Calendar Icon White
June 6, 2024
Clock Icon
6
 min read

Top 7 Data Loss Prevention Solutions Comparison and DLP Evaluation Checklist

Discover the top 10 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions with our detailed comparison and evaluation checklist. Protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with the best DLP tools for your business needs.

Top 7 Data Loss Prevention Solutions Comparison and DLP Evaluation Checklist
Calendar Icon White
June 6, 2024
Clock Icon
6
 min read

Top 7 Data Loss Prevention Solutions Comparison and DLP Evaluation Checklist

Discover the top 10 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions with our detailed comparison and evaluation checklist. Protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with the best DLP tools for your business needs.

TL;DR

DLP tools protect confidential data like financial records, customer information, and intellectual property from unauthorized access, misuse, or accidental loss. The top 7 in 2024 include:

  • Strac: Highly rated for quick integration and high accuracy, with a particular focus on SaaS platforms and compliance with major regulatory standards.
  • Forcepoint: Known for robust endpoint protection and risk-adaptive alerts but limited by integration challenges and dependency on complex configurations.
  • Symantec: Offers comprehensive monitoring and strong integration capabilities, although it can be resource-intensive and costly.
  • McAfee: Praised for ease of installation and effective data classification, though it suffers from high CPU usage and false positives.
  • Netskope: Excels in cloud security and advanced threat protection, with some integration and user interface complexity drawbacks.
  • Proofpoint: Strong in cloud DLP and user analytics but expensive and complex to set up.
  • Digital Guardian: Focuses on extensive OS support and continuous data protection but may present challenges in initial setup and performance on less powerful devices.

Consider factors like data discovery and classification, policy flexibility, integration, incident response, performance, compliance support, cost, vendor support, and future-proofing.

Businesses handle extensive amounts of confidential data, ranging from financial records and customer information to intellectual property and trade secrets. Organizations should safeguard this sensitive data against unauthorized access, misuse, or accidental loss. This is where Data Loss Prevention (DLP) comes in. DLP involves identifying and categorizing sensitive information, monitoring and regulating its flow and implementing security measures to prevent data breaches.

Feature Strac Forcepoint Symantec McAfee Netskope Proofpoint Digital Guardian
Rating 4.9 / 5 (G2) 4.3 / 5 (Gartner Peer) 4.4 / 5 (Gartner Peer) 4.6 / 5 (G2) 4.4 / 5 (G2) 4.4 / 5 (Gartner Peer) 4.3 / 5 (Gartner Peer)
Endpoint security Specialized in SaaS, Cloud and Endpoint platforms Robust protection across various platforms Extensive protection on a network, endpoints Secures sensitive information across all endpoints Lacks support for endpoint DLP Comprehensive Office 365 functions Extensive OS support, continuous data protection
Cloud Security Advanced security on multiple SaaS platforms Contextual risk assessment for cloud applications Unified policy framework for cloud security -- Comprehensive cloud security, real-time data and threat protection Safeguards cloud users and data --
Integration capabilities Excellent with SaaS and AI tools Limited SaaS integrations, poor with other network DLP systems Strong with email, web, and endpoint systems Integration with McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) Limited integration with other security tools Limited integration capabilities Can be challenging with cloud storage solutions
Compliance and regulatory Support Adheres to PCI, SOC 2, HIPAA, ISO-27001, CCPA, GDPR, NIST Supports compliance through centralized control and policy management Compliance through monitoring and blocking unauthorized data transfers Ensures compliance, protects intellectual property -- -- Streamlined policy development
Incident response and alerts Effective detection and remediation capabilities Risk-adaptive alerts on potential risks Active monitoring and blocking, lacks detailed notifications Forensic analysis capabilities Granular control over user behavior, lacks redaction remediation Effective alerting system Analytics tools for uncovering security flaws
Usability and management User-friendly, automated remediation, customizable policies User-friendly policy deployment, advanced content filtering options Ease of management, complex policy configuration Easy installation and configuration Complex setup, non-intuitive NPA user interface Cumbersome initial configuration, complex dashboards Intuitive design, complex initial setup
Performance and scalability High accuracy, minimal disruption, scalable Performance issues with stable connections in on-premise installations Resource intensive, high performance High CPU usage, resource intensive -- -- Can be resource-intensive, affecting performance

