Clearswift Adaptive DLP Review and Alternatives

Data loss prevention (DLP), just as the name implies, is a strategy for detecting and preventing sensitive corporate data from leaving your network.

The tool used to enforce a company’s data loss prevention policy is called DLP software. DLP software mitigates the risk of data leakage or data loss by monitoring, detecting, and blocking sensitive data while at rest (data that is not moving such as database, file share, etc.), in use (data that the user is currently interacting with—endpoint actions), and in motion (data traveling across a network through various communication channels–network traffic). It ensures that sensitive information is identified and risk-appropriate controls are deployed, with minimal impact on business processes.

Choosing the Right Solution: Enterprise DLP vs. Integrated DLP

Organizations looking to implement a DLP solution for their budget and functional requirements have to consider several strategies. Enterprise and integrated DLP solutions have emerged as two strategies organizations need to implement sustainable DLP strategies.

Enterprise DLP solutions are standalone products that offer comprehensive tools and policies for both data at rest and in motion, content and contextual scanning capabilities, device control, and centralized policy management and reporting, including policies to support regulatory compliance. Given the comprehensive nature of enterprise DLP products and their extensive data protection tools, many companies believe they are the only option worth considering. And, in the case of big organizations, that is undoubtedly true. However, for SMBs that do not need the full capabilities of enterprise DLP tools, this can be problematic. As a result, most organizations, especially SMBs that purchase enterprise DLP, often use only a small part of their capabilities. This is where integrated DLP comes into play.

Integrated DLP solutions are primarily extensions of existing security tools that offer a cut-down version of enterprise DLP solutions while eliminating the complexities needed for large-scale networks. As a result, they cost considerably less than an enterprise DLP solution and take little time to implement. However, the risk of integrated DLP is its limited customization options and capabilities.

Organizations looking to deploy a DLP solution should first assess their needs, including areas where their data is at risk, the scope of the controls, and scalability requirements. Then, the focus should be on those actual needs when deciding which DLP option to go for.

Clearswift Adaptive DLP Solution

The Clearswift Adaptive DLP is an integrated DLP solution that can be deployed through its existing products to mitigate the risk of data loss for structured and unstructured data. Clearswift security products protect email, web, and endpoints, allowing teams to collaborate effectively and securely. Clearswift products with integrated DLP solutions are described as follows:

Endpoint DLP

Endpoint DLP

Clearswift Endpoint DLP solution empowers organizations with the capability to enforce DLP and other security and compliance policies to secure critical data on endpoints.

With the Endpoint DLP solution, organizations can implement rules that prevent sensitive documents from being copied to removable media, shared on the network, or uploaded to the cloud indiscriminately, including the ability to encrypt them before they are transferred. Clearswift context-aware Data in Use (DIU) policies make this possible.

The Clearswift Endpoint DLP can be deployed on a Windows Server and requires access to a SQL or  MySQL database server. It also requires access to the corporate Active Directory to effectively create and deploy DLP policies at the domain level, organizational unit level, or even down to a per-user level.

ARgon for Email

ARgon for Email solution architecture

Clearswift’s ARgon for Email protects a range of security threats from both inbound and outbound emails. ARgon also extends DLP functionality to your existing security infrastructure.

ARgon for Email addresses the issue of data loss with a unique feature called Adaptive Redaction. Adaptive Redaction automatically sanitizes and removes contents that can lead to data exfiltration or data breach. This significantly reduces the number of false positives typically associated with stop-and-block DLP solutions

ARgon can be deployed in the public cloud such as Microsoft Azure or AWS, or as a virtual or physical appliance. It uses standard SMTP messaging technology to enable compatibility with any email gateway solution, located on-premise or in the cloud.

Secure Email Gateway

Secure Email Gateway operation architecture

Clearswift’s Secure Email Gateway protects against spam, phishing, ransomware, spyware, and other malware. The Secure Email Gateway prevents data loss and protects valuable company data by making it difficult for users to accidentally share confidential information. It also provides TLS encryption and Digital Rights Management (DRM) capabilities. Clearswift’s regular expression rules also search messages for policy violations. Messages that violate DLP policies are automatically removed or escalated to the System Administrators for appropriate action.

The Secure Email Gateway can be deployed in the public cloud such as Microsoft Azure or AWS, or a physical or virtual environment running RHEL OS and VMware/Hyper V hypervisor.

Secure ICAP Gateway (SIG) 

Clearswift’s Secure ICAP Gateway (SIG) is designed to protect sensitive information passing through an organization’s web proxy infrastructure or managed file transfers (MFT) by ensuring that an acceptable level of information is shared and received at all times.

With SIG, organizations can apply deep content inspection, adaptive redaction, and data loss prevention technologies to existing web security architectures to ensure that the flow of information is in line with the organization’s DLP and information governance policies.

Secure Web Gateway (SWG)

With Clearswift’s Secure Web Gateway (SWG), organizations can enforce consistent internet security through granular policy management across the network and web traffic. SWG’s lexical analysis and real-time content and context-aware scanning capabilities detect and prevent accidental data leaks and sensitive information from being shared across the web.

SWG can collect feeds from existing databases, standard templates, and dictionaries of common terms that may be indicative of communication containing sensitive data. Depending on the content, SWG can deploy Adaptive Redaction technology to monitor, and where necessary, automatically redact the sensitive content.

SWG comes as a pre-installed hardware appliance, VMware virtual appliance, or as a software image that can run on a choice of hardware platforms and public Clouds such as AWS and Azure.

Information Governance Server (IGS)

Clearswift Information Governance Server (IGS) comes with DLP features to protect your organization’s sensitive data from accidental or malicious data breaches. IGS acts as a secure central repository for document owners to register classified and sensitive information.

