NextLabs DLP is an interesting software-based offering. While most data leakage prevention products use a primary server to stem the tide of sensitive information from leaving the organization, NextLabs controls data leakage through the DLP client. This unique approach allows sensitive data to be blocked - not just from leaving the organization, but from internal sources to internal destinations as well.

The internal filtering helps organizations create audit records of file access. It also helps the organization stay in compliance with its own policies. There are many components to NextLabs' DLP offering and perhaps the most critical is the policy server. This creates the rules used by the client - such as how to process data. The policy server is user friendly and enlists a wizard to help create and customize rules for the endpoints.

Outside of the policy server, the next major component is the client. The client is responsible for the enforcement of the policies set by the policy server. The client is application-aware and performs most filtering before the classifi ed information has the ability to be either transformed or to leave the
system. This is done though the use of tagging files and setting which applications can use, modify or distribute those files. For example, a Word document becomes tagged, the tags are stored in the metadata of the document, and the document tag also specifi es which programs can use the document. This stops information thieves from hiding the data using encryption, steganography, or compressing or converting the document to another file format, such as a PDF.

NextLabs' tool also includes more traditional endpoint control features as well, such as blocking USB drive access or requiring encryption of sensitive fi le before copying the file to the USB device.

The pricing for the Enterprise DLP starts at $6,500 and includes Policy Studio and Reporter applications. Enforcers with Policy Assistants range from $75 to $250. This places NextLabs' DLP off ering in the low to medium level of the cost spectrum.