SOURCE: IronPort Systems

October 23, 2007 06:00 ET

IronPort Systems Brings Best Practices to Data Loss Prevention

New Report From Security Leader Offers Six Tips to Help Protect Data

SAN BRUNO, CA--(Marketwire - October 23, 2007) - IronPort® Systems, a Cisco business unit and a leading provider of enterprise spam, virus and spyware protection, today announced the availability of a new report entitled, "Data Loss Prevention Best Practices, Managing Sensitive Data in the Enterprise," which outlines some best practices that organizations can employ to help prevent leaks, enforce compliance, and protect its brand value and reputation. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a serious issue for companies; the number of incidents (and associated costs) continues to increase. Whether it's a malicious attempt, or an inadvertent mistake, data loss can diminish a company's brand, reduce shareholder value, and damage the company's goodwill and reputation.

"When it comes to DLP, the heart of the matter is uncontrolled communications," said Tom Gillis, SVP of Marketing at IronPort Systems. "Electronic communications and data in motion is the most significant data loss vector in the enterprise today. Current firewall and other network security solutions do not include data loss prevention capabilities to secure data in motion. Important controls, such as content scanning, blocking of communications containing sensitive data and encryption, are missing. When seeking out a solution to the data loss problem, organizations should keep DLP best practices in mind to help formulate the right solution for its specific requirements."

Whether email, instant messaging, webmail, a form on a website, or file transfer, most electronic communications exiting a company are uncontrolled and unmonitored -- with the ever-present danger of confidential information falling into the wrong hands. Across all key protocols, a high-performance, intelligent DLP solution is a must-have for any organization. Decision-makers should look to vendors with deep expertise in content scanning to select a best-of-breed DLP solution. The DLP report includes the following best practices:

Best Practice #1: Take Time to Define DLP Needs

The critical first step towards addressing the data loss problem is to develop a comprehensive understanding and inventory of the types of sensitive data that exist within the organization and what policies are needed to control and enforce how that data can be shared. To do this, organizations need to review the extent to which their company or agency is affected by regulatory compliance, intellectual property protection and appropriate use enforcement.

Best Practice #2: Prioritize the DLP Focus

Data Loss Prevention is a complex problem that requires blending best-of-breed solutions to adequately address the peculiarities of an organization. Focusing first on the most significant DLP areas -- those that represent the greatest potential loss vectors -- makes it easier to justify solutions and get started on plugging the leaks.

Best Practice #3: Ensure Effective, Comprehensive Coverage

Overall, a DLP solution must effectively and comprehensively detect attempted policy violations. This includes:

--  Multi-protocol monitoring and prevention
--  Content-level analysis of all major file and attachment types
--  Selective blocking and/or quarantining of messages
--  Automatic enforcement of corporate encryption policies

Best Practice #4: Make the Solution Unobtrusive

The best DLP solution is non-intrusive. Overcoming the challenges of maintaining effective communications (while ensuring management and control of customer and sensitive information) requires: (i) well thought out policies; and (ii) processes for monitoring communications content. Organizations should select a DLP solution for email and Web applications that can manage ever-increasing message volumes and handle future bandwidth requirements. While this may seem like a daunting endeavor, the good news is that there are solutions, which are optimized for scalability, performance and security.

Best Practice #5: Look for Work Flow, Administration and Reporting

A DLP solution cannot be effective without detailed reports of all suspected violations. Administrators and policy officers should have the ability to receive reports outlining detected violations and providing in-depth information to enable them to take action. These details include: the message sender, contents, attachments, intended recipients and information about the violating content.

Best Practice #6: Combine Best-of-Breed Solutions

The hallmark of best-of-breed solutions is the ability to extend and enhance their effectiveness through integration with other best-of-breed tools. Companies should avoid selecting a DLP solution that inhibits them from integration in the future. As the industry evolves, it will be crucial to have the flexibility and support to take full advantage of future third-party solutions through connectivity and data sharing.

IronPort's Data Loss Prevention Best Practices report is available now at:

About IronPort DLP

IronPort delivers high-performance, comprehensive data loss prevention for data in motion -- helping organizations both large and small prevent leaks, enforce compliance, and protect their brand and reputation. IronPort believes that a holistic solution for monitoring and data loss across all communication channels is vital to ensure the integrity of an organization's policies. Leadership within the Internet security market, together with its partnerships with industry-leading DLP vendors, puts IronPort in the unique position to offer a single vantage point to enterprises for this critical functionality.

About IronPort Systems

IronPort Systems, headquartered in San Bruno, California, is a business unit of Cisco Systems, Inc. IronPort Systems is the leading provider of anti-spam, anti-virus and anti-spyware appliances for organizations ranging from small businesses to the Global 2000. IronPort appliances utilize SenderBase®, the world's largest email and Web threat detection network and database. IronPort products are innovative and easy-to-use -- providing breakthrough performance and playing a mission-critical role in a company's network infrastructure. To learn more about IronPort Systems products and services, please visit:

About Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to

Cisco, Cisco Systems, and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

Contact Information

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    Liz Landis
    IronPort Systems
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    David Oro
    Oro Group
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    Suzanne Matick
    IronPort Systems
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