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DLP vs DRM - Understanding the differences

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, which is a software that helps protect the intellectual property rights of digital content owners. DRM can encrypt files and control access privileges dynamically, even after the files are shared or downloaded.

Some examples of DRM are:

  • Apple iTunes: Uses DRM to limit how many devices customers can use to listen to songs. Audio files that users download from iTunes include data about their purchase and usage of songs. This prevents the files from being accessed on unauthorized devices.
  • Spotify: Leverages blockchain technology to enable the payment of artists through cryptocurrency. The blockchain records the transactions and ensures that the artists receive their fair share of royalties.
  • Microsoft software: Anyone that downloads Microsoft software, such as Windows or Office programs, has to accept the company’s user license and enter a key before they can install it. The key verifies that the software is legitimate and not pirated.
  • ADEPT, FairPlay, Advanced Access Content System: These are modern DRM systems that rely on encryption to be fully effective. They are used by various publishers and distributors of digital content, such as ebooks, music, and movies, to protect their rights and prevent unauthorized copying or sharing.

DLP stands for Data Loss Prevention, which is a software that helps protect sensitive data from unauthorized access, leakage, or theft. DLP can analyze document content and user behavior patterns and restrict the movement of information based on preset criteria. DLP is a part of a company’s overall security strategy that focuses on detecting and preventing the loss, leakage or misuse of data through breaches, ex-filtration transmissions and unauthorized use. Organizations use DLP to protect and secure their data and comply with regulations. DLP can also block the extraction of sensitive data and prevent the illicit transfer of data outside the organization.

DLP works by classifying, detecting, and protecting information in three states: data in use, data at rest, and data in motion. DLP can also track, alert, change permissions, or block data when it is in danger of leaving the corporate network. DLP can help prevent data exfiltration, which is the unauthorized transfer of data outside the organization.

There are many DLP solutions available in the market, each with its own features and capabilities. Some of the common DLP solutions are:

  • Digital Guardian Endpoint DLP: A cloud-based platform that protects data across endpoints, networks, and cloud applications.
  • Fidelis: A network-based solution that detects and prevents data exfiltration, insider threats, and advanced attacks.
  • Check Point DLP: A gateway-based solution that monitors and controls data transfers over web, email, and FTP protocols.
  • Microsoft 365 Compliance: A cloud-based solution that integrates with Microsoft products and services to classify, protect, and govern data.
  • SolarWinds Data Loss Prevention with ARM
  • Endpoint Protector by CoSoSys
  • Symantec Data Loss Prevention
  • McAfee Total Protection for DLP
  • Code42
  • Google Cloud Data Loss Prevention
  • Spirion Data Privacy Manager

Some of the common DLP solutions for email are:

  • Proofpoint: A gateway-based solution that monitors and controls data transfers over email and satisfies compliance with 80+ built-in policies.
  • Tessian: A machine learning-based solution that detects and prevents data exfiltration, insider threats, and misdirected emails by learning from user behavior.
  • Google Workspace: A cloud-based solution that scans email traffic using DLP rules and detectors and applies automatic responses such as quarantining, rejecting, or modifying messages.

The main difference between DRM and DLP is that DRM focuses on protecting the rights of the content owners, while DLP focuses on protecting the confidentiality of the data. DRM can enforce policies even when the data is outside the network perimeter, while DLP can only monitor and control data within the network boundary.

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