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Google launches new tool to stem data leakage from Gmail

Google is striving to improve the security protection for its business product Google for Work by introducing data loss prevention for its popular services such as Gmail.

DLP is an enterprise technology that aims to reduce the data leakage of confidential and valuable data from the business. The common ways that data leakage occurs is through emails and storing files to employee’s personal cloud storage services.

By providing DLP on its Gmail services for business, Google hope to mitigate the risks of data leakage through its popular email service. The way DLP works is that a gateway device sits and monitors traffic leaving the business via the internet firewall/gateway. By inspecting the content of outgoing emails, the text and attachments, against preconfigured rules and file categorisation, DLP can intercept and block emails that contain confidential or valuable data from leaving the business. An example, of this type of valuable data could be for example an email that contains text detailing a customer’s personal details such as their credit card numbers.

DLP is very efficient but does require an initial administrator’s time to go through and categorise all the files and set them priorities. DLP can check against information at rest (in a database), in action (being used by an application) or in motion (travelling across the wire). Furthermore, administrators can use specific keywords or expressions to create their own powerful filters, and then determine the action taken. For example, an email may be blocked, returned to the sender to edit, or placed in quarantine for further examination. However, in each case the sender will be automatically informed of the situation.

Google says, “Starting today, if you're a Google Apps Unlimited customer, Data Loss Prevention for Gmail will add another layer of protection to prevent sensitive information from being revealed to those who shouldn't have it."

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