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Data Security Knowledge Base

Context Aware Security

Digital Guardian Offers the Only Comprehensive Context Aware Security with Seamless, Streamlined Data Discovery and Classification

In 2012, Gartner predicted the rise of context aware security as the emerging solution for enterprises to adapt to changes in the security landscape such as IT consumerization, cloud computing, and the ever-evolving threat landscape. Gartner analyst Neil MacDonald describes context aware security as “the use of supplemental information to improve security decisions at the time they are made, resulting in more accurate security decisions capable of supporting dynamic business and IT environments.”

Context Aware Security Emerges as an Essential Security Measure for Dynamic Enterprises

Just two years later, context aware security has become a must-have for enterprises requiring data leakage protection (DLP) capable of meeting the demands of the fast-paced, multi-device, and increasingly mobile world of business. Adaptive security infrastructure has become the new standard, replacing static infrastructure components such as firewalls and anti-virus software, which are simply inadequate and unprepared to protect highly sensitive data in today’s environment.

As data moves from location to location is stored on an endless number of devices and in cloud storage applications. It’s accessed by employees, partners, and customers via connections and devices from just about everywhere. An equally dynamic security solution is required for monitoring these events - which isn't something alternative security solutions can offer.

Contextual Information Drives Rapid Security Response

Context information commonly includes environmental factors, such as location and time, but there are many other contextual aspects that exist throughout the IT stack. This information includes devices, users, IP addresses, URLs, and even considerations affecting the business value of the data, the potential threat, and the credibility of the application(s) in use.

Context aware security relies on these contextual factors to drive rapid response at the moment of decision-making. Much of this information is easily understood by the end user (such as time and location), but not always understood by applications providing data based on queries and triggers. Understanding these contextual factors enables context aware security solutions to rapidly determine the type and level of security actions appropriate for every event.

Data Discovery and Classification Lay the Groundwork for Context Aware Security

Context aware security requires awareness of applications, users and identities, networks, data classifications, and event types. The process of identifying every possible type of enterprise data, privileged and unauthorized user identities, applications, networks, and events is a critical first step in implementing context aware security measures.

For many enterprises, data discovery and classification is essential not only for risk management, but for regulatory compliance. Understanding precisely what data an enterprise owns or controls, where it is stored, who has access (or requires access) to it, as well as where it will be accessed and how it will be transmitted, is essential for the process. But for most enterprises, the exponential growth of data makes this task seem daunting.

The solution is advanced, intelligent technology that is capable of learning and applying pre-defined classifications, scenarios, and policies to the vast quantities of data used and controlled by the typical enterprise. With employees connecting remotely through a multitude of devices and data being stored in the cloud and existing on any number of servers or endpoints at any moment in time, this process requires technology of the utmost sophistication. Additionally, the process must be continuous and comprehensive; a single-yet-complete scan is inadequate for discovering and classifying the ever-growing volume of data that is in constant motion for the modern enterprise.

Digital Guardian is the only comprehensive, context aware security solution with continuous monitoring and automatic classification that encompasses the full range of requirements for enterprises in today’s challenging and complex security landscape.

Painless Data Discovery and Classification for Context Aware Security

Digital Guardian’s advanced technology streamlines the process of identifying and classifying data and its context. The data discovery and classification process is essential for risk management and regulatory compliance, and with Digital Guardian’s automatic classification and tagging technology, the path to compliance and comprehensive data protection is shortened and simplified.

The Digital Guardian platform offers complete visibility and continuous monitoring, never missing a beat to instantly identify, classify, tag, and track sensitive data. Sensitive data is automatically encrypted prior to egress, and files and content containing proprietary or sensitive information are identified – and met with a pre-defined response action such as an alert or block – before the data exits your secure environment. The real-time delivery of forensic event logs drives creation of more targeted policies and improves the efficacy of alerting and reporting.

That means your employees continue to communicate and collaborate with co-workers, vendors, contractors, and other entities as usual, but with a greater level of protection. When it comes to securing the data stored and transmitted through endpoints, networks, web applications, and cloud storage applications, Digital Guardian is the only context aware security solution offering continuous monitoring with complete visibility and protection without disrupting your critical business processes.

