Quickly discover sensitive content
Tablus Content Sentinel 3.0 employs grid processing to scan files dispersed across large networks
Once the scan completes, Content Sentinel displays a list of files containing sensitive data that you must then evaluate. The evaluation process is aided by several tools, such as grouping results by computer or security category. Simply click on a file, and Content Sentinel explains exactly what triggered the alert, perhaps a credit card number. After reviewing the flagged files, you have the information you need to take the appropriate action, such as quarantining the file (so no one can touch it) or moving the file to a secure area (such as a restricted file share).
Moreover, the Tablus system rapidly found all copies of a particular document throughout my network. This central control and remediation, I believe, is very important when you need to quickly correct high-risk files.
As I've found in a previous Tablus Content Sentinel evaluation, the company's content detection is precise. The pre-built Expert Content Blades produced minimal false positives. After registering my custom client lists and source code, Content Sentinel 3.0 found all instances of sensitive data. Version 3.0 scans Microsoft SharePoint portals. Some content management systems and other repositories use the CIFS or SMB (Server Message Block) protocol for file sharing – which Tablus also supports. That said, Content Sentinel still lacks native connectors to most databases and legacy systems, lagging behind competitors such as Websense's PortAuthority. To scan these repositories with Content Sentinel, you must export a local copy of your data as a flat file.
Gridding the scan
Grid processing is an interesting option, where you select machines to offload heavy scanning tasks, perhaps evaluating many file shares. It's like Folding@home or SETI@home, where the system grabs spare machine cycles and distributes processor-intensive work. Tablus thoughtfully shows the grid scan status (such as CPU utilization of each PC) and lets you dynamically add or remove machines as necessary.
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My own testing verified that the latter "smart processing" properly rescanned only new, modified, moved, or renamed files. There's also stateful restart, where Content Sentinel continues where any interrupted scan leaves off, if perhaps the machine was turned off. Additionally, Tablus' disconnected scan mode processed files while my laptop was offline, then uploaded results when I reconnected to the network.