Data Loss Prevention Explained

Posted by John V. on Tue, Oct 04, 2011 @ 10:28 AM

data loss preventionOverview

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) refers to a class of applications and appliances aimed at identifying sensitive information in an IT system and preventing them from leaking out. In this post, you’ll learn more about what DLP is, how you can benefit from it, what the different types of DLP are, and how it can help you achieve regulatory compliance.

Why your company would need to deploy DLP

There are certain types of information that are best kept within the confines of your company. When left in the open, personal information of clients and employees can lead to identity theft. Leaked trade secrets and financial information, on the other hand, can benefit competitors and drive investors away. But with the security breach incidents we read about in the news every single day, we know that preventing data loss is no easy task.

You need a solution that can quickly scan your system for sensitive information and prevent all that information from falling into the wrong hands. With hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes to scan, it is essential for the solution to be intelligent enough to avoid too many false-positives or false-negatives. This is the type of gargantuan task where you’ll need to deploy DLP.

Host-based DLP vs Network-based DLP - where should data loss prevention efforts go?

Data loss prevention efforts are mostly focused on two areas: on data moving through the network (a.k.a. data-in-motion) and on data residing in file systems or databases (a.k.a. data-at-rest). DLP solutions that scan data-in-motion to find sensitive information are known as network-based DLP, while solutions that scan data-at-rest are known as host-based DLP.

In today’s highly-connected society, people have many ways of exposing confidential information - whether intentionally or accidentally. Email, Webmail, instant messaging apps, FTP, forums, social networking sites, blogs, and peer-to-peer sites are just some of the possible paths through which sensitive data can leak out of your organization. A network-based DLP can prevent that from happening. 

How DLP can help you achieve compliance

In today’s business environment, it’s almost impossible for companies to handle data without a regulation hanging over their head. PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, GLBA, SOX, and FERPA, as well as the vast selection of US state and territorial data breach notification laws, are just some of the laws and regulations that require companies to step up efforts in protecting sensitive data.

DLP solutions can make those efforts easier by simplifying the task of identifying the data that need to be protected and ultimately protecting them. In future posts, you’ll learn how you can realize the benefits we just mentioned using DLP modules available in JSCAPE software.


With so many sensitive data to protect and laws to comply with, manual methods of finding what need to be protected are no longer effective. These tasks are made easier using DLP systems.


Download JSCAPE MFT Server

Topics: Data Loss Prevention, Compliance