Discover the advanced context aware security technology relied on by the world’s leading enterprises to meet the challenges of the modern enterprise security landscape. Start a free trial with Digital Guardian today.

Data Security Knowledge Base

Data Protection Software

Digital Guardian Offers Comprehensive Data Protection Solutions for VDI

Enterprise data protection is one of the most critical priorities facing organizations today. Server virtualization has become much more commonplace, providing a number of benefits to enterprises including substantial savings in both hardware and operating costs.

With advanced technology that drastically improves resource availability, enterprises are rapidly moving towards virtualization of even their most business-critical servers. While these trends offer many benefits, they also introduce some critical implications for data protection that alternative data tools don't focus on.

VDI blurs the lines of the traditional security perimeter, adding unprecedented complexity to the issues of privacy and data protection. Add this to increasingly stringent regulatory protocols, and data protection management becomes a much larger undertaking.

Yesterday’s Simple Security Measures Don’t Cut It

Long-gone are the days of anti-virus programs and firewalls offering adequate data protection. Today’s data protection software faces the challenge of protecting data at rest, in storage, in use, and in transit – no simple feat with today’s virtual desktops that simply bypass the traditional security perimeter.

Yet, many enterprises continue to rely on data protection solutions modeled for legacy infrastructure. This can cause security efforts to fall short when workloads with different security protocols are consolidated on a single physical host or fail to provide adequate control for enterprise data shared between virtual machines.

Threats are ever on the rise, and in today’s enterprise landscape they’re coming from all angles. The hypervisor itself - that is, the host machine in any virtual desktop infrastructure environment - is a strategic target for hackers. Insider and outsider threats to virtual infrastructure can come from:

  • Software applications
  • Email
  • Privileged users
  • Web applications and cloud storage
  • Malware
  • Mobile devices
  • Network breaches
  • And more

Data Protection Solutions Must Be Both Comprehensive and Readily Adaptable

With so many potential threats and entry points, data protection solutions must take a comprehensive, end-to-end approach that begins by identifying valuable at-risk data and devising a continuous data protection strategy that accounts for every potential threat – before threats are even identified.

A reactive response is no longer sufficient as networks become virtual and highly flexible with ever-shifting perimeters. Physical hardware constraints no longer limit the provisioning of virtual desktops, which only further muddles visibility and control.

Reactive and Single Access Point-Focused Data Protection Solutions Fall Short

Most security software applications target one key facet of security, such as focusing on either whitelisting or blacklisting capabilities, but fail to establish a comprehensive security model.

You can’t rely on reactive security measures and you certainly can’t count on software patches to maintain security. Simply installing a patch doesn’t address the multi-device environments that exist in VDI configurations, the variation in operating systems being used to access the network, or backdoors that may have already been created by attackers.

Not to mention, security patches are typically issued after threats have been discovered.

In other words, too late.

In today’s threat landscape, threats come from all angles and attacks are increasingly advanced. Reactive approaches are necessary in some cases, but your best option is a comprehensive approach to data protection that proactively safeguards your data but is also equipped with the reactive ammunition necessary to combat attacks.

The Only Platform That’s Data, User, and Event-Aware

There’s also a human element in the use, transport, and even storage of data that must not be ignored.

Think about it: Employees, partners, and contractors are receiving, using, manipulating, and transmitting your data throughout the course of any given day. They’re using data on the network and off, in the cloud, and on a multitude of devices. To ignore the importance of adequate data loss protection that addresses the many potential risks created in these contexts is leaving the door open for a serious data breach.

On the other hand, data protection services that hone in on these aspects of data protection and ignore the risk of advanced outsider threats could leave your enterprise at even greater risk of a serious breach incident.

But there is one solution that tackles every possible data protection scenario for the modern enterprise, even accounting for the complexities of virtualization.

Digital Guardian’s single agent provides transformative data visibility and control where you’re most vulnerable, protecting millions of endpoints from insider and outsider threats for the world’s leading enterprises. It’s the only platform that’s data, user, and event-aware, providing the comprehensive, continuous data protection that’s critical for modern enterprises.

