Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Endpoint encryption to go mainstream?

PGP Corp. plans to ship a new encryption software bundle for laptops, desktops and servers, the company said Monday. The new Whole Disk Encryption products offer full encryption of the hard drive disk when a computer is turned off, helping protect the data if the PC is stolen or lost. And the big plus is it's all centrally manageable, which is where corporates stumbled previously when trying to deploy this enterprise-wide.

I am surprised that the big security vendors such as McAfee and Symantec have not climbed onto the PC/Laptop encryption bandwaggon yet. Customers are finally realising that laptops are high risk and in addition to AV and Personal FW want to add H-IPS, Anti-Spyware, Integrity or Compliance Software (for NAC or a Sygate type solution) and finally data encryption.

I think the data encryption demand is a result of several high profile disclosures in the US of laptops with highly sensitive data having been stolen or gone missing. If you look at the graphic table on a previous blog entry titled Publicized security breaches to rocket you will see that data taken from the Privacy Rights Clearing house shows "Stolen Laptops or computers" as the 2nd largest root-cause of data compromise in public disclosures since Feb this year (15 incidents with 500,000 identities exposed) and I think customers are finally getting it that laptops are
  1. at high risk from infection (so they need AV, IPS, Anti-Spyware)
  2. at high risk from infecting others (so they need their integrity checked -NAC, Sygate etc.)
  3. at high risk from being lost/stolen (so they need their sensitive data encrypted)

It would be nice if one security vendor tied this all up into a nice neat little knot...I think customers will be more inclined to purchase encryption software from a vendor that already has a footprint on their PC's, especially if it is already doing 1, even more so if its already doing 2, rather than buying a seperate suite. Currently our customers use one of PGP (niche, still techy use and not corporate but about to change with this announcement today), Utimaco (German company posting 41% growth for 2005) , SafeBoot and PointSec.

Its actually a darn pity McAfee sold off PGP - they would have made a nice complement now that so much security focus is moving to the endpoints.

CATEGORIES:1encryption, 1mobility, 1laptop security, 1endpoint security, policy enforcement, 1compliance,1vendors

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