Data Leak Prevention: Coming Soon To A Business Near You
By Robin Layland
Published May 2007; Posted August 2007



Today’s headlines talk about credit card numbers being stolen, customer information leaked and medical records being given out to the wrong people. It is embarrassing and it could cost companies a lot of money. Laws and regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), Gramm-Leach-Bliley and numerous state laws are requiring that customers be notified when their personal information is stolen or lost. Sarbanes-Oxley requires that management implement internal controls over financial information.

A new market segment has recently been created to address this problem. It goes by many names, including data leakage prevention, information leak prevention, content monitoring, extrusion prevention systems and privacy compliance systems. It doesn’t matter what the name, which will be settled over time; the goal is to try to minimize the loss of legally protected or valuable data.

A common but incorrect reaction is that the issue primarily affects the health care and financial industries. Most of the existing laws and regulations have indeed concentrated on medical and financial information, and both those industries have been the early adopters, but no one should think the problem is limited to just those segments. Every company has employee records that include Social Security numbers, or customer records that contain credit card information and other data from their customers that, if lost, would cause legal problems and upset customers. Additionally, losing sensitive information such as business plans, customer lists and salaries would cause problems if the information got into the wrong hands.


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About the author:

Robin Layland, president of Layland Consulting, is a leading industry analyst with many years experience working for leading enterprises.


This article is reproduced by special arrangement with our partner, Business Communications Review.


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