TL; DR: Digital Guardian delivers ironclad data protection across corporate networks, endpoints, and applications via a purpose-built platform hosted in the cloud. The technology prevents data loss caused by both insiders and outsiders on Linux, Mac, and Windows. Digital Guardian has pioneered the intellectual property space for more than 15 years, evolving its data visibility and controls along the way to suit the ever-changing threat landscape.
The topic of workplace security is almost impossible to broach without considering the pandemic’s effects on the modern office.
Many of those fortunate enough not to lose their jobs made an abrupt shift to working from home. As we move forward, it’s becoming clear that this new paradigm is here to stay, with several companies committing to permanently remote workforces or hybrid solutions, even post-pandemic.
According to Connie Stack, Chief Strategy Officer at Digital Guardian, the recently accelerated work-from-home trend is part of a larger movement toward flexible working arrangements.
“It’s not just about working from home — it’s actually working from anywhere,” Connie told us. “No matter where folks are located, if they’re no longer coming into the office, they’re missing out on the inherent protections of a network. A key trend for us has been helping our customers effectively push security to the endpoint, where data is being created and shared.”
Digital Guardian’s universal Data Loss Prevention (DLP) platform is designed to mitigate internal and external threats wherever data is stored — across corporate networks, traditional endpoints, and cloud applications.
Amid a growing variety of threats and a persistent shortage of security talent, Digital Guardian has led the security industry in expanding its approach to DLP. Using that strategy, the company has successfully met the security demands across both enterprises and the mid-market.
Leading the Intellectual Property Space Since 2003
Digital Guardian was founded as Verdasys Systems in 2003 by a pair of pharmaceutical engineers hailing from a large biotech firm.
“The co-founders worked in biotech within the IT group at the firm, and they were constantly getting requests for data on CD-ROMs from engineers, researchers, and so on,” Connie said. “They looked into it and found that, in many cases, researchers were leaving the company and wanted to take their work with them — despite the work being intellectual property owned by the company.”
At the time, the DLP approach was just starting to take shape in the digital security world, with Vontu emerging as the industry’s first DLP solution in 2001.
“They were focused on protecting regulated data, personally identifiable information, and so on,” Connie said. “Not to diminish the technology they created, but that was a relatively easy problem to solve, involving identifiable numeric strings.”
Using their awareness of intellectual property loss, Digital Guardian’s founders created a solution to complement the growing DLP field, layering in the ability to protect intellectual property and trade secrets.
Today the company has expanded across the U.S., the U.K., Japan, and India to help users monitor and prevent data misuse, accidental disclosure, and theft from internal and external threats.
“The analyst community, but more importantly, prospects and buyers, give us a lot of credit for our capabilities with contextual data classification that enables them to protect IP and trade secrets,” Connie said. “Our competitors really haven’t caught up with us.”
Filling Talent Gaps with Managed DLP and EDR Programs
Digital Guardian’s cloud-based data protection product, hosted by AWS, comes standard as a software as a service (SaaS) solution but can also be hosted on-prem upon request. In both cases, the technology provides CISOs, infosec analysts, incident responders, and threat hunters with scalability, data visualization, and ease of use they need.
But the company also offers managed DLP and endpoint detection and response (EDR) services that act as a remote extension of a company’s security team. Digital Guardian’s in-house security experts are available to host, administer and run the data security platform, covering data loss prevention, managed detection and response (MDR), and compliance.
“There is a dearth of security talent that remains a persistent issue globally,” Connie said. “Businesses can’t hire them fast enough, and even when they do, it’s hard to keep them. It becomes a bit of a turnstile as somebody else offers them more money, and they move on. Every security organization is looking for an opportunity to confidently move a piece of their tech stack or security program elsewhere.”
Digital Guardian’s managed services have been a significant growth source for the company since they were launched six years ago — and the number one selling product or service in 2020.
“We’re providing that eyes-on-glass service,” Connie said. “We’re the ones kicking off investigations if there’s a potential incident, be it malware or data loss. We do it ourselves, we know our technology, and we use our own software exclusively.”
Providing Visibility and Control Over Data Movement
Digital Guardian’s DLP platform stands out from similar solutions on the market for its flexible controls, which ensure sensitive data never leaves the network, no matter how it is modified. These controls — log, alert, prompt, block, and encrypt — are designed not to interfere with legitimate business practices.
Given its roots in traditional data loss prevention, Digital Guardian has more capabilities in terms of such control components than some other providers.
“The platform gives users visibility into how their most sensitive information is moving and where it’s being stored — and, more importantly, allowing them to put controls around it,” Connie said. “Other vendors might let you know where your data is gone, but they have no ability to keep the horse in the barn, if you will.”
Connie said that quantifying ROI in the security world can be a challenging prospect.
“It’s a highly valuable service, but it’s hard to put a number on it,” she said. “How do you measure the value of keeping a company off the cover of The Wall Street Journal? Or the ability to have a sane workload for your security team, and a sane way to manage a data loss prevention program by collaborating with a partner?”
The company also provides users with a way to cut through the complexity of DLP programs. Digital Guardian’s experts can help streamline the program’s initial rollout and guide leaders in truly understanding how their sensitive data moves through the organization.
Enhanced Cloud Data Protection Capabilities
Digital Guardian is continually looking to stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape while remaining mindful of changing business needs. One of the trends the company anticipates is increased usage of Desktop-as-a-Service solutions, particularly in light of the work-from-anywhere movement.
“We’re watching the adoption rates creep up as DaaS providers are refocusing their offerings, improving latency, and boosting ease of use — so that’s top of mind for me,” Connie said. “We’ve long maintained that our agent can be deployed in a physical or a virtual form, and we support all the major DaaS providers.”
Digital Guardian is also keeping an eye on the cloud space, which is quickly picking up speed. Connie said the company is introducing more cloud data-protection capabilities and is in the midst of an integration with Microsoft Teams. Slack, Zoom, and Skype are also planned for the months ahead.
“We’re coming full circle, bringing everything together as a part of our federated strategy,” she said. “Our cloud backend has been built with open APIs with open SDKs that allows us to integrate with different cloud applications, whether they’re storage or collaboration apps.”