May 30, 2024

6 Types of DLP Solutions - and How to Pick the Right One

Bryan Arnott

Shopping for Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software is a far cry from your weekly grocery run – there’s a little more legwork involved than deciding between name brand or store brand.

Picking the right type of DLP solution comes down to how it’s deployed, what data it can protect and where it can enforce your data security policies.

The different types of DLP solutions include:

  • On-premises DLP
  • Cloud-native DLP
  • Endpoint DLP
  • Network DLP
  • Cloud DLP
  • Email DLP

The right DLP software has overlapping functionalities, making your large shopping list a lot smaller.


Understanding DLP and Its Significance

DLP solutions monitor, detect, and block potential data exfiltration attempts. They help organizations maintain total control over their valuable information – from sensitive customer details to intellectual property – and support the ongoing identification and classification of data, as well as enforcing compliance.

In a world where data breaches are increasingly common, DLP is a critical line of defense. It helps organizations mitigate the financial and reputational damage that can come from a data breach. The right DLP software can even spur additional benefits, such as increased productivity through broader and more secure access to data.


DLP for Sensitive Information: Types and Functionalities

DLP solutions protect data across organizations’ digital landscape. From the collaborative cloud application to a thumb drive, the security policies it enforces can stop data exfiltration in its tracks.

All types of DLP solutions can fall in one of two categories: on-premises DLP and cloud-native DLP.

  • On-premises DLP is the traditional deployment option and aligns with the castle-and-moat security model. The hardware sits within office locations and gives broad control over data at the endpoint and throughout internal applications, preventing users inside from taking data outside.
  • Cloud-native DLP is a deployment option gaining popularity with the work-from-anywhere workforce. Running from the cloud, it gives administrators greater flexibility in how it’s configured and better speed and performance. It also enables organizations to maintain greater control over data in cloud and web applications.


While the features of some on-premises DLPs and cloud-native DLPs are like-for-like, many have noticeable differences both in terms of performance and capabilities.

Picking the right type of DLP solution based on where you will host it requires a thorough understanding of how one or the other would fit within your IT infrastructure, whether you have the team resources and experience to manage it, and how broad of coverage you require.

Deployment options aside, there are four other types of DLP that organizations must evaluate. These include:

  • Endpoint DLP solutions monitor and control data on devices. These solutions can prevent unauthorized copying of data to external drives. They can also block sensitive data from being sent via unsecured channels.
  • Network DLP solutions focus on data in transit. They scrutinize every bit of data that travels over your network and can then block or quarantine the data, preventing it from leaving the network.
  • Cloud DLP solutions protect data in the cloud. They monitor and control data in cloud services like SaaS and IaaS platforms, identifying the sensitive data stored within these applications and providing continuous control over that data.
  • Email DLP solutions enforce data security policies in outbound emails. They monitor both in-transit and at-rest emails for sensitive data to prevent it from being sent outside the organization.


Picking the Right Type of DLP for Your Organization

Choosing the right DLP solution is not a one-size-fits-all process. It requires a careful evaluation of your organization's specific needs and circumstances.

First, you need to understand your data protection needs. This involves identifying the types of data you handle and the risks associated with them. Organizations with a mature data posture will automate the discovery and classification of their data to leave no stone unturned.

Next, you need to consider compliance and industry-specific requirements. Different industries have different regulations, and your DLP solution should help you meet these requirements with out-of-the-box policy templates.

Finally, you need to evaluate the features and scalability of the DLP solution. The solution should be able to grow with your organization and protect data wherever data users interact with it, including cloud, web, email, endpoint and network.


Data Security Everywhere from Forcepoint

Protecting sensitive information can often seem ambiguous and difficult to get control of. After all, organizations store terabytes of data, and their employees access it on a near-hourly basis.

Data Security Everywhere is a concept designed to simplify protecting data. Forcepoint ONE Data Security, a cloud-native DLP solution, sits at its core, making it easy for administrators to configure, enforce and monitor data security policies from one unified dashboard.

Talk to an expert today to learn more about the different types of DLP solutions and how Data Security Everywhere can help expand your company’s data security coverage.

Bryan Arnott

Bryan Arnott is a Senior Content Marketer and Digital Strategist at Forcepoint.

Read more articles by Bryan Arnott

About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.