Sidebar: Match Defense to the Threat

Companies have a variety of technology approaches to choose from for protecting data at rest, according to IT managers, analysts and vendors.

The choice you make depends on the sort of threats that you need to protect against and how much you're willing to invest, says Margarita Muratova, database administrator at RSM Richter.

For instance, there are several options available to cryptographically protect sensitive data.

File-level encryption products, such as Decru Inc.'s DataFort and NeoScale Systems Inc.'s CryptoStor, allow companies to protect data stored on off-line backup tapes in addition to storage-area network and network-attached storage systems. Such products offer wire-speed encryption and decryption of data on its way in and out of storage systems.

Other database encryption products, such as SecureDB from nCipher and DbEncrypt from Application Security, provide more granular column-level protection within a database. The products enable companies to encrypt data contained within specific columns, such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or information about patients in hospitals or clinics.

Some products, such as Vormetric Inc.'s CoreGuard system, combine data encryption functions with context-based access control and auditing capabilities.

In addition to data-encryption technologies, several of the products available today let companies manage, monitor and audit access to content stored in databases.

Since the goal is to control data usage at the core, most products are geared toward helping companies identify software vulnerabilities as well as monitor and audit data access and user behavior.

For instance, Lumigent Technologies' Entegra and Guardium Inc.'s SQL Guard are data-auditing products designed to help companies maintain a trail of activity, including data access, changes and views, and changes to database structures.

Tizor Systems and IPLocks Inc. sell data-auditing products that also feature activity monitoring and user behavior monitoring functions that alert administrators to suspicious behavior.


Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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