA, and more

    Cons

    • Application and URL filtering needs improvement
    • As a feature-rich tool, its learning curve can be steep

    Cost

    Pricing isn’t available on Check Point’s website. You can, however, request quotes from its sales team.

    Code42

    Code42 Incydr DLP software is one of the top tools for managing insider risk in the workplace. For instance, the software offers advanced web monitoring and alerts that help businesses comply with regulations such as GDPR. And it can manage user activities on corporate networks, apps, and devices from a single dashboard.

    With the increased number of the remote workforce, Incydr provides an easy-to-use interface divided into two main categories: Detection and Investigation (Forensic Search). These categories include web filtering, employee usage monitoring, and network monitoring, and users can take advantage of its Incydr risk indicators to detect and investigate data breaches and theft incidents.

    Features

    • Incydr risk dashboards
    • Exfiltration detectors
    • Incydr risk indicators
    • Watchlists
    • Forensic search
    • Incident management
    • Policy management

    Pros

    • Ease of use
    • Provides visibility into employee’s activities
    • Proactively detect enterprise data exposure or theft
    • ​​Identifies data security risks across PCs, the cloud, and email

    Cons

    • Support could use some improvement

    Cost

    ​​Code42 does not publish Incydr prices; thus, you must contact sales for pricing details.

    Trend Micro IDLP

    Trend Micro is an integrated DLP solution that can protect data across devices, networks, and the cloud. It provides a real-time view of your organization’s activity, allowing administrators to respond when threats are detected. With Trend Micro IDLP, you get in-depth visibility into what employees are doing on their computers and mobile devices, along with a prebuilt set of security templates for popular business applications.

    Features

    • ​​Lightweight plug-in
    • Data discovery and scanning
    • Employee education and remediation
    • Supports compliance
    • Automation

    Pros

    • With a lightweight plug-in, you can gain visibility and management of critical data and avoid data loss through USB, email, SaaS apps, web, mobile devices, and cloud storage
    • Fully-integrated, centrally-managed solution
    •  24/7 real-time network monitoring
    • Responds to policy violations automatically, with options to log, bypass, block, encrypt, alert, modify, quarantine, or delete data

    Cons

    • As per user review, some users experience issues with installation
    • Not as feature-rich as other solutions in the same category

    Cost

    Prospective buyers can contact Trend Micro’s sales team for pricing details.

    Forcepoint DLP

    Forcepoint DLP delivers unified data and IP protection for hybrid and multicloud enterprises with a single platform that enforces consistent security policies across clouds, on-premises systems, and user devices.

    With Forcepoint DLP, you can protect your data from accidental or malicious leaks, ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA, and prevent intellectual property theft. The features are designed to simplify complex security tasks, automate the analysis of massive amounts of log data, and integrate with existing IT infrastructure.

    Features

    • Policy management
    • Encryption
    • Advanced detection and controls
    • Data management
    • Incident logs
    • Access control
    • Data visibility
    • Endpoint intelligence
    • Data fingerprinting

    Pros

    • Forcepoint DLP is easy to use and provides granular control over what data is protected and how it is protected
    • Offers native, behavioral analytics; risk-adaptive protection; and risk-based policy enforcement
    • Integrate with third-party data classification tools to automate data labeling and classification

    Cons

    • Complex multiple server deployments
    • Predefined policies can be improved
    • Data discovery can be improved
    • Steep learning curve

    Cost

    Pricing for the product is not available on the provider’s page. However, you can request pricing and get quotes tailored to your needs.

    Fidelis Network DLP

    Fidelis Network is a DLP tool that offers a full range of data security services, including system-wide compliance, end-to-end encryption, anomaly detection, and integration with other tools among other features.

    Additionally, Fidelis provides granular control over what data is allowed to leave your network, so you can be sure that only the most sensitive information is protected. For example, Fidelis uses patented Deep Session Inspection technology to extract metadata and monitor 300+ different attributes. If the system detects a potential risk, it can flag it or take more specific action depending on your preferences.

    Features

    • Deep visibility and threat control
    • Dashboard
    • Analytics and reporting
    • Automated detection and response

    Pros

    • Prevent data theft or unauthorized sharing
    • Fidelis’s policy system can be easily customized to fit your needs
    • Increase security efficiency by analyzing network threats at up to 20 Gbps with a single sensor

    Cons

    • Some users consider this tool pricey for small business
    • Support can be improved

    Cost

    Contact the Fidelis sales team for personalized quotes.

    Sophos

    Sophos DLP is a comprehensive data loss prevention solution that provides visibility into sensitive information and detects any unusual activity. It includes content scanning, email monitoring, risk assessment, in-depth analysis of files and metadata, and more. All this makes it easy for IT admins to stop threats before they happen.

    Features

    • Data access control
    • PII encryption
    • User behavior assessment
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Security automation

    Pros

    • Easy point-and-click policy configuration
    • Allows users to define the data control policies by endpoint, groups, email, and sender
    • Log, alert, block, or encrypt sensitive data that triggers a DLP policy rule
    • It doesn’t require additional software client installation

    Cons

    • The amount of false positives needs improvement
    • As per user review, Sophos can be resource-intensive
    • Support could use some improvement

    Cost

    Prospective solution buyers should contact Sophos for personalized quotes.

    Trellix DLP Discover

    Trellix – the product of the merger of McAfee Enterprise and FireEye – works closely with its former cloud business, Skyhigh Security, in the area of DLP to address both on-premises and cloud DLP issues. Trellix Data Loss Prevention Discover offers real-time visibility and security of data, dynamic access adjustment, intelligent threat identification, and automated response.

    Features

    • ​​Shared intelligence and automated workflows
    • Centralized incident management
    • Compliance enforcement
    • Device to cloud
    • Data management
    • Incident logs
    • Reporting
    • Access control
    • Compliance
    • Data visibility
    • Encryption
    • Endpoint intelligence
    • Activity monitoring

    Pros

    • Monitors and performs real-time scanning and analysis of the network traffic
    • Use fingerprinting, file tagging, and classification to protect sensitive data
    • This tool is feature-rich
    • The data classification feature is robust

    Cons

    • Steep learning curve, especially with configuration
    • Support can be improved
    • The UI can be improved
    Aminu Abdullahi
    Aminu Abdullahi
    Aminu Abdullahi is an award-winning public speaker and a passionate writer. He writes to edutain (educate + entertain) his reader about business, technology, growth, and everything in-between. He is the co-author of the e-book, The Ultimate Creativity Playbook. Aminu loves to inspire greatness in the people around him through his actions and inactions.

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