Take full advantage of the benefits of VDI while maintaining enterprise-wide data protection with security’s most advanced endpoint agent.

Download our white paper to learn the six reasons why VDI and data protection can strengthen your security posture.

Data Security Knowledge Base

Data Governance

Enterprise Data Governance in a Comprehensive, End-to-End Data Governance Solution

Is your enterprise taking data governance seriously? It’s an emerging discipline with a variety of definitions, all pointing to a broad set of processes designed to manage and utilize data while maintaining adequate data security and integrity.

As such, data governance can look distinctly different from one enterprise to the next. Organizations use data in different ways and some have stricter regulatory requirements to meet than others. At the end of the day, every enterprise wants to get more value from its data without compromising integrity. That’s where data governance comes in.

CIOs at Risk for Failing to Implement Adequate Data Governance Solutions

By 2016, 20% of CIOs in regulated industries will lose their jobs for failing to implement adequate data governance systems, Gartner predicts. The need for more structured data management protocols with adequate security measures and clearly defined roles, processes, and accountability has become clear. Enterprises struggle to implement systems that can derive meaningful and actionable insights from the massive volume of data at their disposal while still maintaining data security and integrity. In this process, many questions arise, such as:

  • Where is data stored and how?
  • Who has access to it?
  • How will it be used?
  • When should it be deleted?
  • Who is accountable for developing and enforcing policies on standards and procedures?

These questions are the focus of the emerging data governance discipline. Data governance tools and software applications aim to provide strategic frameworks that ease the implementation and management of data governance programs.

Enterprises Rely on Data for Everyday Decision-Making Like Never Before

Data is everywhere in the modern enterprise. From customer contact information and purchase records to personal health information, financial records, market data, and so much more, every business decision is influenced by data.

To make the best use of data, it must be easily accessible, but it also must be protected. That means determining who has access to what data in what circumstances, determining how data will be analyzed, stored, and utilized, and implementing protocols to maintain data security and integrity.

There are thousands of software tools and applications designed to manage some area of data governance. From analytics programs that help enterprises better use data to security systems that help protect data, there are a variety of touch points and contexts to consider. Few solutions provide true end-to-end data governance capabilities, leaving enterprises to attempt to integrate disjointed systems and eliminate data silos.

But there’s a better way, thanks to Digital Guardian.

Digital Guardian’s Comprehensive Data Governance Solution Meets a Multitude of Use Cases

Even CIOs can become overwhelmed with the many responsibilities and complexities that arise from an enterprise’s increased use of data. Instead of throwing in the towel and letting the cards fall where they may, turn to Digital Guardian to simplify your data governance strategy.

Digital Guardian offers a comprehensive data governance solution that meets enterprise data needs from end to end, including:

  • Data loss and advanced threat protection (insider and outsider threat protection)
  • Automatic data classification to streamline regulatory compliance and data protection
  • Intelligent, context-aware protection for all data types, regardless of whether data is at rest or in motion
  • Comprehensive enterprise reporting connecting users, actions, data, and risks
  • Sophisticated, customizable reports to derive meaningful and actionable insights from your data

Enterprises that once pieced together data governance models using portfolios of tools and applications to dedicated to various facets of data governance are now turning to Digital Guardian. Its centralized, streamlined data governance platform makes governance strategies easier to implement and manage than the disjointed implementations of data governance tools from previous years. A complete data governance tool, Digital Guardian accommodates use cases such as:

  • Application control
  • Data classification
  • Control and encryption for email and removable devices
  • Trusted network awareness
  • Control for web applications and cloud storage
  • Privileged user control
  • Protection against malware and other threats

Join the world’s leading enterprises and take control of your data like never before with Digital Guardian’s end-to-end data governance solution.

Data Security Knowledge Base

Content Aware Security

Digital Guardian’s Content Aware Security is the Only Solution Offering the Comprehensive Protection Modern Enterprises Demand

A data leakage protection (DLP) solution is not comprehensive without content aware security, or the ability to understand the contents of data itself. Data security solutions must be able to identify and protect sensitive data automatically to provide adequate defense against the modern threats facing enterprises.

