Pointsec Mobile Technologies, a global leader in enterprise security software for laptop and desktop PCs, PDAs and smartphones, has announced Pointsec Media Encryption, a centrally manageable and easy to use solution for securing removable media, such as removable hard disks, USB Flash memory cards and floppy disks.
Using Pointsec Media Encryption, enterprise IT security policies can be upheld, while removable storage devices are used to boost productivity.
Building on Pointsec's transparent file encryption tool, available for desktop and laptop PCs, PDAs and smartphones, Pointsec Media Encryption is a new security software solution for removable media. Using Pointsec Media Encryption, enterprises also secure sensitive content stored on removable hard disks, USB Flash memory devices, floppy disks and during e-mail transfer.
During the past years, removable storage devices have developed rapidly, both from a technology and a market perspective. For instance, removable hard disks are now available in very small form factors, with capacity for huge amounts of potentially sensitive data. This development calls for businesses and governments to revise security policies, to include conditions for using removable storage media.
"We believe it is a mistake to simply dismiss the new generation of removable media, because they involve security risks or that they can be used for illicit purposes," said Peter Larsson, CEO, Pointsec Mobile Technologies.
"We like to treat this as a fundamentally sound development, as there are obvious practical advantages with using removable storage devices."
The USB Flash memory devices segment is one of the most rapidly growing product areas within the IT industry. According to Gartner Dataquest, sales will more than double until 2008, growing from $1.4 billion in 2004, to $2.9 billion. During the same period, volumes are expected to increase from 45.6 to 98.2 million units. In comparison, Gartner's 2004 forecast for worldwide PC sales is 186.4 million units*).
"Users are pushing data out into a growing assortment of unmanaged peripherals. It is essential to protect removable media through encryption, at least equally important to protecting any mobile device," said John Girard, Research Vice-President, Gartner Inc.
Pointsec's solution provides protection for all stored data, automatically and transparent to the user. It is centrally managed, so that security policy changes can be effected without user intervention. All market-leading encryption algorithms may be used. Encrypted data can be sent via e-mail in self-extracting attachments, giving authorised recipients access to the information without having Pointsec software installed in their systems.
"The new generation of compact, removable storage is here to stay," said Ove Sφderberg, Business Manager Mobile Solutions with Hewlett-Packard Sverige AB. "This is why customers' IT and security management are now moving to include these devices in their regular usage and security policies. Through Pointsec Media Encryption, they are provided with an excellent tool to implement appropriate security measures, while still being able to use removable storage devices productively."
Pointsec Media Encryption has received Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), fulfilling the latest security requirements from US government agencies.
* Gartner Dataquest Preliminary Estimates, Joseph Unsworth, April 2004. Data is preliminary and does not include USB flash drives that were used in conjunction with audio players or digital cameras.