Google bolsters Gmail data loss prevention

A few months ago, Google provided a data loss prevention (DLP) solution for Gmail to Google Apps Unlimited Customers. The solution allows administrators to set up scanning of outbound emails (and attachments in them) and to quarantine, reject or modify them if sensitive data is being sent out.

On Monday, Google VP for security and privacy engineering Gerhard Eschelbeck announced that they have added new features to the solution.

Gmail data loss prevention

“Because sensitive information can reside not just in text documents, but also in scanned copies and images, DLP for Gmail now uses Optical Character Recognition,” he noted.

OCR should improve attachment scanning. The new feature can analyze common image types (JPG, PNG, GIF and TIFF), scanned documents and photos, and extract text from them by using automated computer algorithms.

“We’ve also introduced additional detection parameters for fine-grained policy control and offer broader coverage of HIPAA data and personally identifiable information (PII) globally,” he added. Initially the feature detected only credit card numbers.

Admins can now also set up different DLP policies based on whether a message contains individual or bulk PII, and change detection criteria for the various detectors.

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