Cloud vs. Network vs. Endpoint DLP

Choosing between Endpoint, Cloud, and Network DLP isn't always a simple task. The approach you take will largely depend on your organization's environment, and we've listed the key differences for each approach below.

What is DLP and why do you need it?

Data loss prevention (DLP) or data leak prevention is a set of tools and processes that organizations use to protect their data from loss or malicious compromise. DLP also ensures companies remain compliant with key frameworks and regulations such as SOC 2, PCI DSS, HIPAA and other leading standards. Its importance is also reflected in the fact that under ISO 27001:2022 organizations that deal with sensitive data are now required to have a DLP tool implemented.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software classifies regulated, confidential, and business-critical data. It also identifies violations of any policies set within the tool, helping organizations quickly remediate any breaches and help prevent end users from accidentally or maliciously sharing data that could put the organization at risk. DLP also provides reporting to meet compliance and auditing requirements and identify areas of weakness for forensics and incident response.
DLP can be implemented at three key points within the enterprise digital environment: endpoint, network and cloud systems. The modalities all protect different types of users and data.

The architecture of DLP

DLP can be implemented on the endpoint, network, or cloud layer.
Each modality protects different types of users and data.

Endpoint dlp

Connects directly with sanctioned cloud applications via APIs to monitor and protect data when it is accessed, shared, or stored.

Network DLP

Monitors and protects data that is in transit on networks managed by the organization.

Cloud DLP

Connects directly with sanctioned cloud applications via APIs to monitor and protect data when it is accessed, shared, or stored.

Endpoint dlp

Connects directly with sanctioned cloud applications via APIs to monitor and protect data when it is accessed, shared, or stored.

Network DLP

Monitors and protects data that is in transit on networks managed by the organization

Cloud DLP

Connects directly with sanctioned cloud applications via APIs to monitor and protect data when it is accessed, shared, or stored.

Detailed breakdown of each approach

Your organization's environment and user access methods will determine what type of
protection is best suited to your needs.

Cloud DLP
Network DLP
Endpoint DLP
Security posture
How an organization manages security; Mature organizations take a proactive approach.
Cloud DLP
Protect data at the source
Detects and protects data at the source, before proliferation across the network or users
Network DLP
Protects data only in transit
Compromised end-user and organizational privacy as all data is decrypted and scanned, including credentials and private keys
Endpoint DLP
Protects data only on the device
Compromised end-user privacy for anything that should remain private that is on the disk - including personal information
Depth of insight
Clear, holistic view of sensitive data in your environment.
Cloud DLP
Real-time and historical data insight
Context and granular remediation actions
Network DLP
Limited visibility into data in transit on the network
Only covers on network device and no historical data coverage
Endpoint DLP
Monitors the endpoint
Limited to data saved on endpoint disk
Scalability
Ability to modify output independent of changes in available resources.
Cloud DLP
Protection does not depend on resources
Runs independent of the availability of compute capacity on a device or network
Network DLP
Bottleneck on the network
‚Äć
Singular point of failure; adds latency to the network and impacts available bandwidth
Endpoint DLP
Limited interoperability
‚Äć
Dependent on endpoint OS / other agents, and on resources (CPU, memory, bandwidth) available on the device
Coverage
Refers to file types, devices, users, and applications.
Cloud DLP
Comprehensive coverage
All users, system accounts APIs, and BYODs
Network DLP
Limited coverage
All User, system accounts, and limited coverage for BYOD
Data moved via APIs is not monitored (cloud apps)
Endpoint DLP
Limited coverage
No coverage of BYOD, API, or third party unmanaged devices
Impact
Measures disruption to the business, including users, network, devices, applications.
Cloud DLP
Business-enabling
No blocking of end-users
Network DLP
Offers blocking only
May break applications with network filtering
Endpoint DLP
Can block user actions
Can block users and will require security intervention
Accuracy
Describes level of precision used to deliver context-rich results.
Cloud DLP
AI-based detection
‚Äć
High accuracy with fewer false positives
Network DLP
Regular express and rules-based
Low accuracy; with high false positives for complex data like PHI
Endpoint DLP
Regular express and rules-based
Low accuracy; with high false positives for complex data like PHI
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Measures the return on investment of a deployed solution over time.
Cloud DLP
Real-time coverage in minutes
‚Äć
No agent, device, or network installation or configuration
Network DLP
Resource and maintenance-intensive
Deployment and maintenance is expensive, complex, and resource intensive
Endpoint DLP
Resource and maintenance-intensive
Deployment and maintenance is expensive, complex and resource intensive; re-deployment is required for every new endpoint

How DLP protects your data

Regardless of your method of DLP, data is protected in three key steps.

Discover

Data stored or sent is captured for analysis. This is why a multi-modal approach is important to ensure all of your companies data is scanned, otherwise you can create data blind spots. Commonly blind spots include BYOD assets, cloud data, and contractors.

Classify

Data is then analyzed based on organizational policies and detectors. It is important that your detection engine is scanning for files and images, as well as uses AI based detection rather than regular regex that will miss or incorrectly flag data. Incorrectly flagged data may create more manual work for your team.

Protect

Data that is flagged then needs to be remediated, this can be very time consuming or can impact employees if you simply block data. This highlights the importance of automated actions and the ability to only remediate relevant data - not just blanket blocking all information.

How can you best protect your data?

In today's rapidly changing threat environment, users are increasingly using their own devices, working from home, and utilizing cloud apps such as Salesforce. This has created significant holes in network or endpoint DLP threat coverage. This is why using Cloud DLP, or Cloud DLP with network or endpoint DLP ensures your data is fully protected.

It is also  important to realize that not all cloud DLP providers are created equal. Any cloud DLP vendor should be using AI for accurate detection, have in-built analytics, and have automated remediation.

Getting started is easy

Start protecting your data with a 5 minute agentless install.

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