Google brings data loss prevention to its cloud

Privacy shield logo

Google has unveiled an API (application programming interface) to help businesses manage sensitive data, without locking it away from those that need access.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) automatically identifies up to 50 different types of sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, phone numbers and national security IDs from datasets and masks the information, preventing it from being accessed by those not authorised to do so.

Because it's an API, DLP can be integrated into almost any data source or storage platform to hide data that needs to be protected.

"These new data de-identification capabilities help you to work with sensitive information, while reducing the risk of sensitive data being inadvertently revealed," said Scott Ellis, product manager at Google.

"If like many enterprises you follow the principle of least privilege or need-to-know access to data (only use or expose the minimum data required for an approved business process) the DLP API can help you enforce these principles in production applications and data workflows."

The API supports a range of different methods of protecting data - de-identifying, which refers to removing the information from the dataset, redaction and suppression, which removes entire values from a dataset, partial masking for hiding parts of the data, but leaving some visible and secure hashing, which replaces the sensitive data with a key.

Dynamic data masking hides certain parts of the data when viewed by certain groups at a certain point in time, but at the time they really need access, it will be revealed. Bucketing, K-anonymity and L-Diversity are also supported by the API.

"Google Cloud DLP API enables our security solutions to scan and classify documents and images from multiple cloud data stores and email sources," Sateesh Narahari, VP of Products at customer Managed Methods said. "This allows us to offer our customers critical security features, such as classification and redaction, which are important for managing data and mitigating risk. Google's intelligent DLP service enables us to differentiate our offerings and grow our business by delivering high quality results to our customers."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.