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DLP Rolling Review: RSA Takes Classification Up A Notch

Rolling Review
Data Loss Prevention
Data-Loss Prevention Rolling Review Kick-Off

Vendors offer more options for protecting data throughout its travels. We'll put their claims to the test.

Reviewed so far:

DLP Rolling Review: RSA Takes Classification Up A Notch
The RSA Data Loss Prevention Suite sports a stellar user interface and an uncanny ability to sniff out sensitive data wherever it resides.

DLP Rolling Review: Safend Safeguards At The Endpoint
Safend estimates that 60% of corporate data resides on endpoints, and that's where Safend Protector Endpoint aims its DLP resources.

DLP Rolling Review: Code Green's DLP Appliance
The CI 1500 performed well in many areas and not so well in others.

DLP Rolling Review: Symantec's DLP-9
We tip our hats toSymantec for bringing to market almost everything we look for in a comprehensive data loss prevention suite via its DLP-9, formerly from Vontu.

DLP Rolling Review: TrendMicro Leakproof
Trend seems to have fully integrated Provilla's DLP technology into its core offerings.

DLP Rolling Review: Sophos Endpoint Security
Sophos has made strategic acquisitions in an attempt to round out its range of endpoint security capabilities.

DLP Rolling Review Wrap-Up
We've got interesting results and observations that will help you decide if DLP fits your risk management strategy, and if so, which vendors you should be talking to.

We predict that the big winner of our InformationWeek Rolling Review of enterprise-class data loss prevention (DLP) suites will be companies desperate to stop the exodus of sensitive information. Symantec made an exceptionally strong first impression as the previous entry in our bakeoff, and now RSA has wowed us with its DLP suite. There's real competition here, always a great thing for IT. And we aren't even done with our testing--Trend Micro and Sophos are still on deck.

RSA gained its Data Loss Prevention Suite through its acquisition of Tablus in Q3 2007, immediately filling a major hole in its portfolio. In fact, the buy helped kick off a frenzy of acquisition activity that resulted in significant consolidation of early DLP innovators: A few months after RSA gobbled up Tablus, Symantec bought Vontu. McAfee followed suit about a year later, scooping up Reconnex.  

RSA isn't resting on its acquisition laurels, though--it's clearly throwing lots of resources at the development of its DLP suite, with a particular emphasis on data classification technology, a point of pride within RSA. According to the company, a team of 12 full-time linguists and advanced semantics engineers are tasked with making RSA's data classification engine as accurate as possible across a wide range of languages and government/industry regulations. That investment appears to have paid early dividends: In December, Microsoft and RSA announced a joint venture to tightly integrate RSA's DLP suite into Active Directory Rights Management Services in Windows Server 2008. Earlier last year, Cisco announced a similar joint venture with RSA to include its data classification technology in various Cisco network, storage, and endpoint policy enforcement products.

In a fashion similar to that of Symantec, RSA has componentized its DLP suite into three core areas--Datacenter, Network, and Endpoint--all centrally managed by the DLP Enterprise Manager server. The RSA suite is mostly software based and can be installed on modest server hardware, with the exception of the Network component, which is delivered as an appliance.  

We started our testing by picking apart the Datacenter module. The RSA Datacenter component is responsible for enterprise data discovery and remediation and can support an impressive array of structured and unstructured data sources and file systems.
Structured data sources that RSA can hook into include Sharepoint, Documentum, Microsoft Access, SQL and Oracle databases, and other Web 2.0 and wiki-type sites. We found the range of visibility into unstructured data sources more than adequate and generally on par with the other leaders in the DLP space, including Symantec. Unstructured data source scanning and security can be accomplished across many flavors of Unix and Windows file systems, as well across loose Microsoft Office, PDF, PST, and Zip files located on any server, storage device, or endpoint.  

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