DLP: Data In Motion vs. Data At Rest (DIM vs. DAR)

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The Debate column (P15) of the November, 2010 Issue of SC Magazine covers a very interesting topic– For or Against:  “DLP for data in motion is more effective than DLP that secures data at rest”. Two top executives, each from a security solution provider, are invited to comment “For” or “Against” this statement.

Joe Leonard from Global Velocity is “For” this statement. He convincingly argues that “ultimately, a solid, well planned ‘data in motion’ approach can gain 80 percent of the bang for 20 percent of the buck, while providing additional operational benefits.” In other words, he thinks Data In Motion (DIM) is a better approach than Data At Rest (DAR) for DLP.

Todd Feinman from Identity Finder is “Against” this statement. His key argument is that “Data-at-rest DLP searches files and emails with deeper analysis to determine the context of sensitive information, while eliminating false positives”.  In other words, he believes Data At Rest (DAR) is a better approach than Data In Motion (DIM) for DLP.

Both have good arguments. However, adding 1+1, it is very obvious that Mr. Feinman provides a good specification to the underspecified term “solid” in Mr. Leonard’s statement, defining a “solid” DIM approach as one that can perform deeper analysis with no false positives.

Why do experts, such as Mr. Feinman, not believe that DIM can do deeper analysis with no false positive? The answer is rooted in the conventional technologies used for the data in motion approach. These technologies scan packet streams and look for offending patterns. The problem is that most sensitive information can only be comprehended at the content level, not at the packet level. Scanning packets cannot detect information that span many packets and, very often, that are packed in an archive. It is analogous to inspecting atoms and molecules to detect if an object is a tiger or a rabbit. To implement the requirement of deeper-analysis-with-no-false-positive, the industry needs Deep Content Inspection for Data In Motion, i.e. DCI For DIM.

About Wedge Co-founder, CEO & CTO

Hongwen Zhang, Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Technical Officer Co-founder of Wedge Networks, Inc., Dr. Zhang previously co-founded the 24C Group Inc., which pioneered the first digital receipts infrastructure for secure electronic commerce, and was a principal of Servidium Inc., a global leader in agile development methodology. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and a M.Sc. in Computer Engineering. Throughout his 25+ years career and leadership in the enterprise software industry, Dr. Zhang has been instrumental in launching several commercially successful cyber security and safety products into the global market. This has resulted in successful customer adoptions; from his involvement in the Digital Receipt Infrastructure (with the 24C Group, and later AxWay), through his work with companies such as Valmet/Telvent (now Schneider), and Servidium (acquired by Thought Works Inc.). Dr. Zhang served as the Chair of the Metro Ethernet Forum’s (MEF) Security-as-a-Service working group, which defined the practices of Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) for many of the largest telecom service providers in the world. He is a well-respected speaker and writer in the areas of security and cloud computing. As a co-founder of Wedge Networks, Dr. Zhang has led the design, implementation, and launch of the firm’s patented, award-winning Deep Content Inspection and Security Services Orchestration platform.
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7 Responses to DLP: Data In Motion vs. Data At Rest (DIM vs. DAR)

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