Protegrity Delivers Database Encryption, Key Management

Protegrity Inc. is rolling out security packages for leading databases that combine software with cryptographic hardware to provide enhanced key management capabilities.

Protegrity Inc. is rolling out security packages for leading databases that combine software with cryptographic hardware to provide enhanced key management capabilities.

The Secure.Data F3 package automates encryption and separates duties between database administrators and security officers, enabling centralized management of encryption parameters. It uses NCipher Corporation Ltd.s cryptographic hardware, which is certified to Federal Information Processing Standard 140 Level 3, a benchmark for cryptographic security best practices.

Protegrity, of Stamford, Conn., will announce Secure.Data F3 for Microsoft Corp. SQL Server 2000 early in 2003. A version for Oracle Corp.s Oracle8i is available. Protegrity officials said support for IBM and Sybase Inc. databases is in the works but declined to say when it will be available.

Pete Lindstrom, an analyst at Spire Security LLC, in Malvern, Pa., said the packages address usability and performance, two big problems associated with encryption. Encrypting data within databases is "a ... lot easier said than done," Lindstrom said, not only because of the need to encrypt data in rows, columns and tables but also because data from users with varying levels of access must be encrypted separately.

Protegrity attacks the software part of the problem by providing key management, which typically slows overall database performance. Such a package might help SQL Server users focus more on securing all possible paths to data, as opposed to the typical, intended paths that usually get the attention, Lindstrom said.