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Exact Data Match: Get rid of the “fake news” in your DLP solution

by Selina Koenig - Product Marketing Manager at Zscaler

Any time I turn on the news, check my Facebook feed, watch videos on YouTube, or amuse myself over the latest tweets, I have to wonder about the accuracy of the information I am ingesting. These days, with social media giants shutting down misinformation campaigns by foreign adversaries, and political decision-making processes around the world being silently influenced by those same actors, we are forced to spend too much time processing and weeding out the bad information instead of analyzing and acting upon the good.

I can’t help but sympathize with all you security analysts out there who deal with misinformation—in the form of false positives—in your jobs on a daily basis. How many alerts do you find in your inbox from your data loss prevention solution during a typical day? And how many of those are just clutter, clouding your view? Probably too many, but rest assured that you are not alone! In a study conducted by analyst firm IDC, more than a third of respondents stated that they see up to 10,000 alerts each month. But out of those, a staggering 5 are false positives.

To clarify, most false positives are real positives, meaning the detection engine did its job and identified content that matches a policy. However, the content does not pose a risk to the business in the context it is being used. This is most likely to happen when a comprehensive data protection strategy is absent or policy isn’t configured accurately.

False positives have actual consequences. They don’t cause any direct harm, but they jam up the system. While you are busy weeding out the bad (false positives), you don’t have time to investigate the good (legitimate alerts). But in comparison to identifying fake news, protecting your data and optimizing the detection rate of your DLP solution isn’t guesswork and it doesn’t require fact-checking. It is about making the right decisions to reduce risk and, most importantly, it’s about using the right techniques for the right content.

Exact Data Match is a technique that can detect your unique data such as credit card numbers, personal IDs, account numbers, etc.

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