Posted: 3 Min ReadProduct Insights

DLP 15.8 - Easier and More Accurate Data Classification

Enhanced integration with Microsoft Information Protection

As described in our previous blog post, Symantec DLP 15.8 has been released, offering a number of important new capabilities. This release underscores the increased commitment and investment Broadcom is making in Symantec DLP and is a testimony to the dedication and hard work of our R&D team in these exceptionally challenging times. I am excited to share with you more information in regard to the key capability relating to data classification - Symantec’s enhanced integration with Microsoft Information Protection (MIP).

There are challenges when a manual approach to data classification is used, particularly to ensure data policies are applied uniformly and accurately by everyone.

The correct classification of sensitive information is important, as the classification label can drive how to protect that data (e.g. to encrypt “Confidential” documents and block “Top Secret” documents from leaving the organization). There are challenges when a manual approach to data classification is used, particularly to ensure data policies are applied uniformly and accurately by everyone.  Individual employees may not be aware of the latest data protection policy, or may be inconsistent in how they classify similar documents. This is why many organizations are looking for automated solutions that will assist end users ensuring that every document is correctly classified.

Many of Symantec’s customers use Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) for document classification and encryption. However, using classification systems, such as MIP can create challenges for customers such as:

  • The policy rule sets tend to be more limited and simplistic compared with the policy framework provided by an enterprise-grade DLP system. 
  • Customers are required to develop a mirrored set of rule based policies to deliver automated classification.   

To avoid these problems, organizations see benefits in taking the policies that already exist in Symantec DLP and applying them to MIP. This approach allows customers to define the policy in one place (avoiding policy gaps and duplicated effort) and use that same policy to ensure documents are classified correctly, in a way that scales. With an industry-leading content detection technology like Symantec DLP 15.8, customers can extend their robust and well-defined DLP policies to assist in applying the correct classification labels to  documents.

 What’s New

With the release of DLP 15.8 we have enhanced our integration with MIP. Customers can now:

  • Extend their DLP policies to automatically suggest or enforce MIP labels within office documents on Endpoints
  • Have the ability to write DLP policies that look for MIP classification labels on documents and Outlook Emails
  • Leverage DLP Endpoint to read MIP protected documents and Outlook emails on Endpoints and apply DLP policies to them

Real World Scenarios

Here are some examples where this integration comes into play:

  • A user in an organization creates some design documents in Microsoft Word. The organization policy has guidelines and recommendations for its users to appropriately mark documents that contain design artifacts as “Confidential”. This position is reflected in the organization’s DLP policy which has been set to look for such content and based on the degree of match, the endpoint will suggest the use of the “Confidential” label. Once the "Confidential" label has been correctly applied, MIP is able to ensure that the document is encrypted.
  • A user in an organization’s sales division, puts together a Microsoft Excel document containing quarterly sales figures. The document includes customer information like Customer Name, Phone Numbers, etc. The organization’s policy considers this information as sensitive and requires classification of documents containing such information as “Top Secret”. Because the organization’s DLP policy has been defined to enforce this classification, the endpoint will make sure that the Excel document gets labelled and protected appropriately.

Many enterprise customers will find these enhancements to our MIP integration to be highly useful. The list of new capabilities we are adding in the release of Symantec DLP 15.8 is extensive and you can refer to our previous blogs for more on updates and other features we have added. As we have shown, Symantec will continue to be your trusted advisor in cyber security and be there to help keep your business safe.

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About the Author

Suresh Ramkumar

Product Manager, Information Security

Suresh has been working on Symantec Enterprise Products for over ten years. He is currently part of the Information Security Product Management group where he drives product planning and roadmap for the Symantec Endpoint DLP.

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