Information Technology
Digital Guardian DLP: Features, Pros, Cons & Alternatives

Digital Guardian DLP: Features, Pros, Cons & Alternatives

With the increasing value and volume of data, organizations require robust security measures to safeguard their assets from insider threats and external attackers. Digital Guardian offers a cloud-delivered platform that combines deep visibility, real-time analytics, and flexible controls to prevent data theft and support compliance efforts.

In this article, we’ll explore the key features, pros, and cons of Digital Guardian’s data loss prevention (DLP) solution, its strengths and weaknesses, and alternatives to consider.

What is Digital Guardian’s DLP?

Digital Guardian is a data loss prevention solution designed to discover, monitor, and protect sensitive information across endpoints, networks, and cloud applications. Digital Guardian gains unparalleled visibility into system, user, and data events by leveraging kernel-level agents on endpoints and network appliances. This granular insight enables the security platform to detect and respond to potential data breaches, whether they originate from well-meaning insiders or malicious external actors.

The platform’s cloud-native architecture allows for efficient deployment and scalability, reducing the burden on an organization’s data center resources. Digital Guardian’s DLP offering is available as both a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution and a managed security program, catering to the unique needs and resources of each organization.

Features

Digital Guardian’s DLP solution boasts an array of features designed to streamline data protection efforts and ensure comprehensive coverage. Some of the key features include:

Automated Policy Workflows

Digital Guardian simplifies the process of creating and enforcing data protection policies. Administrators can set up incident management workflows that automatically trigger response actions when policy violations occur. This automation ensures consistent and timely reactions to potential data breaches, reducing the workload on security teams.

Pre-built Policies

The platform comes with pre-configured policies for data covered by regulatory standards such as PII, PHI, and PCI. These ready-to-use policies accelerate the implementation of data protection measures and support compliance efforts. Additionally, a policy wizard enables the creation of customized policies tailored to an organization’s specific requirements.

Contextual Classification

Digital Guardian’s classification engine can simultaneously identify, tag, and manage sensitive data in real time based on content, context, and user input. This multi-faceted approach ensures the highest accuracy in classifying data while minimizing false positives and false negatives. The platform supports automated content classification for over 300 file types and 90 languages, covering both structured and unstructured data.

Deploy On-Premises or in the Cloud

Organizations can deploy Digital Guardian’s DLP solution on-premises or in the cloud, depending on their preferences and infrastructure. The cloud-delivered option leverages a SaaS model’s scalability and ease of use, while the on-premises deployment provides greater control over the data protection infrastructure.

Event Collections Sensors

Digital Guardian’s data collection sensors, namely the endpoint agent and network appliance, work in tandem to provide comprehensive visibility into data events. The kernel-level agent monitors system, user, and data events on endpoints, while the network appliance inspects traffic for sensitive information and enforces policies accordingly.

Pros

Digital Guardian’s DLP solution offers several advantages that set it apart from other data protection platforms:

Easy to Deploy

With its cloud-native architecture and flexible deployment options, Digital Guardian’s DLP can be up and running quickly. The SaaS model eliminates the need for organizations to invest in and maintain their own data protection infrastructure, allowing for faster time-to-value and reduced complexity.

Protect Data and Mitigate Threats

Digital Guardian DLP provides comprehensive visibility into threats, enabling organizations to protect their valuable intellectual property from cyber threats. With granular policies, businesses can control access to sensitive files, monitor data movement, and prevent unauthorized data egress.

Built-in MDR

Digital Guardian’s DLP solution includes built-in MDR capabilities, providing organizations with advanced threat detection and response services. The platform’s behavior-based rules automatically detect and block attacks, such as ransomware and malware, even in the absence of known indicators of compromise (IOCs).

Forensic Data for Collecting Evidence

The platform records detailed forensic data, including system, user, and data events, which can be invaluable for incident investigations and compliance audits. This comprehensive audit trail enables organizations to reconstruct the timeline of events leading up to a data breach and gather the necessary evidence for legal or regulatory proceedings.

Flexible Controls for Screening

Digital Guardian offers a wide range of controls for screening data usage, ranging from silent logging to hard blocking of actions. These flexible controls allow organizations to tailor their data protection policies based on the sensitivity of the information and the context of its use, minimizing disruptions to legitimate business processes.

Cons

While Digital Guardian’s DLP solution offers many benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. 

Excessive False Positives

One common issue with DLP solutions is the generation of excessive false positives, which can overwhelm security teams and hinder productivity. Digital Guardian’s contextual classification tools aim to minimize false positives, but organizations may still encounter them, particularly during the initial setup and tuning phase.

High System Performance Requirements

Digital Guardian’s kernel-level agents and network appliances provide deep visibility into data events but may also impact system performance. Endpoints with older hardware or limited resources may experience slower performance or increased resource consumption when running the agent.