1. Strac

Strac is an advanced DLP solution that protects sensitive data on Endpoint and SaaS platforms. It offers security for various applications like Slack, Zendesk, Salesforce, Notion, Zoom, Google Workspace, and Microsoft 365. Strac's capability to scan, categorize, and address sensitive information such as PHI, PCI, and intellectual property makes it unique. This guarantees adherence to strict regulatory standards like PCI, SOC 2, HIPAA, ISO-27001, CCPA, GDPR, and NIST frameworks. The technology it employs accurately identifies sensitive data in unstructured text and various document types. This ensures the secure sharing of sensitive information for businesses without the risk of exposure.

Pros

  • In under 10 minutes, customers integrate with Strac and instantly see DLP/live scanning/live redaction on their SaaS apps without manual intervention.
  • Strac's custom machine learning models trained on sensitive PII, PHI, PCI, and confidential data provide high accuracy and low false positives and negatives. 
  • Strac's remediation capabilities effectively detect and mask sensitive information from chat messages and attachments in various file formats (pdf, jpeg, png, images, screenshots, word docs, excel spreadsheets).  
  • Developers can use Strac's APIs to detect or redact sensitive data.
  • Strac offers pre-built compliance templates containing all sensitive data elements for detection and redaction. Customers can also customize their data elements, access control, and remediation processes. 
  • Strac can redact (mask or blur) sensitive text within any attachment.
  • Strac has DLP solutions for Generative AI products like ChatGPT and Google Bard, as well as API access to detect and redact sensitive data before sending it to LLM (Large Language Model) providers like OpenAI or AWS Bedrock. 

Pricing

Strac offers multiple pricing options for teams of all sizes and a free 30-day trial. Contact the team for further information. 

Review

Source: g2

2. Forcepoint 

4.3 / 5 - GartnerPeer

Forcepoint offers a robust DLP solution that boosts security for cloud applications to analyze risks and enforce protective measures. Through contextual risk assessment, Forcepoint accurately evaluates the security status of these applications and promptly alerts administrators about any potential risky users or configurations. It effectively blocks the unauthorized transfer of sensitive data and provides streamlined policy management with centralized control over all security channels from a single policy. This ensures visibility and control over your data wherever your employees operate and your data is stored. Forcepoint streamlines DLP deployment and ongoing management with pre-defined templates, policies, and classifiers.

Pros

  • Robust Endpoint Protection: Effectively secures endpoint data across various platforms like Microsoft Excel, email, FTP, and Active Sync, with high praise for its OCR capabilities in detecting sensitive data within images.
  • Advanced content filtering options
  • User-friendly policy deployment
  • Employs a risk-adaptive approach based on user behavior

Cons

  • Demands the usage of a lot of regex to fine-tune 
  • Forcepoint does not have all the comprehensive SaaS integrations that businesses use.
  • Unexplained outages without error notifications
  • Incapable of recovering or preserving historical data after system failure
  • Maintaining stable and continuous connections in on-premise installations is difficult, especially when interfacing with external relays.
  • Poor integration capabilities with other Network DLP systems and security tools
  • Deployment on multiple servers is difficult.

Review

Source: GartnerPeer

3. Symantec 

4.4 / 5 - GartneerPeer

Symantec DLP is a comprehensive solution that secures sensitive data throughout an organization's network. It ensures compliance, thwarts data breaches, and maintains privacy standards by actively monitoring and blocking unauthorized data transfers. With a unified policy framework and adherence to regulatory security standards, it provides enhanced visibility and control over confidential data.

