Emulex is introducing a new data encryption appliance and software solution Tuesday that emphasizes host-based encryption, which it claims is simpler and less expensive to use than encryption on disks, in databases or elsewhere on the network. The offering includes the OneSecure host-bus adapter (HBA) hardware, the OneCommand Guardian software for encryption and the OneCommand Key Manager for securing the keys that decrypt sensitive data.
Host-based encryption is 80 percent less expensive than encryption at network switches, 50 percent cheaper than encrypting disk arrays, half the cost of database encryption and 30 percent less than the cost of physically destroying discarded disk drives to make sure data is not at risk, Emulex claims.
The point of host-based encryption is to perform the encryption as close to the application that created the data as possible. If it's encrypted at the host, it stays encrypted throughout the network and it also makes it easy to prove to a compliance auditor that the data is encrypted.
Demand for encryption technology is driven by the growing number of security breaches reported worldwide and the cost to companies whose customer data is compromised. The average cost per incident is $6.6 million, according to a 2008 Ponemon study, a figure that includes the cost of repairing the breach, notifying customers as is required by law in 46 states and abroad, and paying for customer credit reports in the event financial information is exposed.
Most laws requiring customer disclosure of data breaches include an exemption if the data is encrypted. Emulex's solution keeps the encrypted data and the key to decrypt it separate, thus protecting the company from an embarrassing and costly breach disclosure.