EMC Corp.’s security division RSA has launched the latest release of its data loss prevention tool.

An interesting new feature added to the mix with RSA DLP 7.0 Suite is self-remediation, which adds an early warning system for end-users who might be sending out sensitive corporate data. The security administrator will now be able to configure DLP to send an e-mail alert to any user trying to transmit classified data.

“As an end-user, you would now get an alert that says, ‘You are sending out an e-mail that contains sensitive information. Do you want to send out the e-mail?’” said Katie CurtinMestre, director of product marketing for RSA’s data security product division. “This automation feature is putting the responsibilities of securing sensitive information into the hands of the end-user, helping them understand the security policies of the organization.”

Whether the user sends out the flagged information or not, the transmission is logged in the system, she added.

In the past, a questionable e-mail would have been flagged and quarantined. The DLP administrator would then have to check with the end-user and the department manager before deciding whether the information should be sent.

Allowing the end-user to exercise good judgment — while still logging the decision — will speed up the process, CurtinMestre said.

“Let’s say I’m sending out an e-mail that contains two credit card numbers,” she said. “I’m just buying something online and using my credit card, so instead of burdening the DLP admin with that, I could see the alert and choose to proceed.”

She added that security administrators will be able to configure DLP so if “somebody is sending a file with 100 credit card numbers, it will not be a candidate for self-remediation.”

Another new feature will now give administrators the power to locate sensitive data in Oracle and SQL Server environments with native database scanning and fingerprinting. CurtinMestre said the new feature means that sensitive database information can be tracked without being extracted into another file.

“For example, for a security team that may not have a good handle on what sensitive data is located in the database, they can do a scan for credit card data, fingerprint that data and track it wherever it might go,” she said. The data that originally started in a database might find itself on a SharePoint site, in a file server, or extracted to a spreadsheet, she added

As for whether the recession has had an impact on security and compliance spending and RSA’s product sales in general, CurtinMestre said that security spending has remained steady in the face of slightly declining IT budgets.

“With more and more layoffs, companies are greatly concerned about insider theft and data protection,” she said.

According to Candice Low, research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group Ltd., poor economic growth has not given companies an excuse to neglect data security measures.

“Since security remains a priority and some organizations have seen their IT budgets shrink, many are now re-evaluating the effectiveness of their current security solutions, trying to get the most value out of them, rather than investing in completely new solutions,” Low said in an e-mail.

RSA DLP 7.0 is available now and starts at US$50,000.

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