Guard your data against insider threats
Oakley, Reconnex, Tablus, and Vontu prevent costly data leaks
U.S. companies exposed the personal information of more than 53 million people in 2005, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Alas, the possibility of serious consequences for leakers doesn't seem to deter insiders from divulging private, protected information -- and for good reason: Statistics clearly show enterprises are ill-prepared to thwart them.
For all their good work, many security professionals are still saddled with first- and second-generation ITM (insider threat management) products. Typically, these are limited to monitoring certain communications channels, such as e-mail and Web browsing.
Today's solutions, however, cover almost anything traveling over your network. Furthermore, they often sense data manipulation -- such as modification of files -- and track inappropriate use of media, including USB drives and CDs at the desktop. Other solutions monitor the equally important world of data-at-risk residing on unsecured file shares and intranets. Finally, when problems in any of these areas surface, products offer real-time alerts followed by automatic remediation.
Using these requirements as guideposts, I tested upgraded versions of two network scanning products that InfoWorld first reviewed last June, along with two new agent-based approaches.
The network gateways Reconnex iGuard 2.1 and Vontu 5.0 show maturity and polish. iGuard now offers better dashboard reporting that the user customizes, faster performance, and more tools for investigators. Traditionally strong in offering complete compliance policies and high accuracy, Vontu now scans data at rest; the company is also out front in addressing worldwide employee privacy standards.
Agent technology was just awakening six months ago. After a good ride in U.S. government agencies, Oakley Networks now offers its SureView technology to commercial customers. It may have a little ways to go concerning policy administration, but the agents do an admirable job stopping violations at the desktop.
Tablus is still working on its Content Alarm 3.0 release, due out later this year. The solution unifies both agent-based and network gateway technologies. After looking at an early beta, I believe Tablus may pose a serious threat to the competition because of its comprehensive and integrated approach. In the interim, the company also has released a minimal agent solution, Content Sentinel 1.0, which finds files with potential compliance problems on desktops and file shares. Two other familiar names in this space, Verdasys and Orchestria, declined to participate.
Oakley Networks SureView 3.3
You likely haven't heard much about Oakley Networks' insider protection technology until recently, but there's good reason: The company's been busy securing vital-mission data for hush-hush projects with the U.S. Department of Defense and other government entities. This experience gives Oakley a lot of credibility as a supplier of ITM solutions for commercial enterprises.