Methodology for Reviewing Data Loss Prevention Software
We hope you can now see many of the benefits of DLP software. Let’s explore methods of choosing the best product for your company.
We have developed a framework for evaluating DLP solutions based on objective criteria. We applied this assessment methodology to market leaders, emerging with a list of the best products.
You can use our methodology to narrow down the options or evaluate offerings that didn’t make it onto our list.
The core function of any DLP is watching over the system. The ability to monitor data, devices, and networks is the main reason to purchase DLP software.
The ideal data loss prevention utility should monitor internet traffic (including email and instant messaging), perform remote device control, fingerprint documents with watermarks, and perform other advanced features. DLP solutions may also cover cloud applications. Some even use machine learning to better understand day-to-day usage on your network, becoming smarter and growing more effective over time.
DLP monitoring is just the first step, the baseline function we expect from these tools. The utilities are not complete without reports and notifications. What good is an app that can’t alert you to a data breach? It must be able to inform you exactly when and where it happened.
We analyze not just how detailed the reporting tools are, but how well the user interface is organized. Network administrators can quickly get all the information they need at a glance with the best DLP tools, and detailed reports should be just a couple of clicks away. Of course, you should be able to automate and schedule automatic security reports.
Enterprise data security is all about covering every possible exit point for sensitive corporate data, not just monitoring the information highway. That is why we highly value DLPs that aren’t limited to local data monitoring and cloud apps. The perfect tool for this job should be able to cover all the bases.
Of course, it is crucial to protect stored data. But the best DLP solutions also work dynamically with all the apps, devices, and tools found on modern interconnected corporate computer systems. Businesses are increasingly reliant on data, and they create more of it than ever before. So DLP products need to be flexible enough and powerful enough to impose rules, identify vulnerabilities, and monitor communications everywhere your data lives – including mobile devices and employee-provided computing resources.
Everyone loves an out-of-the-box solution. You can get it running with a minimum investment in time and effort. Lots of features work automatically, and you’ll find dozens of sensible policies ready to use.
But what happens if you need to change something? In every data loss prevention software review we conducted, we took special care to assess customization options. The companies behind the best tools understand that all enterprises are different. Policies need to be flexible enough to account for different business practices, and it should be easy to make changes on the fly.
We assess the policy customization options of each DLP product we review. In addition to evaluating the range of options, we take a deep dive into ease-of-use issues. If the developer hid customization controls deep in the menus or offered very limited options, that’s not something we’ll end up praising in our DLP reviews.
Value is the relationship between benefits and price – and it’s devilishly hard to evaluate in the DLP market. Almost none of these apps are sold according to a public price list.
Because these tools are complex and users have different needs, the companies that develop them employ sales consultants who generate quotes for potential customers. Instead of selling the product as is for a monthly fee, providers work with you to create a customized solution that suits your company’s needs. That’s why this review doesn’t include pricing details. No company uses DLP in exactly the same way as others, so data loss prevention prices can’t be directly compared when reviewing the tools.
We do assess the important benefits that these tools provide, however. We award extra points to companies that provide demos or let potential customers sign up for a free trial. A money-back guarantee is another good sign.
Of course, if we run into a product that is sold according to a more transparent pricing model, we tell you that too. But not many data protection companies are willing to stick to price lists when it comes to their complex and invaluable tools.