Symantec today married data owner identification with its Data Loss Prevention technology with the launch of Symantec Data Insight – a new piece of software that will also find its way into the company’s storage management products in the coming months.

Symantec Data Insight combs through unstructured data on shared file systems to identify important business data and trace ownership to individuals within an organization in order to enforce corporate policies and regulatory compliance. The software also monitors and audits data usage.

Data Insight will first be available as part of Symantec’s Data Loss Prevention (DLP), which discovers, monitors, and protects confidential data across endpoint, network and storage systems.

Data Insight will supplement the capabilities of DLP by monitoring who has accessed or modified individual files, and notifying security teams and data owners when and if data is exposed.

Customers can use the information provided by Data Insight to make rules-based ownership inferences and alter access to stored data in order to prevent data breaches, according to Robert Hamilton, Symantec’s senior product marketing manager for DLP.

“Organizations can only reduce risk when they can involve the end user in the data protection process. Identifying ownership of confidential files can speed up the remediation process by tracking access to sensitive data once a breach occurs,” Hamilton says.

Symantec plans to integrate Data Insight with its archiving, storage tiering and storage management product suites later this year and into 2011.

Hamilton claims Data Insight can help reduce the costs associated with storing unstructured data through storage chargeback reports that outline ownership and associated costs.