Data Loss Prevention Software Goes Interactive

New data loss prevention software from Trend Micro knows when you've been naughty and tells you so.

The acronym "DLP" is most commonly used to describe a form of video projection called Digital Light Processing. Well, add the term "data loss prevention" to the DLP lexicon, because you will be hearing it a lot more in 2008 and beyond.

With so many data breach/loss incidents coming by accident rather than malice, one of the biggest areas of growth within the software sector is for solutions that prevent people from accidentally losing or compromising the security of corporate data.

It has to be important if Symantec earlier this month was willing to pay $350 million for Vontu, a data leak prevention vendor. Meanwhile, McAfee and Trend Micro acquired SafeBoot and Provilla, respectively, within a one-month span.

Trend, which has moved into the No. 2 position behind Symantec in the antivirus software market, timed the Provilla purchase rather well because the company was just about to release a new version of LeakProof 3.0, its flagship product.

Now re-branded as a Trend Micro product, LeakProof 3.0 is being released Monday with some major upgrades to address inadvertent data leaks. Earlier versions just caught the offender and alerted the administrators but never told the employee they did something wrong. Version 3.0 actually lets the employee know when they commit a no-no.

"Companies will have the opportunity to not just slap employees on the hand and stop them from copying, but also educate them on how to properly handle sensitive information and make that part of a whole framework for interaction with the employee," Glen Kosaka, director of marketing for Trend's data leak protection business unit told

LeakProof 3.0 monitors a wide range of portals where sensitive data can be lost, including USB, Webmail, instant messenger and FTP transfers. Should an employee send out data flagged as sensitive, the new system pops up the alert box with a custom message from their employer.

Kosaka said the emphasis is on positive communication with employees, not coming down like a ton of bricks. "Most surveys show most companies trust their employees, and studies show most breaches are accidental and not malicious," he said. "So companies are looking for solutions that show there is technology looking over their employees' shoulders, and through this process they can tell the employees they are on their side in looking to protect that information."

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