Rollbacks Required Due to New Bugs when Updated

Some users have reported encountering new bugs or issues after updating Digital Guardian’s software. In some cases, these issues have required rolling back to a previous version, which can be disruptive and time-consuming for IT teams.

Limited Monitoring Capabilities

While Digital Guardian provides comprehensive monitoring for endpoints and network traffic, its capabilities for monitoring other channels, such as cloud applications or instant messages, may be more limited. Organizations with extensive cloud or mobile usage may need to supplement Digital Guardian with additional tools or integrations.

Limited App Coverage

Digital Guardian’s application control features may not cover all the applications an organization uses. This limitation can create gaps in data protection coverage and require additional configuration or workarounds to ensure consistent policy enforcement across all applications.

No Remote Desktop Control

Unlike some other DLP solutions like Teramind, Digital Guardian does not include built-in remote desktop control functionality. This omission may limit the ability of security teams to remotely access and manage endpoints for troubleshooting or incident response purposes.

No UEBA Support

Digital Guardian’s DLP solution does not include native UEBA capabilities, which can be useful for detecting insider threats and anomalous user behavior. Organizations seeking to leverage UEBA for data protection may need to integrate Digital Guardian with a separate UEBA tool or platform.

8 Alternatives to Digital Guardian DLP

While Digital Guardian DLP is a well-established solution for protecting sensitive data, it may not always align with an organization’s specific needs, budget, or existing IT infrastructure. Fortunately, several powerful alternatives in the market offer comparable or even enhanced features for data loss prevention, user activity monitoring, and insider threat detection

They include:

  1. Teramind
  2. Proofpoint DLP
  3. DTEX inTERCEPT
  4. Code42 Incydr
  5. Trellix DLP
  6. Nightfall DLP
  7. Symantec DLP
  8. Endpoint Protector DLP

1. Teramind

Teramind is an all-in-one employee monitoring, data loss prevention, and insider threat detection solution designed to help organizations protect their sensitive data, maintain compliance, and optimize workforce productivity. By leveraging advanced user behavior analytics and machine learning algorithms, Teramind provides deep visibility into user activities, identifies potential data-related risks, and enables proactive remediation of threats.

Our platform offers comprehensive monitoring and security features, making it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes across various industries. Teramind’s user-friendly interface, customizable policies, and extensive reporting capabilities streamline the management of insider risks and ensure that organizations can effectively balance security and productivity requirements.

Features

  • Data Loss Prevention: Teramind monitors data movement across endpoints, networks, and cloud applications, preventing unauthorized data exfiltration through features like file transfer tracking, print monitoring, and email DLP.
  • Employee Monitoring: The software provides granular insights into employee activities, including application usage, website visits, keystrokes, and productivity metrics, helping organizations identify inefficiencies and optimize workflows.
  • User & Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA): Teramind’s advanced UEBA capabilities establish baseline user behavior profiles and detect anomalies indicative of insider threats, such as data theft or account compromise.
  • Remote Desktop Control: IT administrators can remotely view, control, and lock user desktops to provide real-time assistance, troubleshoot issues, or prevent data loss during security incidents.
  • Real-time Alerts & Prevention: The platform generates instant notifications when suspicious activities or policy violations occur, enabling prompt investigation and response to potential threats.
  • Screen Recording & Playback: Teramind captures video recordings of user sessions, providing a detailed audit trail for compliance, productivity analysis, and forensic investigations.
teramind free trial

2. Proofpoint DLP

Proofpoint DLP is a solution that leverages a combination of content analysis, behavioral telemetry, and threat intelligence to provide context-rich insights into user activities and potential data risks. By integrating DLP capabilities across email, cloud apps, and endpoints, Proofpoint delivers a holistic approach to address the full spectrum of people-centric data loss scenarios.

Features

  • Common DLP Policy Application: Proofpoint Enterprise DLP allows organizations to easily apply common DLP policies and classifiers across multiple channels, streamlining policy management and reducing administrative overhead.
  • Intelligent Classification & Protection Integration: The solution can be augmented with Proofpoint’s AI-powered data discovery, classification, and automated labeling capabilities, enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of data protection efforts.
  • Managed Services and Program Design: Proofpoint offers expert-led managed services and program design support to help organizations optimize their DLP implementation, governance, and incident management processes, accelerating time-to-value and ensuring ongoing success.

Read more: Proofpoint vs. Teramind.

3. DTEX inTERCEPT

DTEX inTERCEPT is an innovative insider risk management solution that combines behavioral data loss prevention, user activity monitoring, and advanced analytics to safeguard organizations from internal threats. By focusing on human intent and activity, inTERCEPT provides the context and intelligence needed to detect and respond to potential data loss scenarios and compromised accounts.

Features

  • Behavioral Intent Intelligence: DTEX inTERCEPT leverages behavioral intent intelligence to accurately detect and prevent data loss, minimizing false positives and ensuring that security teams can focus on genuine threats.
  • Real-Time Forensics: The platform provides real-time forensic capabilities, enabling security teams to quickly investigate and respond to potential insider threats or data loss incidents.
  • Dynamic Risk Scoring: DTEX inTERCEPT employs dynamic risk scoring to prioritize insider threats, allowing organizations to allocate resources effectively and take proactive measures to mitigate risks.