Pros

  • Comprehensive monitoring capabilities
  • Offers extensive protection against data loss due to human errors
  • Ease of management and integration
  • Rule customization and automation capabilities
  • Strong Integration: Integrates seamlessly with email, web, and endpoint systems, providing a comprehensive security overview.
  • Effective in filtering malicious emails and blocking attackers

Cons

  • Lack of detailed notifications regarding vulnerabilities
  • Resource utilization is high 
  • Complex policy configuration
  • High costs
  • Inadequate reporting features
  • Weak data classification leading to false positives 

Pricing

Contact Symantec's enterprise sales team for pricing information. 

Review

Source: GartnerPeer 

4. McAfee 

4.6 / 5 on g2

McAfee's data loss prevention software safeguards sensitive information across all endpoints, ensuring compliance and protecting intellectual property. The McAfee DLP solution is deployed and managed using low-maintenance physical or virtual equipment, along with the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) platform for efficient upgrades and reporting.

Pros

  • Ease of installation and configuration
  • Effective data classification 
  • Flexible policy management
  • Ensures visibility on how data is being used and how it leaks out of your organization
  • Forensic analysis of data loss events that occurred before the creation of rules

Cons

  • High CPU usage and sometimes unresponsive console
  • Inconsistencies in detecting unauthorized screen captures
  • High rate of false positive alerts 
  • Resource Intensive and slow, especially when creating complex rules
  • Lack of clear interface.
  • Web categorizations may differ between appliances and cloud lists, resulting in inconsistent results for site access

Pricing

Contact the McAfee team for further pricing information.

Review

Source: g2

5. Netskope 

4.4 / 5 on g2

Netskope offers businesses a cloud security platform that comprehensively safeguards their digital environment by providing visibility, real-time data and threat protection, and granular control over SaaS, IaaS, and web traffic. It focuses on data protection and modernizing enterprise networking through its patented Zero Trust Engine, Intelligent SSE components, and the NewEdge network.

Pros

  • Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and real-time protection of data
  • Granular visibility & control of user behavior and sensitive data movement over the cloud
  • Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) protects the network from exposure while providing safe access to private applications
  • Context-aware governance
  • Advanced security features and customizable policies.

Cons

  • Netskope may not easily integrate with security tools, requiring extra effort and research
  • Setting up Netskope can be intricate and demands expertise
  • The NPA user interface isn't user-friendly
  • Netskope does not have support redaction remediation
  • Netskope does not support all SaaS integrations

Pricing

Contact the Netskope team for further pricing information.

Review

Source: g2

6. Proofpoint 

4.4 / 5 on GartneerPeer

Proofpoint provides a comprehensive solution to safeguard cloud users, applications, and data from potential risks such as threats, data loss, and compliance issues. The platform includes advanced features like DLP, defense against unauthorized access to cloud accounts, shadow IT management, and minimizing cyber-attack vulnerabilities. Its strength lies in its ability to prevent unauthorized access by analyzing threat intelligence from multiple sources. Additionally, it enhances incident response by providing valuable insights into threats, user activities, and behaviors across email and cloud platforms.

Pros

  • Easy to use and intuitive interface
  • Effective alerting system
  • Comprehensive Office 365 DLP functions
  • Provides detailed analytics and visibility
  • It addresses the challenges of shadow IT by providing visibility into and automating the abused OAuth applications.
  • It offers timeline-based views that correlate data loss and cloud threats.

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Cumbersome initial configuration
  • Complex dashboards
  • Proofpoint does not apply machine learning and OCR models. If a screenshot/image or pdf of a driver's license or passport is uploaded, ProofPoint won't block or remediate it
  • Since Proofpoint does not have SaaS DLP, it cannot redact sensitive data in all SaaS apps

Pricing 

Contact the Proofpoint team for further pricing information.

Review

Source: GartnerPeer

7. Digital Guardian

4.3 / 5 on GartnerPeer

Digital Guardian is a SaaS platform for Enterprise Data Loss Prevention (DLP). With extensive endpoint OS support, continuous data protection, streamlined policy development, and round-the-clock customer service for prompt assistance, Digital Guardian offers top-notch security features. It allows seamless migration of current policies and enables monitoring of sensitive data flow to enhance security measures.

