Understanding what data needs protection
Perhaps the most critical capability of a DLP solution is its ability to accurately understand the data that needs to be protected. Confidential data comes in many forms: It can be in an Excel file, a presentation, a database, a Word document, an e-mail or an instant message.
The ability to look beyond the "wrapper," or format type, and examine the data itself is the core strength of DLP technology. Content-aware DLP technology has data intelligence and can identify critical differences (such as whether a list is a confidential customer list or a grocery list). It can tell if the data is source code or a merger document, or even if it's just an innocuous e-mail between colleagues.
With a DLP system that identifies what is confidential and accurately protects that data, an acquiring organization can secure its investment early on, better understand the business it has acquired and reduce risk.