If registered files or fragments of these files are emailed to unauthorized recipients internally or externally, or shared over the web with unauthorized users or sites, appropriate action can be taken by the policy set for that data. The IG server also provides a data tracking service that makes it possible for the admin to determine who may have seen a particular registered file or document fragment for appropriate remediation.

Secure Exchange Gateway (SXG)

Secure Exchange Gateway (SXG)

One of the key functions of the Clearswift Secure Exchange Gateway (SXG) is to protect confidential information in your email system from leaving the organization. SXG ensures that internal email correspondence on your Exchange deployments is in line with the confidentiality and compliance policies of your organization.

SXG uses a variety of methods such as keyword searches and advanced fingerprint algorithms to spot sensitive information and prevent them from leaving the organization indiscriminately.

When connected to the IG server, the SXG can be used to detect and block sensitive content in internal traffic in line with the set DLP policy.

The Best Clearswift Adaptive DLP Alternatives

Clearswift DLP is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every organization. The fact that it fits perfectly from a feature and functionality standpoint for one organization does not mean it will be suitable for another. If you figure out that it is not best suited for your environment and you’re considering a suitable alternative, you’ll find lots of them out there. To help you decide between the countless options out there, we’ve put together a list of the ten best Clearswift DLP alternatives. Hopefully, this will guide you in the process of selecting the right one for your environment.

  1. SolarWinds DLP with ARM (FREE TRIAL) SolarWinds DLP is a lightweight, easy-to-use integrated DLP solution part of its Access Rights Manager and Security Event Manager. The DLP software analyzes user credentials, and how they’re configured and used by end-users to access data. This information is then leveraged to help you see when user activity puts sensitive data at risk. Both software is available for Windows Server. You can get both, SolarWinds Access Rights Manager on a 30-day free trial and SolarWinds Security Event Manager on a 30-day free trial.
  2. Symantec DLP The Symantec DLP solution by Broadcom stands out as one of the leading enterprise DLP solutions out there. It comprises a single unified management platform, lightweight endpoint agent, and powerful content-aware detection products that all together provide comprehensive discovery, monitoring, and protection capabilities that give you visibility and control over your confidential data.
  3. Endpoint Protector A highly rated enterprise DLP solution by CoSoSys that employs e-discovery, device control, and enforced encryption to provide content-aware protection for intellectual property, personally identifiable information (PII), and insider threat, and support for regulatory compliance. It was rated a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for 2020. Endpoint Protector supports integration with SIEM products while providing real-time alerting & reporting capabilities. It can be deployed in the cloud (AWS, Azure, GPC), as a virtual appliance, or as a SaaS application. A free demo is available on request.
  4. Forcepoint DLP A robust and matured enterprise DLP solution that addresses human-centric risk with visibility and control everywhere your people work, and your data resides. Forcepoint was rated a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for 2020. Forcepoint DLP includes an analytics engine that identifies and ranks high-risk incidents. The DLP solution covers network and on-premise infrastructure, endpoints, and cloud applications. A 30-day free trial or an interactive demo is available on request.
  5. Digital Guardian DLP A mature, well-known cloud-delivered enterprise DLP solution—available either as SaaS or managed service deployment. This unique approach allows for quick deployment and on-demand scalability while providing complete data visibility and protection. In addition, the solution incorporates endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities and data loss prevention to protect against the same agent’s internal and external threats. You can access a free demo before making a buying decision.
  6. Trellix DPL (formerly McAfee Total Protection for DLP) A matured and highly scalable enterprise DLP solution targeted at mid to large-scale businesses. McAfee DLP supports centralized incident management and reporting with a solid emphasis on forensic analysis. If you are looking to try out McAfee DLP, a free demo is available on request.
  7. Fidelis Network Detection and Response (formerly Fidelis DLP) A recognized enterprise DLP solution that helps mitigate the risk of data loss, misuse, or unauthorized access and ensures regulatory compliance. Its patented Deep Session Inspection technology provides real-time content and context awareness to detect threats and prevent data loss across all ports and protocols. If you are looking to try it out, a product demo is available at the click of a button.
  8. GTB Technologies DLP Α solution offers organizations a network and cloud enterprise DLP to prevent data loss, manage threats, and enforce compliance. GTB’s proprietary “Content-Aware Reverse Firewall” technology classifies and analyzes all outbound and inbound data transmissions from your network in real-time, and implements the appropriate action such as log, block, encrypt, and quarantine, among others. The solution can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, and as a SaaS application that’s self-managed, managed, or hybrid service. A complete solution demo is available on schedule.
  9. Trend Micro DLP An integrated lightweight DLP solution that can be deployed through its existing products such as Endpoint Security, Mail Server Security, Security for Microsoft SharePoint, and Web Gateway Security, among others. It can mitigate the risk of data loss for data at rest, data in transit, and data in use for a fraction of the cost and time of traditional enterprise DLP solutions.
  10. Proofpoint DLP A solution that caters to both enterprise and integrated DLP needs. The Proofpoint enterprise DLP solution is a comprehensive DLP solution for email, cloud, and endpoint. At the same time, Proofpoint Email DLP is an integrated DLP solution that mitigates the risk of a data breach via email explicitly.


Big organizations and networks with large and growing volumes of data that need to be protected may require the full capabilities of enterprise DLP solutions. DLP products such as Symantec DLP, Endpoint Protector, McAfee DLP, and others possess many of the desired features large organizations look for in DLP controls.

For SMBs and other organizations that want a DLP that addresses specific use cases, look for ones that address the controls you need to employ and leverage existing security products that possess integrated DLP features. For example, a lightweight DLP product such as SolarWinds, Trend Micro DLP, and Clearswift DLP would be a good fit. This will save your organization from costly and time-consuming setup and integration associated with enterprise DLP tools. A free live demo of Clearswift DLP is available on request.