Read more: The 7 Best DTEX Alternatives.

4. Code42 Incydr

Code42 Incydr is a modern data loss prevention solution that offers comprehensive visibility and control over data movement across an organization’s endpoints, cloud services, and email systems. Unlike legacy DLP tools that rely on complex policies and block-first approaches, Incydr focuses on detecting and responding to insider risks in a way that balances security and productivity.

Features

  • Incydr Risk Indicators: Contextual risk scoring based on file, vector, and user characteristics helps prioritize insider threats that require immediate attention.
  • Watchlists: With Incydr, you can automate workflows and get focused visibility into file activity for high-risk users, such as departing employees, to proactively detect data exfiltration attempts.
  • Cases: You can streamline investigations by quickly documenting and retaining evidence for high-impact incidents, and easily generate reports for stakeholders.

Read more: The 10 Best Code42 Incydr Alternatives.

5. Trellix DLP

Trellix DLP provides comprehensive visibility into sensitive information across endpoints, networks, email systems, and cloud repositories, enabling security teams to quickly detect and respond to potential data breaches. It accelerates compliance efforts with out-of-the-box policy templates mapped to key regulatory requirements such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS

Features

  • Endpoint DLP: Trellix DLP monitors and controls data movement on endpoints, even when users are off the corporate network, preventing unauthorized data exfiltration.
  • Optical Character Recognition: Trellix DLP can scan images and detect sensitive information embedded within them, providing an additional layer of data leak prevention.
  • Behavioral Analytics: By analyzing user actions and data usage patterns, Trellix can identify risky insider behavior and potential data theft attempts in real-time.

6. Nightfall DLP

Nightfall DLP is an AI-powered data protection solution that safeguards sensitive information across an organization’s SaaS environment, communication channels, and user devices. The platform offers a user-friendly interface for managing policies, monitoring violations, and executing remedial actions. Nightfall DLP integrates seamlessly with widely used SaaS applications and collaboration tools, enabling security teams to maintain a strong data security posture without hindering employee productivity.

Features

  • Adaptive Policy Enforcement: You can set flexible, context-aware policies based on data sensitivity, user roles, or application types to strike the right balance between security and usability.
  • Automated Remediation: Nightfall DLP enables automatic redaction, deletion, or quarantine of sensitive data based on predefined rules, reducing manual intervention and response times.
  • API-Driven Integration: Developers can leverage Nightfall’s APIs and SDKs to embed robust data protection capabilities into custom applications or AI models, extending security across the entire IT ecosystem.

7. Symantec DLP

Symantec DLP offers deep visibility into sensitive data across various channels, including endpoints, email, web, cloud applications, and storage repositories. It employs advanced content-aware detection techniques, such as described content matching, exact data matching, and vector machine learning, to accurately identify and classify sensitive information. The solution’s modular architecture and extensive integrations allow organizations to tailor their data protection strategy to their specific security and compliance needs.

Features

  • Network Monitoring and Prevention: Symantec DLP for Network protects data in motion by monitoring and analyzing network traffic, with the ability to modify, redirect, or block messages based on content and attributes.
  • Storage Discovery and Remediation: DLP for Storage discovers sensitive data at rest across various repositories and offers automated remediation options, such as quarantining or encrypting files.
  • Microsoft Information Protection Integration: Symantec DLP integrates with Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) to extend classification and encryption capabilities, enhancing data protection both on-premises and in the cloud.

8. Endpoint Protector DLP

Endpoint Protector by CoSoSys is an enterprise-grade data loss prevention solution that helps organizations protect sensitive data across multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Companies can tailor the solution to their specific security requirements with its modular architecture. Endpoint Protector also offers predefined policies for various compliance regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS, streamlining the process of safeguarding personal information and meeting regulatory obligations. 

Features

  • Device Control: Monitor and control access to USB ports and peripheral devices, setting granular rights per device, user, computer, or group to prevent unauthorized data transfers.
  • User Remediation: Empower users to justify and override DLP policies for a specified time, promoting accountability and awareness of sensitive data handling.
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Inspect content within images and scanned documents, detecting confidential information and enhancing the solution’s data loss prevention capabilities.

Conclusion

While Digital Guardian DLP offers a robust set of features for data loss prevention, it may not be the ideal fit for every organization due to its potential drawbacks. Teramind emerges as a compelling alternative, providing a comprehensive all-in-one solution for employee monitoring, data loss prevention, and insider threat detection. 

Other alternatives include Proofpoint DLP, which offers a modern, people-centric approach to data protection, and DTEX inTERCEPT, which focuses on behavioral intent intelligence to detect and prevent data loss while accurately maintaining employee trust.