ASI, Eruces Tools Boost Database Security

ASI teams with nCipher on module; Eruces' Tricryption adds support for Sybase databases and AIX.

Database security toolmakers application Security Inc. and Eruces Inc. are rolling out tools to help enterprises increase the security of their databases.

ASI is joining with nCipher Corporation Ltd. to produce a hardware/software database security module, in addition to rolling out updates to its database security software for Microsoft Corp.s SQL Server and IBMs DB2 databases.

For its part, Eruces is expanding the database and operating system support of its Tricryption Engine security software, as well as readying a service that manages database security.

New York-based ASI within a couple of weeks will release a product that packages its DbEncrypt database encryption software with nCiphers encryption hardware. The ASI software encrypts rows and columns in a database with a variety of encryption algorithms. It includes templates from which users can build their own encryption procedures, with a point-and-click user interface for installing and managing the encryption. The cryptographic hardware from nCipher, of Woburn, Mass., is certified to Federal Information Processing Standard 140 Level 3. ASI is expected to roll out Version 2.0 of its DbEncrypt for SQL Server software next week. The upgrade increases the speed at which developers can select data and features an Automatic Session Management capability that spares database administrators from manually recycling sessions. Earlier this month, the company released Version 3.0 of its AppDetective application security vulnerability scanning software for DB2.

Meanwhile, Eruces, of Kansas City, Mo., within a few weeks will roll out Edition 3.1 of its Tricryption Engine, which uses a patent-pending automated encryption key management process to protect electronic data. The upgrade adds support for Sybase Inc. databases for storage of cryptographic keys and support for AIX. Other new features include caching mechanisms that increase performance to more than 750 transactions per second on modest hardware platforms, officials said. The Tricryption software development kit adds support for C/C++. In addition to the product upgrades, Eruces will soon launch a managed Web service called KeyMatrix that leverages the Tricryption Engine technology to provide protection of files via remote key management, officials said.

Patrick Dunn, a senior application developer for Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. and a beta tester of DbEncrypt 2.0 for SQL Server, said the need for security around databases is on the rise for a number of reasons: the increasing sensitivity of data stored in databases, the growth of hacking and the sharper attention enterprises are paying to security.

"[The data] is getting more sensitive, and people are acknowledging that we need to do something with these databases," said Dunn, in Lexington Park, Md. "Databases like SQL Server arent as secure as people think."

Joe Zhou, who tested software from ASI and Eruces, recommends DbEncrypt to his users because of its good interface, usability and affordability. Nevertheless, Zhou, a security specialist at Sprint Corp.s Corporate Security division, also in Kansas City, said none of the products is perfect yet. He found performance slow in DbEncrypt and was dissatisfied that users can encrypt only certain data types with it.