Why the channel should get into the DLP space

By Maxine Cheung, ITBusiness.ca |  Security, DLP

During these tough economic times, it's essential that businesses secure their confidential information using data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to help prevent data loss or data ending up in the wrong hands, Symantec executives say. What this translates into on the channel side is a wealth of market and customer opportunities, adds one analyst.

As Robert Eggebrecht, senior partner at BEW Global, a Castle Rock, Colo.-based managed service provider and also a Symantec channel partner says, even though the economy is in a recession now, that isn't stopping auditors from knocking on businesses' doors. Eggebrecht adds that one of the predominant drivers leading businesses to seek out a DLP solution often stems from having to meet regulatory requirements.

"Before the economy downturned, a lot of people looked at DLP as another layer (solution) for best practices," he said. "With a tightening of budgets, we're seeing a tremendous amount of activity in the DLP space now."

Carmi Levy, a London, Ont.-based independent technology analyst, agrees and says in order for businesses to get "audit-ready," they must have a DLP solution in place.

"The business need for DLP continues to grow and companies can't afford to skimp out here, because it's a business-critical activity," Levy explains. "DLP is no longer a nice-to-have (solution) because all it takes is one breach and that could be game over for the organization."

During a Symantec-hosted virtual roundtable discussion about the DLP market last month, Symantec executives discussed the current DLP market and what customers are looking for.

Randy Cochran, vice-president of channel sales for the Americas at Symantec, says DLP solutions are a great way for partners to be able to "elevate" their conversations around information security in businesses.

Shun Chen, director of product management for DLP at Symantec, added generally, customers have three questions when it comes to protecting their confidential data. The most common questions that are asked include: Where is my confidential data? Where's it stored and who has access to it? And lastly, how's this data being used?

"Most enterprises don't know how end-users are interacting with their data," Chen said. "DLP enables users to effectively interact with confidential data while also automatically enforcing the right policies behind them."

Once users are able to discover, monitor and automate their critical business data, they'll be able to further establish, refine and enforce their policies going forward.

At the moment, Chen says the majority of Symantec's DLP sales come from the CIO executive level and involves the purchase of the entire solution suite.

Levy says this approach is definitely the direction the security market as a whole is headed and is one that the channel should definitely get into if they aren't in this space already.

"Security as a whole is going towards suite-based solutions," he said. "IT doesn't want to have to deal with multiple vendors. They're consolidating even more now with key vendors and Symantec's already strongly placed in the security market."

In addition to implementing a DLP solution, Levy says that while the technology itself is important, so is the training and support services that go along with it. If employees aren't trained and policies to guide staff behaviours aren't established, Levy says businesses would have made an investment in technology for "nothing."

"This is an opportunity for channel partners and partners should take advantage of the long-term services-based opportunities that go along with DLP," he added.

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