Security Startup Spawns New Hardware

Ingrian Networks overhauls its flagship encryption devices and plans to break into new markets

June 21, 2005

3 Min Read
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Ingrian Networks Inc. today unveiled new technology for securing critical credit card and Social Security data, while tremors from a recent MasterCard security breach rumble on (see Ingrian Upgrades DataSecure).

The snafu at MasterCards partner, CardSystems Solutions Inc., is the latest in a string of high-profile IT security breaches. Others include headline-hitting data privacy breaks involving ChoicePoint and LexisNexis (see Don't Be a Data Privacy Dunce and CardSystems Responds to Security Incident).

This is the stuff of nightmares for the financial services industry, but it is the opposite for Ingrian. The Redwood City, Calif., vendor’s DataSecure appliances automatically encrypt blocks of data, including those containing customers’ financial information (see Security Startup Gets All Cryptic). The devices work with databases from the likes of Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM).

Having established a reputation in this corner of the security market, Ingrian is now looking to boost the DataSecure platform's performance through new processor technology. Today, it launched a single-processor, 1U-high i311 and two dual-processor, 2U-high devices, the i321 and i325.

Like its SR1200 and SR2400 devices, the new DataSecure boxes rely on Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) processors. However, the new appliances use 2.8GHz Xeon chips, as opposed to the 1.26GHz Pentium 3 processor in the SR1200 and SR2400.Derek Tumulak, Ingrian’s director of product management, tells NDCF that this has helped boost the devices’ ability to encrypt data. The new hardware can handle up to 12,000 operations per second, up from 8,000, he says, based on customer testing figures.

For the first time, Ingrian is also offering redundant array of independent disk (RAID) technology on the i321 and i325 devices. The i325, like the i315, is also compliant with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), which are used by government agencies to handle data.

But, even with these product enhancements, Ingrian’s long-term success will depend on getting its message across. This is a major challenge for any startup, but even more so for vendors playing in specialist markets.

Despite the veil of secrecy that surrounds enterprise security, Tumulak says that Ingrian is getting customer traction, although he would not reveal any names. Fifty of the new devices are now being evaluated by users, and the company’s largest customer has deployed more than 50 DataSecure boxes, he adds.

So, which markets is Ingrian going after? According to Tumulak, the startup is targeting financial firms, retailers, and large enterprises in the Fortune 500, although there are plans to expand into the education sector.Up until now, most of Ingrian’s work has focused on securing credit card data, though Tumulak thinks this could change. ”The biggest pain point for enterprises now is protecting credit card numbers, but in the future, enterprises will be looking to protect Social Security numbers and employee information,” says Tumulak. Medical records is another area where Ingrian is seeing activity, he adds.

The next step for the startup is to build its international business, specifically in Europe, Japan, and Asia/Pacific. Tumulak says governments in these regions are increasingly concerned about the security of credit card data. “In Europe there are legislative requirements, and in Japan we’re seeing the same thing."

Tumulak adds that Ingrian will also be expanding its global workforce of 55 employees.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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