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Web-exclusive Vendor Briefings, November 2006

Insights from the industry

The Evolving Landscape of Messaging Security

The face of messaging security has changed dramatically over the past few years. In a recent briefing with CipherTrust, CTO Paul Judge discussed how in the six years of his company's existence it has gone from providing protection for inbound security threats, such as viruses and spam, to protecting organizations against Web-based email, FTP, IM, and blog threats, as well as against outbound threats such as information leaks and compliance policy violations. "Email security has gotten a lot more complicated," said Judge. "CipherTrust started as an antivirus and antispam provider, but now, with all the industry and government information-handling regulations, outbound security has become just as essential."

Organizations also face the growing threat of internal data leaks. Recent high-profile data leaks, in which customer records, intellectual property, and other sensitive information was deliberately or accidentally leaked, highlight the need for companies to maintain tighter control over outbound communications. Content-filtering technologies can help prevent sensitive information from being sent outside the company, but what about situations in which you must send sensitive content to an external entity? "In that situation, you must turn to encryption," Judge said. According to Judge, six years ago, only 1 to 2 percent of email messages were encrypted. Today, the amount is 15 to 30 percent.

Another trend in messaging is image spam. Nearly one out of every four messages sent across the Internet is image spam—that is, a message that contains pornographic or objectionable images that can compromise corporate integrity and take up valuable server space.

To help combat the risks posed by the increase and evolution of messaging security threats, CipherTrust provides integrated, layered, policy-based security, encryption, and compliance solutions to protect multiple messaging protocols, including email, IM, Web-based email, file transfers, and other HTTP- and FTP-based activity. The company’s IronMail, IronIM, and IronNet products enable organizations of all sizes to reduce costs and mitigate the risks associated with all forms of electronic communications.
—Gayle Rodcay

Data Everywhere

Over time, many organizations find their user identity information distributed across many different data repositories, each of which can be connected to a different application, business division, or branch office. The increasing number of mergers and acquisitions has made the problem even more complex because of the resulting integration of separate networks, each containing its own set of identity stores. When you add the related problems of controlling network access and the pressures of regulatory compliance, integrating this identity information and maintaining the corporate security system and operating it efficiently is both daunting and expensive.

We recently attended a briefing with Apere, at which CEO Ram Jayam reiterated the point that companies need to provide access to crucial business applications and data while maintaining the integrity and security of their networks. "IT managers must be able to balance productivity and security," he said. Apere recently announced a solution intended to address that challenge. The company’s Identity Managed Access Gateway (IMAG) appliance integrates identity management and access control technologies in a single, cost-effective device that resides at the network layer. The IMAG targets midmarket companies, which have the same need for identity management and access control solutions as larger enterprises do but don't have the same resources or budgets.
—Gayle Rodcay

MicroNet's High-Capacity 3TB NAS Solution for SMBs

The amount of data we store in our computing environment is growing. In fact, according to MicroNet's Director of Marketing, Joe Trupiano, that data doubles in size every year. Luckily, the storage cost per MB of data is decreasing, making storage solutions cheaper for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs). MicroNet introduced the Platinum NAS 3.0, a high-capacity NAS solution that provides as much as 3TB of network storage capacity. MicroNet is able to offer 3TB of storage capacity because it uses perpendicular technology to condense more data onto the storage drive than traditional longitudinal recording can. When I asked Trupiano why companies need this product, I learned that SMBs are moving from direct-attached storage to NAS solutions. Plus, SMBs want an OS-independent storage solution that's easy to use. The Platinum NAS 3.0 fills these needs because it offers low-impact installations (i.e., it can plug in anywhere in your network), native Active Directory (AD) support, and hot-swappable drives.
—Blake Eno

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