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CSO Counsels Restraint

LAS VEGAS -- Encrypting every piece of data at rest within an organization could be expensive overkill.

According to Al Kirkpatrick, chief security officer at information services firm First American Corp., many users may not need as much encryption as some industry sources are advocating.

Kirkpatrick, whose firm provides services such as document processing to the real estate industry, explained that he is responsible for "billions of records stored on terabytes of data," during his Interop keynote Tuesday. According to the exec, this includes the world's largest Microsoft SQL Server database.

But the security chief warned other IT managers not to buy into the "soundbite du jour" of encrypting all this information. "The jive that bothers me is that you have got to drop everything and encrypt all data at rest at the moment," he explained. "You have got to look at the whole puzzle -- you're not going to have enough money to do it all."

A number of vendors, including Decru, EMC, StorageTek, and IBM, are targeting this space, and a slew of offerings are available to encrypt data. (See Quantum, Decru Hook Up, IBM Certifies Decru, Decru Joins StorageTek Program, and Analysis: Storage Security .)

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