Pros

  • Reliable data protection
  • Analytics tools to uncover security flaws and increase overall security
  • Endpoints, networks, and storage systems protection
  • Advanced reporting to get insights into corporate data consumption
  • Customized policy setups to meet the demands of individual organizations
  • The intuitive design allows easy navigation and operation

Cons

  • Initial setup can be complex, time-consuming, and demands high technical knowledge.
  • It can be resource-intensive, affecting performance on older or less powerful devices.
  • Integration with existing cloud storage solutions can be challenging

Pricing 

Contact the Digital Guardian team for further pricing information.

Review

Source: GartneerPeer
Aspect Strac Legacy DLP
Installation Installing and creating custom policies takes minutes It takes several weeks or months to set up policies
Coverage High visibility and customized remediation across SaaS apps, AI tools, browsers, email, and endpoints. Multiple solutions are needed to monitor different parts of the business stack
Detection Increased accuracy in detecting sensitive data, resulting in fewer false positive alerts High volume of false positive alerts
Impact Reduced disruptions to workflow as a result of improved accuracy Workflow disruptions due to a large number of false positives
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Reduced operating expenses and time savings from automation Fewer automation options because of high false positive rates and poor accuracy
Workflows Automated remediation teaches and empowers staff to improve security culture Slower remediation causes data breaches, privilege escalation attacks, and noncompliance
Scalability Gradually adjusts with no need for fine-tuning Rules-based strategy requires frequent manual modifications.

DLP Evaluation Checklist: Factors to Consider When Choosing a DLP in 2024

Here is a detailed evaluation checklist to help in selecting a DLP solution:

Data discovery and classification

  • Capabilities: The software should identify and categorize sensitive data, both structured and unstructured, throughout the organization in different settings (cloud, on-premises, endpoints). 
  • Accuracy: Precision is key in classification and determining when DLP policies are activated. The software should reduce instances of false positives for accurate data management.

Policy flexibility and management

  • Customization: For effective DLP management, DLP policies should be customizable to meet unique business requirements and risks. They should also offer flexibility in adjusting policies as data types and business processes evolve. 
  • Usability: User-friendly interfaces should empower administrators to modify policies without requiring deep technical expertise.

Integration

  • System compatibility: The DLP solution should effortlessly connect with current IT systems, such as email platforms, network setups, and various security tools. 
  • API support: Strong APIs are essential for easy integration with diverse security solutions, bolstering data protection and incident response capabilities.

Incident response workflow

  • Alerts and remediation: The solution should provide immediate alerts and support automatic corrective actions to prevent data breaches
  • Workflow tools: It should incorporate workflow tools for incident handling, such as tracking, analysis, and reporting, to ensure a timely and efficient response to security incidents.

Performance and scalability

  • Resource Efficiency: The DLP solution should function effectively without causing any noticeable slowdown in system performance or hindering user productivity.
  • Growth Capability: It should grow alongside the organization, accommodating larger data volumes and broader operational needs without sacrificing performance quality.

Regulatory compliance

  • Compliance Support: The DLP solution should adhere to regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, etc., including audit provisions, data handling rules, and breach notifications.
  • Updates: Regular updates should be provided to ensure compliance with the changing legal landscape

Cost and ROI

  • Expense analysis: Thoroughly assess all expenses associated with the DLP solution's deployment, operation, and maintenance.
  • Return on Investment: Take into account the possible financial benefits of preventing data breaches, enhancing operational productivity, and adhering to regulations.

Vendor support

  • Technical Support: It should have reliable technical support round the clock to quickly resolve any possible issues. 
  • Educational materials and guidance: The vendor must provide thorough training and guidance materials for continuous solution maintenance. 

Future-proofing

  • Technology innovation: The solution should be flexible enough to accommodate emerging technologies and changing security risks, like encryption and artificial intelligence progressions. 
  • Scalability: Ensuring future readiness also means having the capacity to grow and adjust to new business sectors, locations, and data formats.

Founder, Strac. ex-Amazon Payments Infrastructure (Widget, API, Security) Builder for 11 years.

Latest articles

Browse all