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IBM Delivers Security Tool

ARMONK, N.Y. -- IBM announced today the industrys first hardware-based encryption tool to secure data on a server’s hard drive. Once encrypted, data can not be compromised -- even if the hard drive is improperly disposed of or stolen. The solution is particularly useful to small and medium businesses with limited IT resources, providing them a simple way to implement the same level of security used by government agencies.

Hard drives are server components that businesses of all sizes use to store important company data. While most small and medium businesses have taken steps to guard the data on their systems against hacking and other outside attacks, the new System x security solution for the first time protects businesses from theft or loss of a hard drive by encrypting data on internal server hard drives.

Smaller companies often do not have a server room or datacenter and locate their systems in the open, so it’s critical that the data on their drives is protected. Even in locked datacenters, hard drives can be vulnerable to unauthorized employee access or “inside jobs” from disgruntled employees.

Loss of company reputation following a data breach can be disastrous for a company’s image and bottom line, with an average cost to the company of $14 million, according to the Ponemon Institute. Further, 31 percent of customers terminate their relationship with an organization that notifies them of a data breach.(1)

The IBM System x VAULT adapter tool provides small and medium businesses with an easy, cost effective way to deadbolt their data on the hard drive. As a result, businesses are protected from the liabilities of loss of sensitive data while reducing the costs of complying with regulations that require companies to protect consumer information so it can’t be read or reconstructed.

The VAULT adapter is easy to install with step-by-step prompts and, at around $1,000, is an inexpensive way to avoid the potentially huge costs of a security breach. When installing the tool, clients can simply designate a security key -- essentially a password -- that becomes the only way data can ever be accessed. The technology offers four levels of security to meet individual client requirements.

All hard drives are eventually disposed of when servers reach end of life, but it’s virtually impossible to erase all data from the drive so it’s irretrievable. The IBM VAULT adapter locks the data so it can’t be unencrypted without the proper key, eliminating the need to dispose of a hard drive and the associated costs. Even if a physical drive or the entire server is stolen, data is protected.

The tool will be available from IBM and IBM business partners. "Storage security is an important focus area for our customers. IBM's approach of combining advanced internal RAID functionality with their latest innovation in controller-based hard drive encryption provides an impressive data protection solution to meet this need," said Christina Corley, President and Chief Operating Officer of IBM business partner Zones, Inc. "Zones is pleased to continue working with IBM to bring innovation to our mutual System x clients."

Data encryption is a compute-intensive process that requires considerable processing power. IBM’s VAULT adapter is the only tool in the industry to offer hardware-based data encryption, so -- unlike software-based encryption -- it does not affect server performance.

Today’s announcement builds on IBM’s steadfast commitment to design and build mainframe-inspired capabilities for industry-standard servers.

“IBM is committed to using innovation to solve our clients’ toughest problems. The new IBM VAULT solution directly responds to our clients' concerns over data security, securely protecting their data without adding much in the way of complexity to their existing operations,” said James Northington, vice president of IBM System x. “This unique new offering allows businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the strongest data security available in the industry. Most people put deadbolt locks on their doors -- it’s time for small and medium businesses to put deadbolt locks on their data.”

IBM Corp.