Here is another category that has evolved significantly over the past two or three years. Fidelis started looking at the problem of data leakage not by looking at data leakage, but by looking at intrusion prevention. It was not long before the company realized that the data making an unauthorized exodus from the enterprise was just as critical as the bad guys trying to rush the gates. For Fidelis and its customers, that changed the ball game. A lot.
According to the visionary I spoke with at Fidelis, there are a lot of products that watch outbound sessions, but they all must wait for the session to end before making a decision as to whether its a case of data extrusion. Not the Fidelis system. It does a deep session inspection and, because it understands the context of data flows in the particular network being protected, it can identify unauthorized extrusion of data before the horse is completely out of the barn.
While Fidelis does not focus on compliance, the fact is that compliance is automatic if you do all of the things of which Fidelis is capable. The Fidelis approach looks at all of the components of the network, such as peer-to-peer and encrypted traffic, and makes decisions about what might constitute an extrusion. The system applies geographic constraints as well, and once the entire context is understood, the data passing out of the network can be inspected efficiently.
One of the benefits that comes with all of this context-aware monitoring is that social networking becomes more secure. By recognizing that employees use social networks (and more and more companies are using it as a marketing tool), the context for those communications becomes part of the extrusion monitoring.
The company was formed in 2002 and for the past seven years has been providing extrusion prevention using its unique approach. When I asked about endpoints, I found they pose little problem because Fidelis partners with the key providers of endpoint security products.
Oh, and those compliance reports? They're there, of course. However, they have added credibility because they are the expected result of the rest of what the Fidelis system provides. Like the endpoints, they just fit in neatly as part of the overall data leakage offering from this innovator.
AT A GLANCE
Flagship product: Fidelis Extrusion Prevention System, Fidelis XPS
Vendor: Fidelis Security Systems
Cost: starts at $25,000
Innovation: Turning the techniques of intrusion prevention to extrusion prevention at the application level
Greatest strength: Partnering with large companies, such as IBM, to deliver a unique solution to the problem of data leakage