Quickly discover sensitive content
Tablus Content Sentinel 3.0 employs grid processing to scan files dispersed across large networks
Monitoring systems on the central LAN for personal and proprietary data – something industry analysts estimate 86 percent of companies must do to comply with one or more regulations, such as GLBA, HIPAA, and Sarbanes-Oxley – is already an enormous challenge. Then consider the extra complexities introduced as this content sprawls to remote offices and partner locations.
Content Sentinel 3.0, the data-at-rest component of Tablus' data protection suite, accurately identifies sensitive information on file servers, laptops, desktops, portals, content management systems, Microsoft Access databases, and e-mail archives. Version 3.0 debuts several enhancements, with performance and scalability topping the list.
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Agents are used by many vendors for evaluating data at rest. That's because they spread the processing load and return only the results of scans or problematic files to the main server (older methods require you to copy all files to a central server for analysis). Content Sentinel is especially network friendly, typically transmitting less than 0.1 percent of scanned data over the network to the master controller. Most significant, Content Sentinel lets you define a grid of machines that work in parallel to analyze large information repositories. Additionally, version 3.0 includes 25 new Expert Content Blades (data-protection policies). In practical terms, this means most kinds of confidential information are covered out of the box, without your having to configure policies.
Nevertheless, configuring your own policies is easy to do, as you can see in this screencast.
Scanning the grid
Deploying my test environment was relatively painless. Only one problem surfaced at the start – one that Tablus support quickly determined was caused by Symantec AntiVirus. With a workaround supplied by Tablus in place, I quickly launched the Content Sentinel Management Console, created Site Coordinators, and then added machines to scan (Scan Groups). Because you can specify systems by name, IP address range, or LDAP groups, large deployments should go smoothly.
Similarly, Content Sentinel's options are straightforward. For example, forms let me check off which of the built-in content categories (such as credit card information or personally identifiable information) to scan for. I could also decide whether agents would be installed permanently on target machines, or only temporarily.