St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) January 10, 2008
For more than 20 years, companies, government agencies and other organizations have responded to data-security threats by building walls. The approach is essentially this: build a firewall and establish a secured perimeter to keep enterprise computing and communications devices safe from attack.
However, after Christmas this approach faces a greater threat as employees returned to work with the latest high-tech gifts -- PDAs, flash drives, cell phones and MP3 players -- many with the ability to transport up to 8GB of data over a single removable memory card.
This year, Mobile Armor, Inc., an American owned, operated and developed provider of mobile data and asset protection, is encouraging network administrators to rethink their approach to data security with data encryption.
Traditional PC-centric firewalls do nothing to guard against the transporting of data on mobile devices or memory cards; nor do they protect data after it leaves the building. Even without the new threat posed by these devices, the battle against data loss and network breaches has cost companies billions of dollars.
A new study by the Ponemon Institute reveals that 73 percent of companies have experienced a data loss in the past two years. The study also finds that 70 percent of data breaches result from the loss of equipment that leaves the confines of the corporate environment. The firm also estimates that the average data breach costs an organization $4.8 million.
"Firewalls and security solutions built to protect traditional computing devices are no longer enough," said Chand Vyas, Mobile Armor chairman and CEO. "As the threats become more sophisticated and prevalent, organizations will have to begin implementing an encryption strategy for files and all external devices."
Data encryption, a relatively new approach that focuses on protecting data no matter what kind of device is involved or where that data resides, is gaining traction. In a survey of 400 companies by Absolute Software, 33 percent said they already used encryption software.
Security solutions based on data encryption have moved the security conversation from device-centric protection to data-centric security. Experts say this makes sense, because as business travel increases and the number of mobile devices become more affordable, corporate data can travel anywhere, anytime, on just about any device.
Data encryption can be executed in two forms: whole disk and file and folder encryption.
Whole disk encryption --- designed primarily for desktops, laptops and servers and other devices with hard drives --- is a comprehensive, transparent way to secure data. Other than a single sign-on, users don't have to do anything special to ensure complete security. Data is encrypted and decrypted on the fly as users perform their normal tasks. All the data on the hard drive --- including temporary files, deleted files and all the data at rest --- is encrypted.
File and folder encryption protects specific files on a device and usually requires the user to enter an encryption key to gain access to the data in the file. For mobile devices like PDAs and memory flash drives, the whole disk can not always be encrypted. However, file and folder encryption can allow the entire media device to be encrypted. This way, if an employee has a flash drive stolen, no one can get at the data.
Unlike firewall-only perimeter defenses, data encryption protects data wherever it goes. So it's ideal for the emerging world of business mobility.
About Mobile Armor, Inc.
Privately held, Mobile Armor is a St. Louis based leading provider of Enterprise Mobile Data Security. The company develops and markets the next-generation software suite that enables dynamic organizations to fully protect their critical electronic assets. Mobile Armor is owned, operated and developed in the United States. The company's mobile data security solution is certified to meet the standards and guidelines for security set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the United States Government. Visit http://www.mobilearmor.com for more information.