Dell Offers Security Suite for Corporate Endpoints

The vendor is rolling out a security solution that includes authentication, encryption and threat protection capabilities for PCs and tablets.

IT security

Dell is giving organizations an easier way to ensure that the growing numbers of endpoints being used by their employees are protected against malware and other threats.

Company officials on March 10 rolled out the Dell Data Protection/Endpoint Security Suite (DDP/ESS), a single offering that can be used with commercial systems from Dell or other hardware makers that offers an array of authentication, encryption and threat protection capabilities.

The suite, which is available now, comes at a time when cyber-attacks are getting more sophisticated and when the numbers of devices—from notebooks to smartphones to tablets—being used for business are growing.

"Data breaches are getting worse and are getting expensive," Brett Hansen, executive director of end-user computing software and mobility at Dell, told eWEEK in an interview in Boston, noting the prominent role endpoints play in many security incidents. "It's perhaps the most important situation that needs to be addressed when we talk about security."

Systems and devices that are lost, stolen or misplaced pose a significant risk of data exposure. Dell officials note that 87 percent of organizations have experienced a data breach over the past 12 months, and 70 percent of security breaches can be traced to humans. In addition, the value of a lost laptop is about $49,000, with more than 80 percent of that value being attributed to the data inside.

Over the past several years, Dell has been working to build out its security capabilities, both through in-house development and through acquisitions of such companies as SecureWorks, SonicWall, Quest and Credant Technologies, as part of its larger effort to become a complete IT solutions provider.

Hansen said a growing percentage of businesses are looking for a complete suite of security from a single vendor, which is easier to deploy and manage than trying to integrate a number of products from multiple suppliers, which can be complex and costly. Dell's DDP/ESS offering is designed to be that single solution businesses are looking for, he said.

The security includes authentication (such as fingerprint, smartcards and the ability to reset a Windows password via a smartphone) and encryption (of such components as local drives and external media, as well offering agentless security for Android and iOS devices) based on Dell IP, Hansen said. The threat protection features—such as anti-virus, anti-spyware and host firewall and intrusion protection—comes from a third-party security provider that he declined to name.

Bringing all this together is a management layer that gives users a single pane of glass for all elements of the suite, consolidated status and compliance reporting and virtual console options that can support thousands of users.

The software suite can be sold as a standalone product for both Dell and non-Dell hardware, as well as an integrated offering with commercial notebooks, desktops and tablets from Dell. Organizations can remotely manage all components through the single console, and setup and deployment can be done through such tools as a wizard and a virtual appliance management server. In addition, preset policy and report templates enable businesses to generate compliance reports.

"You don't need to be an expert to set it up," Hansen said. "We'll do it for you."

There also is support for best-of-breed encryption technologies, including removable media protection, advanced port controls, Microsoft BitLocker and Self-Encrypting Drive management and Dell's Hardware Crypto Accelerator with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validation, which officials said is the highest level for a disk encryption offering.

Dell plans to expand on the capabilities of DDP/ESS later this year, including integration with Dell SonicWall software and enterprise mobility management offerings, server encryption and network file share encryption.