Symantec Extends Data Loss Prevention Platform With DRM

Symantec is integrating more capabilities into its data loss prevention platform, including improved GDPR compliance and digital rights management features.

New Google Cloud DLP Features

Symantec announced a new release of its data loss prevention platform on Sept. 25, providing new security features to help protect users against sensitive data loss.

The DLP 15.1 update protects data and documents in Microsoft's Office 365 and Google's G-Suite of cloud-based office applications, as well as on-premises based deployments. The platform now integrates with Symantec's Information Centric Encryption (ICE) for digital rights management (DRM) as well as the company’s Information Centric Analytics (ICA) for User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), providing additional capabilities to protect against sensitive data loss.

"Symantec Information Centric Encryption can be automatically enabled by DLP when sensitive information is shared outside the managed environments," Mario Espinoza, vice president of product management at Symantec, told eWEEK.

For example, when a sensitive email is sent to third parties or when a sensitive file is uploaded to cloud storage applications, the ICE capability can be triggered, according to Espinoza. He added that sensitive data identified by Symantec DLP is encrypted automatically using ICE and subsequently access to identified sensitive data is limited to the intended users based on identity verification. The shared data can be restricted to specific actions, such as view only, edit, save as and print.

"Moreover, Symantec ICE provides visibility on shared data distribution and access revoking capabilities," Espinoza said.

Symantec offers DLP for both cloud and on-premises deployments. Symantec DLP for cloud (SaaS applications, cloud email, etc.) is a cloud detection service that integrates with cloud applications via API and also via Symantec CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker), Espinoza said. He explained that Symantec DLP (DLP on-premises and DLP cloud) is one solution with a single console and one consistent policy applied to all data channels. The DLP 15.1 release updates capabilities for both on-premises and cloud data protection.

Data Tagging

A common challenge with DLP systems is the ability for organizations to easily tag their own data. With DLP 15.1, Symantec is enabling organizations to manually apply classification tags to help identify different types of data.

"Data tags are applied via Symantec’s data classification product Information Centric Tagging [ICT]," Espinoza said. "Sensitive data identified by an organization’s employees using Symantec ICT is consumed by Symantec DLP to enable policy enforcement."

Employees can apply different levels of sensitivity, which can be automatically mapped to tiered DLP policies, he said. Additionally, IT administrators can view and manage policies for employee-identified sensitive data on the Symantec DLP console.

GDPR Compliance

DLP is often integrated into enterprise workflows to help enable compliance with different regulatory requirements. With DLP 15.1, Symantec has an enhanced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance template to help organizations comply with the European Union's data privacy requirements.

"Symantec ICA ingests data telemetry from Symantec DLP and from other sources in combination with identity telemetry," Espinoza said. "It provides data risk analysis for prioritized lists of users and machines, the likelihood of a data breach and of GDPR compliance loss, and remediation controls."

Going a step further, Espinoza said the compliance capability can be extended and customized for other compliance regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act. Looking forward, he said a key goal for the DLP platform is to continue to expand integrations within the Symantec cyber-security portfolio. 

"We will leverage advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and behavioral analysis to simplify the protection of data," he said. "With UEBA threat models, we will help organizations reduce the risk of malicious insider threats and of course we will continue to enhance our core DLP functionality and performance."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.