Websense releases downloadable data loss prevention suite

Administrators can deploy a suite with full DLP inspection capabilities in 30 minutes, Websense said.

Websense, Inc. is making its data loss prevention (DLP) suite available for download in a move that some experts say could help give it a leg up against its competitors.

This gives people a chance to install it and put it in monitoring mode and if they want they can grow that into a fuller deployment.
Rich Mogull,
analyst and CEOSecurosis

The security vendor says its full data security suite can be downloaded and installed in 30 minutes. Administrators can deploy the suite without the need for an on-site team to provide installation and deployment assistance, limiting integration and deployment costs. The goal is to get more enterprises and midsize businesses to adopt the technology, said David Meizlik, director of product marketing at San Diego, Calif-based Websense.

"This is not watered down DLP looking for keywords, this is the full suite with DLP analytic inspection built on board," Meizlik said.

A free license key provides a 30-day evaluation period for the network monitoring and incident reporting components of the full suite for up to 500 employees. Administrators can then purchase license keys for each of the suite's four modules, which include data monitoring, data protection, and data endpoint identification and discovery capabilities.

To install the package, companies need either one virtual machine and one physical machine or two physical machines. The installation includes a management console to set and tweak policies and a network component called a protector deploys at the endpoints to inspect network traffic for data loss. The company also provides built-in wizards to guide administrators through set up and configuration. A policy design wizard guides administrators through the setup process by using preconfigured templates based on industries and geographical regions or by enabling admins to define their own policies.

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Websense competes against DLP suites sold by McAfee Inc., RSA, the security division of EMC Corp., Symantec Corp., Verdasys Inc. and others. While installation is not a major pain point for many companies, companies are concerned with how complex a deployment can be. It takes time to discover data and set the right policies, said Rich Mogull, analyst and CEO of Phoenix, Ariz.-based research and analysis firm Securosis LLC. Mogull called Websense's downloadable DLP a good marketing move that could pay off.

"This gives people a chance to install it and put it in monitoring mode and if they want they can grow that into a fuller deployment," Mogull said. "Larger organizations would need to pony up and get more dedicated equipment."

Integration with databases and other company systems is more complex and takes more time, Mogull said. A majority of companies are deploying DLP to monitor Social Security numbers, healthcare data and other personally identifiable information, which can be set up by administrators using generic policies, Mogull said.

"There are a lot of wild complex things you can do with DLP, but most organizations do the basic stuff," he said.

Companies that have deployed DLP are somewhat avoiding policy enforcement, worried that false positives can disrupt business processes. Companies need to be prepared to handle the consequences of policy violations before using enforcement capabilities, Mogull said. "You need to be ready before you ever turn this functionality on because you're going to find stuff right away," he said. "You'll need to have a process clearly outlined to deal with policy violations."

Websense's Meizlik said the vendor provides a mixture of online support, training materials, tutorial videos and 24/7 phone support for customers. A license for a company with 1,000 employees costs $17.50 per employee.

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