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The WikiLeaks breach shook the world with the publication of captured U.S. diplomatic cables, but out of the ashes could emerge new opportunities for channel partners offering data loss prevention and event management technologies. And partners say the incident accelerates IT security projects and rejuvenates interest about operational services aimed at preventing an organization's most sensitive information from walking out the door.
Channel partners say that at the very least, the cataclysmic WikiLeaks breach raises awareness with customers and serves as a conversation starter by underscoring the growing need for data loss prevention (DLP) technologies.
"With the press around it, any raised awareness is a good thing to help solve the problem," said Dave Gilden, executive vice president of public sector for Fishnet Security, a Kansas City, Mo.-based security VAR. "When things like this happen, it only substantiates the need to have those kinds of solutions and processes in place to stop that from happening."
While in existence for a while, DLP never experienced widespread adoption, instead gaining initial traction in high-end markets, served by a few vendors such as RSA and Vontu. In recent years, DLP started gaining some traction in federal and state government, retail and financial vertical market segments with organizations, which were increasingly required to adhere to stringent compliance regulations such as PCI, Sarbanes Oxley, a slew of state regulations.
However, Gilden said that many DLP projects came to a screeching halt with the collapse of Lehman Bros. two years ago and the global economic meltdown that ensued. Considered a luxury, DLP, which is often time-consuming, costly and tedious to implement, was often one of the first IT projects to be cut when IT budgets were slashed.
"As the economy crumbled, a lot of IT projects fell off the table. Certainly that was one that was cut in many instances," Gilden said.
But partners also maintain that customers have shown renewed interest in DLP over the last 12 months as the economy has incrementally improved.
If anything, partners say that the WikiLeaks breach has raised awareness about the prevalence of data loss, which could likely spur renewed interest in dusting off tabled DLP projects.
David Sockol, president of Emagined Security, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said that the WikiLeaks incident would likely compel businesses to pull their DLP projects off the shelf and initiate conversations about deployment strategies. For those businesses that have already initiated the DLP process, the WikiLeaks breach will likely accelerate the implementation and deployment, he added.