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Only three security vendors—Symantec, Websense and RSA (the security division of EMC)—landed in the upper-right square of Gartner’s data loss prevention magic quadrant. But that really doesn’t matter if you listen to what Gartner’s own analyst say about the DLP technologies and strategies.

More than a dozen software and cloud services vendors offer DLP solutions, and every one of them promise to monitor network traffic to ensure that a company’s most sensitive information is not intentionally or inadvertently released to unauthorized parties.

The truth is DLP technology doesn’t deliver on that promise – at least when you’re talking about data in the general sense. DLP is improving and increasingly proofing effective at providing the disclosure of specific pieces of data, such as account, credit card and Social Security numbers.

Holding back DLP effectiveness is the lack of data protection strategies in end user organizations. In a report by IDG News Service, Gartner security analyst Paul Proctor advocates to end users to develop their own data protection goals and strategies before talking to vendors. Vendors, he argues, are pushing immature products with poorly defined architectures and policies that are ultimately ineffective in organizations that aren’t prepared to use them.

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