Symantec has announced that it has signed definitive agreements to buy both PGP Corp (approx $300m) and GuardianEdge Technologies (approx $70m). Subject to all the necessaries, of course, but expected to complete sometime in Q3 this year. These two acquisitions will ensure that we automatically think ‘crypto’ and not just ‘anti-malware’ when we think Symantec.
Given the ever-increasing security threat and the ever-growing awareness of that threat, under-pinned by spiralling legal compliance requirements – seems like a good idea to me. Remember that, effectively, under data protection laws, lost encrypted data is not considered lost.
What I really like about these acquisitions is that they go well beyond PC full-disk encryption alone. With PGP and GuardianEdge, Symantec gets a geographically-dispersed install base, a leading standards-based key management platform, a PKI SaaS offering, a strong government presence, and encryption coverage from mobile devices to mainframes. Yesterday, Symantec was lagging in encryption and key management and today, with PGP and GuardianEdge, it is now able to provide leading solutions worldwide.
Jon Oltsik, Principal Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group
ENISA, the European Network and Information Security Agency, has produced a report that describes the five areas of security where the EU should concentrate its future research. The five research areas identified are:
- cloud computing
- real-time detection and diagnosis systems
- future wireless networks
- sensor networks
- supply chain integrity
This report gives the first direction of what the future IT security research priorities should be for the EU in our opinion.
Dr Udo Helmbrecht, Executive Director of ENISA
Possibly the worst fear involved in a computer crash (or theft) is not that you can’t access your data, but that you may never access it again. For businesses, it is their livelihood (contacts, sales, accounts all gone); for home users it could be their life (photos, memories, emails, music all gone). Large companies are alright – they have IT departments whose function is to make sure this never happens. But many small companies and the majority of home users simply don’t have adequate data back-up to ensure that this fear will never be realised. The reason is basically two-fold: cost and complexity.
Now Mozy, part of the EMC Corporation, has brought its low-cost online backup for SMBs and users to the UK and Ireland. I forgot to add ‘secure’: the system uses either AES or Blowfish encryption plus 128-bit SSL to move data from your computer to one of its data centres for safe storage (incidentally, a European data centre to ensure that business users stay within European Data Protection laws).
The cost, according to Mozy’s announcement, starts at £4.99 per month, per computer. But unless my arithmetic is crocked (not unknown, I’m afraid), this is wrong: it could be seen as £5.49 per month. This nit-picking is because if you look closely, home computer users can trial the system free for up to 2 GB of storage. Otherwise the cost is £3.99 + 50p for each GB. So, if you need less that 2 GB back-up, then it costs nothing: you need only pay if you need more, which will then start at £3.99 + at least £1.50.
The reason for this little dissection is not to say, Oh look, Mozy got it wrong, but to highlight an incredible offer: home computer users can get 2 GB of free data backup from Mozy. There are other services that give you similar on-line free storage: Dropbox or Google Docs, for example. But Mozy’s free 2 GB comes complete with the Mozy software to automate the process.
So for SMBs who don’t already have adequate backup facilities I would say you can afford to look at Mozy. For home computer users I would say you cannot afford not to look at Mozy’s free 2 GB storage offer.