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data loss prevention-white paper


Consider the Herculean efforts today to protect the network from threats: intrusion prevention systems scan packets for potentially damaging content; email security systems check for viruses in email content and firewalls block unsolicited connections. To stop the onslaught of threats to corporate and government networks, a host of software and appliances are being deployed daily. In general, these border police applications are doing a fairly decent job of stopping unauthorized intrusion at the door to your network.

But what about organizational insiders? Which applications or appliances are scrutinizing the information being passed out of the network? Intrusion prevention systems and firewalls aren’t looking for intellectual property sliding out the door right under their virtual noses. Specifically in health care organizations, what about patient information sent unprotected over the Internet to another provider? Add in the always-changing regulatory environment, and security is a unique challenge. All it takes is one misstep to compromise sensitive information. These are legitimate, authorized users communicating in an above-board way – but potentially exposing sensitive data in the process. This is the core of the immensely complex problem of data loss.

To address the data loss problem, organizations need to focus now on content filtering and blocking of electronic communications leaving the network – and not just email, but instant messaging (IM), webmail, HTTP and FTP communications as well. All avenues of electronic communication need to be policed to prevent intellectual property, financial information, patient information, personal credit card data, and a variety of sensitive information (depending on the business and the industry) from falling into the wrong hands.

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