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Cloud DLP in AWS, Azure and GCP: Securing Your Data in the Cloud

Data loss Prevention (DLP) has become a critical security concern in the cloud era. With sensitive data migrating to cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, and GCP, organizations need robust solutions to prevent unauthorized access, exfiltration, and leakage. This blog post dives into the world of Cloud DLP, exploring the offerings from major cloud providers and comparing their strength and weaknesses.


Understanding Cloud DLP


Cloud DLP refers to a set of tools and technologies deployed within cloud platforms to identify, classify, and protect sensitive data. These tools scan data at rest and in transit, searching for patterns and keywords that indicate the presence of sensitive information like Personally Identifiable Information (PII), financial data, intellectual property, and other confidential materials. Once identified, Cloud DLP can take various actions to protect the data, including encryption, masking, redaction, or blocking access.




Amazon Detective is AWS's answer to Cloud DLP. It leverages machine learning and natural language processing to discover and classify sensitive data across S3 buckets, DynamoDB tables, and other AWS services. Detective offers pre-built and custom classifiers for various data types, including PII, PCI-DSS, and HIPAA. Additionally, Detective integrates with AWS CloudTrail to monitor data access and egress, providing audit logs for compliance purposes.


Azure DLP


Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP) serves as Azure's Cloud DLP solution. AIP offers data classification capabilities through manual tagging, machine learning algorithms, and integration with Azure Active Directory. Classified data can then be protected through various mechanisms like encryption, Azure Rights Management Service (Azure RMS), and access control policies. AIP also integrates with Azure Security Center for centralized security management and reporting.




Google Cloud DLP is a comprehensive Cloud DLP solution within GCP. It provides data classification through pre-built and custom detectors that identify sensitive data across various data stores like Cloud Storage, BigQuery, and Cloud SQL. Detected data can be protected through encryption, de-identification, and redaction. GCP DLP also offers DLP triggers that automate actions like blocking downloads or sending alerts upon detecting sensitive data.


Comparing the Cloud DLP Offerings


Choosing the right Cloud DLP solution depends on your specific needs and requirements. Here's a brief comparison of the three offerings:


Feature set: GCP DLP offers the most comprehensive feature set, including data classification, protection, and triggers. AWS Detective and Azure AIP focus primarily on data classification and protection.


Ease of use: GCP DLP and Azure AIP offer user-friendly interfaces for managing policies and classifiers. AWS Detective requires more technical expertise for configuration.


Integrations: All three solutions integrate with their respective cloud platforms' security and compliance services. GCP DLP offers the most extensive integration options with other GCP services.


Cost: Pricing varies based on usage and features. GCP DLP charges per unit of data processed, while AWS Detective and Azure AIP have tiered pricing models.




Cloud DLP is an essential tool for protecting sensitive data in the cloud. AWS, Azure, and GCP all offer robust Cloud DLP solutions with unique strengths and limitations. Carefully evaluate your needs and compare the features, ease of use, integrations, and cost to choose the best solution for your organization. Remember, data security is a shared responsibility, and implementing Cloud DLP is a crucial step towards securing your data in the cloud.


Additional Resources:


AWS Detective: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/detective/


Azure Information Protection: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/information-protection/what-is-information-protection


GCP DLP: https://cloud.google.com/dlp/docs


By understanding the capabilities of each cloud platform's Cloud DLP solution, you can make an informed decision about which one best suits your organization's needs and helps you sleep soundly knowing your sensitive data is secure in the cloud.