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When missing your breakfast is not a big deal

My working week started with broken car making me late to a business breakfast with young Russian entrepreneurs from the Leaders Club. It was nice of them to wait for me readily and, most importantly, have a discussion full of challenging ideas and case studies, some of which, I believe, we are going to review deeper. The hour-and-a-half meeting began with the eternal question: how to succeed in big business. 

DLP vs. Privacy Laws

The attendees of various information security conferences are well informed about sessions dedicated to the privacy implications from monitoring of company’s network traffic. Such monitoring is usually performed by Data Loss Prevention (DLP) systems that take the content scanning to the higher level in order to identify security risks that could be missed by regular tools or resulted from malicious or unintentional employees’ actions.

The problem of content routing

One of the problems in protecting an information system is the monitoring of almost-legitimate transactions. One document, sent over two different channels to the same user, or even to two users using the same channel could be a difficult case to tell apart.

The problem of information structure

The information structure of a given company before the adaption of a DLP solution is, quite frankly, often a mess. Documents are created with sensitive data in every sector of the system, read-and-write rules are set up in a random fashion based on the whim of a system administrator that worked there nearly a decade ago, and so on. This is understandable, of course, as the employees are not trained in proper information security, and the system security is focused on defending the perimeter from the outside.

DLP: technical vs. administrative

As I have mentioned before, it is difficult to find a major IT security firm without a DLP package in its lineup, whether one of their own, or snatched up early. Those packages, however, are mostly technical, with little consultation beyond “here’s our box and good luck to you”, a topic previously discussed at length. Those solutions tend to ignore an incredibly important part of DLP: the administrative method.

DLP: infrastructure and consulting

It is no great secret that by now everybody and their mum has DLP solutions as part of their product line: McAfee, Websense, Symantec, Trend Micro, Check Point, BlueCoat, Aladdin and so on. Even companies that have nothing to do with data security per se, such as Microsoft and Cisco, have added DLP products to their line. There are abound that Kaspersky and Oracle are working on their own versions. It would be easier to point out companies that refuse to create their own or quickly buy out a smaller company for a piece of the admittedly small pie.

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