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The state of the DLP market 

The DLP market is undergoing transformation, being vital for cybersecurity strategies, yet encountering challenges from new threats and data classification issues.

Man is pointing to a digital lock representing data security Data privacy

The Data Loss Prevention (DLP) market has undergone significant evolution and growth over the past few years, driven by the increasing importance of data security and privacy in today’s digital landscape.

DLP solutions play a crucial role in helping organizations safeguard sensitive information and maintain regulatory compliance. This article will explore the state of DLP today and look to its future. 

Market overview:

The DLP market encompasses various solutions and technologies to prevent the unauthorized transmission, sharing, or loss of sensitive data. This includes data at rest, in use, and in transit.

DLP solutions are crucial for industries that handle sensitive information, such as healthcare, finance, legal, and government sectors, to mitigate the risk of data breaches and protect intellectual property.

Key trends of the DLP market: 

Laptop computer with clouds illustrations
  • Cloud adoption and DLP: With the accelerated adoption of cloud computing, organizations face the challenge of securing data stored in various cloud environments. Cloud-based DLP solutions have emerged to address this concern, allowing organizations to extend their data protection policies to data stored in cloud applications and services.
  • Endpoint DLP: As remote work and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) become increasingly common, the need to secure data at endpoints has grown. Endpoint DLP solutions protect data on laptops, smartphones, and other devices, ensuring that data remains secure beyond the corporate network.
  • Integration with insider threat detection: DLP solutions increasingly integrate with insider threat detection mechanisms. This integration enables organizations to monitor and prevent data exfiltration by malicious insiders or employees who inadvertently mishandle sensitive data.
  • Regulatory compliance: Regulatory frameworks such as GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA have heightened the importance of data protection and privacy. DLP solutions help organizations maintain compliance by identifying and protecting sensitive data according to regulatory guidelines.
  • Behavioral analytics: DLP solutions are adopting advanced behavioral analytics and machine learning algorithms to detect anomalous data access and usage patterns. This proactive approach helps identify potential breaches before they occur.


  • Data classification: Accurate classification of sensitive data is a challenge. Without proper classification, DLP solutions might miss protecting critical information or lead to unnecessary alerts.
  • False positives: Overly sensitive DLP settings can result in a high number of false positive alerts, leading to alert fatigue and reduced effectiveness of the solution.
  • Encryption and privacy concerns: While encryption effectively protects data, it can complicate DLP efforts. Balancing encryption for security with the need for DLP visibility poses a challenge.
  • Complexity of implementation: Implementing DLP solutions can be complex and resource-intensive. Integrating DLP into existing IT ecosystems without disrupting workflows requires careful planning.
  • Data in Motion: Monitoring and controlling data in transit, especially in external communication channels, can be more challenging than securing data at rest.

Looking to the future:

Cyber security man on computer
Image: Pexels

The DLP market will likely evolve in response to the changing threat landscape and technological advancements. Some key factors that will shape the future of the market include:

  • AI and automation: Artificial intelligence and machine learning will play a more significant role in DLP solutions, enabling more accurate detection of abnormal data access patterns and better identification of sensitive data.
  • Zero trust architecture: Adopting zero trust architecture, which assumes no implicit trust and verifies every access request, will influence DLP strategies by emphasizing continuous monitoring and access control.
  • Data-centric security: The focus will shift towards a more data-centric security approach, where data protection takes precedence over perimeter-based defenses.
  • User education: Training employees about data handling best practices and the importance of DLP will remain crucial to prevent accidental data leaks.
  • Privacy-preserving DLP: With increasing privacy concerns, DLP solutions will need to find ways to protect sensitive data while minimizing the exposure of personally identifiable information (PII).
DLP market on a laptop
Image: Cyber Haven

However, one could argue that the DLP market as we know it is on the way out. In 2018, Gartner ceased publishing its DLP Magic Quadrant.

While the organization still publishes market guides for DLP, five years on, we can consider the DLP market in its twilight years.

DLP still plays a significant role in many organizations’ security strategies, but it is fast being incorporated into and replaced by emerging, broader security categories. DLP will likely be replaced by: 

  • Security Service Edge (SSE): SSE provides security at the network’s periphery, closer to where users and devices establish connections. It unifies diverse security technologies and services within an integrated framework, encompassing data safeguarding, identifying potential threats, and enforcing access controls. SSE protects data and applications, irrespective of their geographical location—whether within cloud environments, on-premises infrastructure, or accessible to remote users.
  • Insider Risk Management (IRM): IRM addresses the complexities inherent in mitigating vulnerabilities introduced by internal stakeholders, such as staff members, contractors, and collaborators, who possess authorized access to an entity’s systems and sensitive information. IRM solutions meticulously monitor user conduct and engagements involving delicate data to detect and pre-emptively neutralize potential insider risks. This entails averting unauthorized access, safeguarding against insider threats, and forestalling data compromise from individuals with established trust within the organization.

The DLP market is in a transformative period. While it is crucial to many cybersecurity strategies, it faces significant challenges in emerging threats, difficulties with data classification, and more.

Moreover, emerging technologies and security categories have begun to replace DLP and integrate many of its capabilities. As such, the DLP market is likely in its twilight years.

About the author:

Josh is a Content writer at Bora. He graduated with a degree in Journalism in 2021 and has a background in cybersecurity PR. He’s written on a wide range of topics, from AI to Zero Trust, and is particularly interested in the impacts of cybersecurity on the wider economy.

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