Egress Software Technologies is using a SAAS model to help enterprises protect and control access to the data they share. With Egress Switch, enterprises can set strict access policies over who can access e-mails or data downloaded to CDs and other media even after the data has been sent.
notifications start with a story like this: An
unencrypted CD with customer information has gone missing.
But what if the CD were not only encrypted, but for that encryption to be
broken, the person had to authenticate and get the encryption keys from
the cloud? This is the question data protection vendor Egress Software Technologies
answering with Egress Switch, a new cloud-based security offering the
company hopes will penetrate both the consumer and enterprise markets.
The product is designed to give organizations tighter control of who
accesses information being shared. The company's software uses AES
256-bit encryption to encrypt data on any type of media, from e-mail
attachments to CDs and USB sticks. Once the
selected data is packaged and encrypted, the package is assigned an identity
and can be sent electronically.
In order to decrypt the data, the intended recipient would have to sign up
for an Egress Switch ID, which for them would be free. The encryption
keys are kept securely in the cloud and are handed over to the recipient's
computer only after that person has been authenticated to access the
This is meant to allow the sender of the information to exert
access control over the data. With Switch, the sender can set or change access
policies in the cloud. For example, if the sender only wants a certain person
to be able to decrypt the data for a certain amount of time, the sender can set
a policy to reflect that.
"Individuals and organizations that share information must consider the
ramifications if their data ends up in the wrong hands," said Richard Stiennon,
chief analyst and founder of security research firm IT-Harvest, in a statement.
"If there is a need to stay in control, even after the information has been
shared, a simple and affordable secure data exchange solution makes a lot of
sense as part of a comprehensive data protection strategy."
Right now, there is no feature included in the software where the technology
can detect when information that should be encrypted is being shared. That
capability, however, is on the road map for the fourth quarter, officials at
the company told eWEEK. Bob Egner, president of U.S.
operations at Egress, said the hope is that use of the product will spread
virally, starting with businesses and extending into the consumer market.
"Even though controlling your own data sounds simple, most organizations
still struggle with this issue and turn to data protection offerings such as
encryption and data leak prevention to help them keep their information
secure," Egner said in a statement. "While those tools are important, they
offer no guarantees about who is accessing data once it has left a user's
hands. We believe that our Switch solution addresses a major gap in today's
data protection offerings allowing any organization or individual that needs to
share information externally to do so safely and affordably by using this
The product currently supports Microsoft Windows Vista and
XP. Pricing for individual users starts with a monthly subscription at
$9.49 per month, while annual subscriptions for businesses begin at $34.00 per