The trouble with DLP tools… and how to solve it

5 minute read

The trouble with DLP tools… and how to solve it 

Here’s a really shocking fact for you: data loss prevention tools (DLP) generate 81% of false positive alerts and only 4% are ever investigated. These alarming figures were discovered by FireEye in a 2018 study.  Yes, the findings are several years old but in our experience nothing much has changed.  You can’t help but conclude that DLP tools configured manually are frighteningly ineffective. In this age of mounting mandatory privacy legislation, it’s worrying. 

However, and somewhat deeply ironically given the magnitude of the data loss problem, DLP tools are popular. But to say they fall short of the mark when it comes to actually preventing data loss, and especially when it comes to detecting and investigating incidents while and after they happen, is something of a huge understatement. 

Huge reduction in false positives 

Unfortunately, many organizations who invest in DLPs quickly discover that these tools are difficult and time-consuming to configure. Dictionaries have to be built, and constantly added to, which requires considerable and sustained effort. Another major downside is that DLP tools often make it harder, rather than easier, for IT admins to communicate with data owners. 

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet but sometimes you have to. Based on our experience at customer sites, Dathena reduces DLP false-positive alerts and can also lower customer operational costs by about 80%. Pointedly, we can eradicate up to 90% of false positives and guarantee at the very least 50% eradication. How do we achieve this?  

Three steps to protection 

Generally, a security team doesn’t have much idea on which marketing documents contain sensitive information. They will have to involve the marketing team to find out. At the pace in which data is created today, they would have to ask constantly. Multiply this across other areas of the organization and it becomes a mammoth task, adding layers of stress to an already demanding and vital role and impacting on productivity.  

We’ve addressed these problems and eradicated false positives with our multi-patented AI engine and a simple three step process delivered by our Augmented Data Protection service. Firstly, we assess what needs to be protected. All data is not created equal and while there are huge quantities of files today, not all of them need to be protected. Documents such as board meeting minutes, sales insights and customer information are clearly sensitive. 

By using an automated data labelling tool, identified documents are automatically labelled. The Dathena AI engine then creates automated data protection policies, which can scale securely and reliably, to safeguard sensitive documents. Given the rate at which data storage is growing the ability to scale is important.  

Problem’s melt away when you optimize your DLP tools

Another benefit of Dathena’s tech, and one where DLP tools so often fall down, is the oversight it can provide on all major file sharing services from Microsoft Teams to Dropbox, Google Workspace and more.  Thanks to Dathena’s External File Sharing solution, you can see how data is being shared, receive real-time alerts for data sharing anomalies such as someone trying to load a sales contact spreadsheet onto an external device, and take immediate action to revoke access if necessary.  

Trying to carry out these actions with DLP tools is extremely difficult, if not impossible in some cases. But when DLP tools are augmented with advanced AI specifically created for data loss prevention, you will find management difficulties simply melt away, replaced with effortless, reliable, smoothly functioning document protection. Isn’t this what data loss prevention should be about?  


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