Content Aware Security Solutions Provide Complete Visibility

Content aware DLP solutions dig into and decipher actual data to read and understand the information within, whether that means the content within an email message, data contained in an Excel document, Word document, PDF, or other file format embedded within a file or program, and any other data contained within programs, folders, or files.

The content aware security approach protects enterprises from insider threats, which are often the source of data leakage that would ordinarily be protected by other security measures. Content aware security controls are a key element of a comprehensive measure against the risks posed by the human element, such as employees or vendors, whether these threats are intentional or unintentional.

The File Cabinet Analogy for Understanding Content Aware Security

To understand content aware security, it’s helpful to think of your enterprise data as it would be stored within a filing cabinet. Content aware security solutions monitor and read all the data contained within each and every file folder in a cabinet, identifying sensitive data even when it’s misplaced or stored within a file folder not properly classified as sensitive. The result is a much more effective means of protecting enterprise data in a modern environment.

Enterprise Email Communications Create Security Challenges

The most common focus (and the most obvious benefit) of content aware security is the protection provided for enterprise email communications. It’s difficult to control what employees send through their enterprise email accounts without hindering the benefits of email as a communications tool. Enterprises rely on email, but email also leaves the door open for data leakage through message content, attachments, and even subject lines or document macros. Because email is so engrained in modern business practices, employees often don’t realize that their communications contain highly sensitive information.

Content aware security solutions are able to read, decipher, and identify potentially sensitive data before it’s leaked, including text found in email subject lines, message content, file attachments and their contents, other objects, files, and elements embedded within file attachments, and even document properties and comments. Content aware security solutions must monitor and protect data in motion, in use, and at rest for complete protection against leaks. These advanced solutions are capable of identifying and protecting data that’s often unnoticed by employees and otherwise leaked unintentionally.

Web Applications Pose Risks to Data Protection without Content Aware Security

Email applications are not the sole source of data leakage that can be prevented with content aware security. Web applications and cloud storage solutions contain a plethora of highly sensitive information, and, due to the nature of some advanced applications, often contain more data or data of higher proprietary value than many email communications.

For the most comprehensive data leak protection, a content aware security solution should provide continuous monitoring and visibility for every interaction occurring via web or cloud storage applications. Automatic data classification and encryption are also essential components of content aware security solutions for enterprises demanding the most stringent data security in today’s highly competitive landscape.

The Only Content Aware Security Solution Offering Continuous Monitoring and Complete Visibility

Digital Guardian is the only content aware security solution offering continuous monitoring and complete visibility for the world’s leading enterprises. Digital Guardian works behind the scenes to discover and classify content within emails and attachments, content within web applications and cloud storage applications, content stored on or copied to removable storage devices, and all enterprise data – at rest, in use, or in motion. This enables granular policy-based controls such as warning, blocking, or automatically encrypting content to offer streamlined and comprehensive data loss prevention.

Digital Guardian’s content aware security capabilities are made even stronger by its unique context awareness. Context awareness builds on the intelligence provided by content awareness, enabling Digital Guardian to see and protect sensitive data not only based on file contents, but also by contextual factors including file, user, and application type as well as the source and destination of each file.

With automatic data classification, encryption, and fine-tuned data controls, sensitive data will never leave the secure constraints defined by your enterprise’s custom policies and regulations. Most importantly, this ongoing protection enables enterprises to conduct business as usual, without disruptions to critical business processes, while simultaneously maintaining a heightened level of security and visibility.

These features are coupled with sophisticated forensic event logs, driving the creation of more effective policies, highlighting gaps in employee security training, and improving the efficacy of alerting and reporting. Ultimately, Digital Guardian empowers the world’s leading enterprises to protect their sensitive data today while arming them with continuous learning and agile adaptation to keep pace with the ever-changing security landscape far better than leading alternatives.

Digital Guardian’s content aware security solution is the only solution providing this level of ongoing protection that never misses a beat yet works seamlessly to produce zero disruptions to enterprise workflow.

Take your enterprise security to the next level with the comprehensive visibility, continuous monitoring, and automatic data leakage protection only Digital Guardian can provide. Sign up for a free trial and experience the data security trusted by the world’s leading enterprises.