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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Vontu Data Loss Prevention 8 Ãâ" how does it work?

05 October, 2007
Continuing our interview with Kit Robinson of Vontu, we take a deeper look at how DLP 8 operates.
Following the announcement of Data Loss Prevention 8 from Vontu earlier this week, ProsecurityZone continues its feature on the product with the second part of our interview.

The key element of the system is the discovery of confidential data which resides in an organisation. If this isn't done accurately, it could leave confidential information unprotected and could impact productivity by placing unnecessary controls on unrestricted information so we asked how DLP 8 knows what to look for.

A secure template is used which contains policy information about what is deemed confidential within an organisation and this forms the virtual fingerprint which DLP uses to discover the data it needs to protect. The policy could specific details or could be based on key words and data ranges for example. Once this has been set, all data covered by this policy will be subject to protection, remediation, notification and preventative actions. Setting this up and maintaining it is an essential part of the data protection process and the Vontu TrueMatch module provides very high levels of accuracy in order to eliminate false positives.

Another aspect of the protection suite is the Endpoint Prevent module which prevents confidential data from leaking out through USB ports, IM conversations or web e-mails so we wanted to know more about how this works.

When setting up the system, policies can be defined concerning the monitoring and prevention of downloads to laptops and removable media. The product doesn't prevent all data from being copied to these devices, only the data which is protected by the policy umbrella. Similarly, EndPoint Protect also prevents confidential data from being transmitted by web based e-mail, across peer-to-peer networks or using instant messaging. It also detects attempts to hide the data using unauthorised encryption. For users that require confidential data on laptops, the discover module detects its presence and will force full disk encryption to prevent laptop data loss.

The House of Lords are proposing the introduction of data security breach notification laws which would force companies to have a comprehensive knowledge of where their data is held and what happens to it. We asked Vontu how DLP 8 can help companies with compliance to this requirement.

Regulations already exist in many US states and the spread of such regulations continues to grow. Compliance rules can be held as policies within the system which already contains policy templates covering a number of international, federal and state data privacy regulations. The use of these policies along with the centralised reporting and analysis capabilities of the system enable organisations to demonstrate compliance and respond more quickly and confidently to audits.
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